Perhaps the gentlest form of liquid repellent, applied to skin or clothing, is a mixture of one tablespoon of vanilla to one cup of water. Due to its innocuous nature, you can easily apply this mixture around sensitive areas like eyes and ears. The pleasant smell is an added bonus. Store excess in a tightly covered container.
A recipe popular in the UK combines a ratio of four tablespoons of baby oil to one tablespoon of Dettol. Dettol is an over-the-counter antiseptic liquid common in the UK, but perhaps most easily available for purchase online in the U.S.
You can also try a spritz of citrus fruit juice, or essential oils such as citronella, peppermint, pine or eucalyptus. Dilute essential oils with water in a small spray bottle and apply as needed. Remember that just a little essential oil goes a long way, so only add a few drops to the bottle of water.
Lemon eucalyptus oil - You can create your own mixture with 1 part lemon eucalyptus oil to 10 parts sunflower oil or witch hazel.
You can grow lavender in an outdoor garden or in indoor planters. Crush the flowers and apply the oil to bite-sensitive areas of the body, such as your ankles and arms. Also drop some lavender oil on a clean cloth and rub it onto the skin.
When outdoors, citronella candles can provide up to 50 percent extra protection.
TRy this for mosquitoes: https://www.craftylittlegnome.com/diy-mosquito-repellent/
Hi Jeff - This is the most effective all-natural mosquito and bug spray DIY that we use. Hope this helps! Hugs, Holly
PS - We have a FREE eBook with recipes for all of my homemade and all-natural cleaners. You can download it here --> https://pinkfortitude.com/thank#GreenClean
Hey Jeff: Mosquito yard spray: 1 big bottle of cheap blue mouthwash - 3 cups epsom salt - 3 12oz bottles of cheap stale beer. Mix until salt is dissolved. Put in spray bottle and spray everything. Won't harm plants or flowers. It says that mosquitoes will be gone for 80 days - if it doesn't rain, I guess. Spray your sitting areas too. Has a nice mint smell. Whomever passed this along to me got it from a Paul Harvey show. Yeah, you young 'ens don't remember him:(
I have mint plants in my yard. Mint seems to repel mosquitoes. You can tell a mint plant from a regular plant by their stems. They are squarish where other plant stems are round. I have Lemon Mint and Spearmint plants. They really spread and are quite invasive, so either put them in a pot or in an area that they can't spread. I have mine growing as a hedge around my sitting area, but there is a lot of upkeep to that and keeping the volunteers in check.
As for the gnats, put out a saucer with some cider vinegar and a couple of drops of liquid dish soap in it. The gnats will go to it and drown. It may take a week or so, as the eggs will hatch and grow and lay eggs, but they will eventually go away. Keep ripe fruit in the fridge, as they just love that stuff:)
Hi Jeff. A few plants that will repel mosquitoes are: Lavender, Marigolds, Lemon Grass, and Citronella plants. Rosemary and Basil also repel those tiny biters.