Make Your Own Natural Mosquito Repellent

Got Mosquitoes? Don’t Want to Use Chemicals? Make Your Own!

mosquitoOver the years, I have developed a sensitivity to commercial insect repellents. I guess it’s the DEET in them. I don’t know. Whatever it is, it seems to affect my breathing and I get nauseous.

So what do I do? I live in an area where there are lots of mosquitoes, pretty much about 8 months out of the year.  I don’t want to stay inside all the time.  I have a toddler granddaughter who loves playing outside. I don’t want to be putting chemicals on her either. I also don’t want either of us to be dinner for a bunch of nasty insects.

I have found some natural mosquito repellents that I can make at home. I haven’t tested all of these but I have tried most of them and they do seem to work.

I’ll give you the recipes from easiest, to most difficult.

Dryer Sheets

I talked about this in my post about dryer sheets. Slip a fabric softener sheet into your pocket or in your bra. Let some of it stick out so the mosquitoes can get a good whiff.

Vanilla Extract

You have to use real vanilla extract for this. Not the imitation. Rub a few drops into your pulse points such as your neck, wrists, behind your knees, etc. The added benefit to this one is you will smell really good!


This only works if you have a lavender plant available to you. If you do, take a few of the blossoms and rub them on your pulse points. Another good smelling solution.

Peppermint Oil

Put one part Peppermint oil to 5 parts vodka in a spray bottle and shake before using. Be careful when handling pure peppermint oil. It’s best to use gloves while you are making this stuff. And be sure to not spray this stuff in your eyes.

A little tip about peppermint oil. Rodents hate it too. So if you have a problem with mice, spray the areas where you think mice have been to keep them from coming back.

Clove Oil

Follow the same instructions as you did for the peppermint oil spray. Also be careful when handling the pure clove oil too.

Another hint: Clove oil is also great for relieving the pain of a toothache until you can get to a dentist.

Lemon Eucalyptus Oil

You will need Lemon Eucalyptus Oil, Witch Hazel and a spray bottle. Mix one part lemon eucalyptus oil to ten parts witch hazel into a spray bottle. Shake up each time before you use it.

Garlic and Lemon

This one will make you smell like salad dressing. You need garlic cloves, lemon juice, mineral oil and a spray bottle. Chop up a couple of garlic cloves and put in a bowl. Cover with mineral oil and let it set for 24 hours. After 24 hours, take 1 teaspoon of the oil, without the chopped garlic cloves (use a strainer if you need to) and put in a spray bottle. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and a few cups of water. Shake before each use.

If you try any of these remedies for getting rid of mosquitoes, let me know how they work for you.


Easy Relaxation Tips for Busy Moms

woman readingMoms are a hard working bunch. We take care of everyone and are on call 24 hours a day. It’s a tough job with no pay. At least not the monetary kind.

With all the things we moms have to do in a day, it’s no wonder we are usually last on the list.

But that’s not healthy. And it’s not effective. Like the old saying “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”. As human beings, we need to have time for ourselves. We aren’t robots.

As much as we are capable of loving and nurturing others, it does take it’s toll on us. We need to rejuvenate so we can continue to be that loving and nurturing woman.

If you ignore doing this, don’t be surprised if you develop some physical problems as well as emotional problems (I speak from the voice of experience here).

Here are some of my best tips for getting some Mom time:

  • Try to spend a little time, 15-30 minutes every day just doing nothing but relaxing. If it’s nice outdoors, go outside and breathe in that fresh air.
  • Read a book which is my favorite relaxation activity. Nothing like a good book to take you away to another world.
  • If you can handle getting up earlier, try getting up 30 minutes earlier than everyone else. Just give yourself enough time before your “Mom job” starts, to read, listen to music or a motivating podcast, sip your coffee, write in your journal, meditate, whatever. Giving yourself this time at the beginning of the day is a great way to start the day.
  • Make everything a fun, beautiful and special experience. Make an ordinary bath a spa experience by playing some soft music, using bath oils or bubble bath and a comfy inflatable bath pillow. I love doing this occasionally but have been known to fall asleep in the tub.
  • When watching TV, make it a theater experience by turning out the lights, pop up some popcorn and getting comfy under a big soft blanket on the couch.
  • Get a break a way from the kids once in awhile. Get their father to watch them or a relative or even hire a babysitter if you have to. I like the spending time with dad idea the best if possible. You could make it a weekly “time with dad” date for the kids where they do something fun. Kids need one on one time with their fathers.
  • While the kids are bonding with their father, you can do something for you. Go get a manicure, or go shopping or take a nap. This is also a great time to get together with your friends that you rarely have time to see anymore. Go to a movie with them or maybe just a coffee shop to catch up.
  • Try not to schedule too much in a week. It’s not good for you or your kids. When my kids were school aged, they could each have one extra curricular activity per school year. No one child needs to be in dance class, girl scouts, band and swim classes all in the same week. Or even year. All that will get you is an exhausted child and worn out mom.
  • In the same manner, try to do as much as you can ahead of time so you aren’t exhausted and frustrated. For example, when I cook dinner, I often make enough for two dinners and freeze one for another time. I also use my crock pot a lot so while I’m cooking dinner one night, at the same time I will prep the food, and stick it in the crock pot for the next day. Just stick the crock in the fridge and in the morning pull it out, stick it in the base and turn it on.
  • When my kids were in school, I would make their school lunches right before I cleaned up after dinner. Then I’d put them in the fridge and it was just one less thing I had to stress about the next morning.
  • Try to get some exercise in every day. It will release the built up stress, relax you and keep you healthier.
  • Take some time every day to laugh. I subscribe to some funny online blogs so when I need a pick up, I just go into my google reader and find something funny. You could also get one of those funny calenders to keep on your desk. Or watch a sit-com. Whoever said laughter is the best medicine, knew what they were talking about.

All these things sound like a lot but just try implementing one thing at a time. When that thing has become a habit, then add something else. It will make a real difference in your quality of life. You owe it to your family to be the happiest, well adjusted mom you can be.