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Homemade mosquito repellent is an effective way to keep bugs at bay. And protect you from insecticides like DEET.
DEET (N, N -Diethyl-meta-toluamide) is the most common pesticide in mosquito repellent. In animal studies DEET has been shown to cause neurological and behavioral effects, including ataxia, locomotor impairment, restlessness, seizures, encephalopathy, respiratory distress, neurotoxicity, and even death.
Picaridin is a less toxic mosquito repellent based on chemicals in pepper. It works by interfering with the mosquito's ability to smell its prey. It may be listed on products as KBR 3023 or by its chemical name, 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 1-methylpropyl ester.
Another less toxic option is made with lemon eucalyptus oil. This oil is derived from the leaves and twigs of the lemon-scented eucalyptus, (para-Menthane-3,8-diol is the synthesized version used in most commercial preparations).
Lemon eucalyptus oil is the only plant-based repellent recommended by the CDC to repel mosquitoes.
Store-bought options that contain DEET, picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil also contain unidentified inert ingredients that may be as toxic, or even more toxic than the active ingredients. So, If you want to avoid DEET, picaridin and unknown inert chemicals, make homemade mosquito repellent. Here’s my original recipe for homemade mosquito repellent.
What you’ll need:
Mix all ingredients and pour into bottle. Spritz or dab small amounts on skin before and during outdoor activities.
A tip if you don't want greasy hands after applying. Put a small amount of repellent in an old pill bottle and fill the bottle with cotton swabs. Use the saturated swabs to dab on the mosquito repellent.