Disclaimer: I'm about as far from a crunchy mommy as it's possible to be. Case in point, I buy Lunchables and I feed them to my kids. All that aside, I swear by my all natural, kid safe insect repellent. One of my kids is a mosquito magnet. To add insult to injury, he reacts badly to mosquito bites. We actually took him to the emergency room once because his calf ballooned up so badly we thought it was a spider bite or an allergic reaction. He once got a mosquito bite behind his ear that swelled up to the point where his ear stuck straight out.
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We live in Texas where the mosquitos are the size of small aircraft. From April to October, insect repellent is necessary whenever we go outside. Interestingly, the mosquitos don't seem to like me very much but who really knows why they pick one person over another to feast upon? All I know is that they really, really like my son Zack and that I need to take precautions when we're outdoors to help prevent him from being the appetizer, main course and dessert at the all-you-can-eat buffet for those pesky mosquitos.
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My little skeeter sensitive boy also has sensitive skin and spraying him down with a bunch of chemicals doesn't work for us. I did a little research and learned that citronella and cedar oils are natural insect repellents. After a little trial and error, her's what we've found works well on a consistent basis:
20 drops of Cedarwood Oil
20 drops of Citronella Essential Oil
1/2 cup of Distilled Water
1/2 cup of Witch Hazel
That's it! So easy! Cedar Wood and Citronella Oils can be found in any natural foods store or from an independent provider of essential oil, or, like everything else under the sun, on Amazon. I prepared you a little shopping list below, if you want to order all your supplies in one click.
I use the NOW brand of essential oils, most of the time.
I mix the water and the alcohol together in a glass measuring cup, add the oil, stir gently and then pour into a dark-colored spray bottle away from heat and sunlight. I store my mixture in this container at home and then transfer to a smaller spray bottle or roll on when I go out and about.
It's pretty easy to keep the ingredients on hand and just whip up another batch of this handy all natural, kid safe insect repellent. The citronella smells like…well, citronella and to be honest, it's not the greatest smell in the world. I love the smell of cedar and it works to balance out the smell of the citronella. If you really dislike the smell of the citronella, you can add a couple of extra drops of cedar wood oil. It keeps the bugs away every bit as well as OFF! or DEET and it is so much better and safer for your skin and the environment.
Shopping List – Amazon Links:
- Amber glass spray bottles
- 2oz blue glass spray bottles
- Purse size roll on
- Cedarwood Oil
- Citronella Essential Oil
- Distilled Water
- Witch Hazel