Natural Mosquito Repellent For You And Your Dog

Jun 10, 2019 | Garden, Maggie Lane Designs

This is a re-post from 2019 where I talked about using different plants and oils to repel mosquitoes from biting you and your dog.  This post has come in pretty handy since then for me considering mosquitos will find me no matter where I am outside.  Spring is here with summer right around the corner and I thought it would be fun to share again with you.  This is one of my top ten shared and asked about posts so don’t hesitate to comment below with any feedback!

When we lived in Missouri, my neighbor made her own mosquito repellent which gave me the idea to create this post.  I never got the exact measurements but it called for Dawn dish soap, vinegar, and water!  I also love that this post because it contains information on holistic options and a recipe for repelling mosquitos when you have pets.

What types of plants repel Mosquitos?

Do mosquitos love you?  They love me!  Well, they don’t actually love me, they love to bite me!!!  One of my readers suggested doing a post on safe and natural mosquito repellent.  Based on my research from previous years and a lot of google searches, this is what I’ve come up with.  It’s not only important for me to find something safe but for Jake and Maggie as well.  

I had done some research a few years ago when we moved into our house in Missouri on the types of ornamental grass in our yard and found it interesting that we had lemongrass all around the bottom of our deck.  I read that it stops mosquitos in their tracks.  Well…when summer came, I knew exactly why they had planted it because lemongrass contains citronella oil and musks scents that attract mosquitos such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid found in humans.  This makes it harder for mosquitos to locate you.  Citronella helps to reduce mosquito landing around 40%.  Another plant that Mosquitos hate is Lavender.  They detest the pungent scent of the purple flower and stay away at all costs.  Fortunately, we lived next to a Lavender Farm so we were pretty close to Lavender plants!!   

If you are into natural oils, here is a list of homemade mosquito repellents using oils.  Also, check out my post on doTERRA oils HERE should you have more questions or need a recipe.  Make sure you mix your oils in a glass spray bottle and not plastic.  The plastics will absorb the oils while the glass will not.

Homemade Mosquito Repellents
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
Peppermint Oil And Coconut Oil
Neem Oil And Coconut Oil
Apple Cider Vinegar And Essential Oil Spray
Tea Tree oil And Coconut Oil
Citronella Oil And Alcohol Spray
Cinnamon Oil Repellent
Lavender Oil, Vanilla, And Lemon Juice

Mosquitos dislike the smell and taste of the vinegar.  So if you’re interested in seeking a natural insect repellent, try out this recipe which uses apple cider vinegar as a base! Fill your spray bottle with half water, and half apple cider vinegar.  You might not like smelling like vinegar but spraying it around your area, will help.  


If you are worried for your pet, I did some research and found this website:

Verbiage taken from the website.  It was very detailed and I did not want to leave any information out.

Citrus Peels
Citrus is a natural repellent to mosquitos, ticks and fleas. Each time you use a citrus fruit, keep the peels for use in this homemade dog-friendly solution. Fill a pot with leftover citrus peels, such as from used lemons, oranges and grapefruit. Cover the peels with water and bring to a boil on the stove. Remove from the heat and allow the citrus water to cool. Discard the peels. Citrus water will not only make your dog smell fresh, it will act as a natural deterrent to mosquitoes and fleas.

Essential Oils
Essential oils will keep your dog smelling fresh and safe from mosquito bites. Consider adding in a few drops of essential oils to the citrus water mixture. Some oils are natural mosquito repellents. These include peppermint, geranium, sage, lavender, eucalyptus, lemongrass, sandalwood and patchouli. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and shake well to combine.

It may be a favorite of cats, but it is not liked by mosquitoes. To use the catnip, sprinkle a few loose pieces into the still warm citrus water and let it steep as it cools. Pour into a spray bottle.

To Use
Before using the homemade repellents, bathe your dog. After you rinse away any soap, spray him with the citrus water, catnip or essential oil mixture. Spray along the dog’s back, legs, tail and hindquarters, as well as around his neck and ears where mosquitos like to bite. Also, rub a few drops of essential oil directly onto the dog’s shoulder blades. This is an area where your dog cannot lick. The smell of these oils can be a powerful deterrent against mosquitos, fleas and other insects. Periodically treat your dog with more citrus water or essential oils as needed. Keep a spray bottle full of extra mosquito repellent solution and spritz before taking him out on walks or letting him explore.  Make sure you label the bottle so that it does not get mixed up with another remedy of sort.  


On a blog post by Melissa Malinowski, Naturopath Practitioner, at listed below is a

“Easy Homemade Mosquito, Bug and Tick Repellent for You and Your Dog” recipe

Mosquitos – citronella, lemon eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, catnip, basil, clove, thyme, lemongrass, geranium, lavender
Fleas – cedarwood, citronella, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, lemongrass, lavender, orange, pine,
Ticks – rose geranium, juniper, rosewood, thyme, grapefruit, oregano

NOTE: Keep in mind that with EO’s – quality matters. As a naturopath, Melissa only recommends using Young Living oils. She says, the cheaper EO’s (amazon and many store bought oils) typically are not even plant oils, but chemicals made to smell similar to plant oils. Placing those chemicals on your pet, diffusing (breathing) or if they ingest them, can be very dangerous. With Young Living oils, they are therapeutic.

Easy Homemade Mosquito, Bug and Tick Repellent for You and Your Dog
 Author: Melissa Malinowski, ND
Serves: 4 ounces


  • 2 ounces of distilled water
  • 1.5 ounces witch hazel or vodka
  • 10-20 drops total of essential oils, I usually blend 3-4 different oils together.
  • Be sure to include lemon eucalyptus oil, it has been shown to have the same effect as DEET.
  • Spray bottle. (use a glass spray bottle)
  • Optional – one small squirt of castile soap to help distribute the oil better (about ¼ teaspoon)
  • OR simply just use RepelAroma from YL


  • Fill spray bottle with water.
  • Add witch hazel or vodka to fill almost to the top, leave a gap to be able to shake thoroughly.
  • Add 10-20 drops of essential oils to the bottle. The more oils you use, the stronger the spray will be
  • Place sprayer top on bottle and gently shake.
  • Spray on skin and clothes for you and head to tail for your dog, avoid eyes and mucous membranes.
  • Note: This can double for a body spray and a room spray.
  • You can also make a lotion. Use the essential oils and add to a lotion. This is my FAVORITE one
  • OR simply just use RepelAroma from YL
  • Apply 2–4 drops to your hands and pet onto your animal’s coat.*
  • Add to a 1 oz. spray bottle and spritz generously on your animal’s coat or skin.*
  • *Carefully apply according to the size and species of animal.
  • General rule: Dilute more for smaller species.

And as always, you can call your vet to make sure your prescription for flea/tick and heart worm is up-to-date and you are giving your pet the proper dosage based on weight.  I diffuse lemon oil and water in my home daily.  The recommended dosage for the lemon oil is 3 drops but I always put more in around 5 to 7 drops.  I like a stronger scent of lemon for a bigger area.  I have about 5 citronella candles on our covered porch and 3 on our patio table.  I also spray a mixture of 3 part lemon juice, water, and distilled vinegar around as well as to clean with.  

As always, as stated above, make sure that you are using top quality ingredients for you and your pet.  I hope this helps.  Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.  Don’t forget to comment and share with friends.

Interested in knowing about the 9 plants that mosquitos do not like, check out my blog post:

Nine Plants Mosquitos Do Not Like

As always, as stated above, make sure that you are using top quality ingredients for you and your pet.  I hope this helps.  Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.  Don’t forget to comment and share with friends.

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