DIY Essential Oil Mosquito Repellant Recipe

Before a trip to the Philippines a few years ago, a Filipino colleague warned me of the threat of contracting Dengue since I was visiting during the rainy season. The trip was amazing but he was absolutely right- the number of mosquitoes per cubic feet of air was astronomical. Thankfully, I brought a small bottle of Lemongrass essential oil- which by itself, worked wonders- and kept it close at all times.

One day, we decided to hike up a forested mountain to visit newly-met friends who invited us to lunch. I know it sounds like the beginning of a horror movie but it was actually a great time. I apparently had switched bags earlier that day and forgot my Lemongrass oil and paid for it dearly. I couldn't go for 30 seconds without slapping my skin. After realizing the Lemongrass oil I applied earlier had clearly worn off, a local gave me a bottle of a popular mosquito repellant they used on the island. It was handmade, locally sourced, and 100% natural. After we were introduced to the repellant, we saw it everywhere and picked up a few bottles at the local grocery. It also worked wonders and smelled AMAZING. 

Related image

Essential oils can serve as excellent bug repellants that are economical and safe to use on children and pets. Here are a few are some of the more well-known pests and essential oils that work as repellents for them:

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

I've searched online for the recipe of the Filipino mosquito repellant blend with no results, however, I've found this great recipe that resembles what I remember from the contents list.


  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/8 cup shea butter 
  • 12 drops lavender essential oil
  • 8 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 8 drops basil essential oil
  • 8 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 8 drops of geranium essential oil
  • 8 drops eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil


  1. Melt the coconut oil and shea butter using a double boiler.
  2. Remove from heat and mix in all other oils.
  3. Pour in container and allow to cool.
  4. Apply and enjoy!

Use this recipe and live your best life outdoors all summer long!


Photo credits: Mohamed Lammah and @halleberry