Summertime brings on the bug bites like crazy. Win the battle against mosquitoes without feeling like you are covering your family with harmful chemicals.

Natural Mosquito Repellent for Yard, Kids, and Babies

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Using natural mosquito repellent for your yard, kids, and babies will help you win the battle against mosquitoes without covering your family with harmful chemicals. Making natural body products at home can give your family a much safer environment to live in.

Natural mosquito repellent and homemade bug bite sticks on a stump outside and an arm with a mosquito biting it.

It’s not as hard as you might think to ditch and switch to natural products.

Mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, chiggers, gnats, and biting flies can be relentless in the summer. It can make going outside, especially in the evenings, miserable. Here’s how to use natural mosquito repellents in your yard, and make baby-safe bug spray and anti-itch sticks that work wonderfully to take the itch out fast when you do get a bite.

We all know that getting bit is annoying, but some biting insects are actually dangerous too. Mosquitoes can carry numerous diseases and they spread them when they bite you. And tick bites can be dangerous as well.

Natural Mosquito Repellent For Yard

One of the best ways to win the battle against mosquitoes is through prevention. Keep your yard clear of standing water and places for insects to lay eggs and hatch. Standing water is where mosquitoes lay eggs. Also, you can plant mosquito repellent plants that help a lot. 

You can grow lemon balm, lemon verbena, or lemongrass and pull a leaf off the plant to rub on your skin. I smash the leaves and then rub them on all exposed areas as soon as we get outside and I tend not to get bitten nearly as much. 

There are also natural mosquito control products you can buy for your yard. There are pellets you can add to your water sources and beneficial insects you can buy to put in your yard that eat the mosquito larvae and keeps populations under control.

More tips for natural biting insect control for your yard:

  • Fleas follow animals. Treat your animals and you’ll have fewer problems with fleas in your yard. 
  • Chiggers like to hang out in tall grass, so avoid those areas to keep from getting bit.
  • Keep your yard mowed and trimmed and free of debris for less trouble with all biting insects. If they don’t have a place to breed and bed down, you will have fewer of them in general. 
  • Again, with other biting insects, you can get beneficial nematodes that will prey on them. 

If you are able to blow a fan on your gathering area, that helps keep flying insects away. There are candles and citronella products that claim to keep them away, but I can’t stand the smell of them. Yuck!

You can grow natural citronella oil by growing lemongrass around your yard. you can even break off a piece and rub it on your skin. Or make lemongrass lotion bars and get a moisturizer with your mosquito repellant!

Best Mosquito Repellent for Kids

I am leery of all the harsh chemicals we have available for our use on our bodies. DEET is the main ingredient in most insect repellents but it’s not good for our health and can be particularly dangerous for use on children. If you want to learn more about the dangers of DEET and other ingredients in conventional bug spray, click here.

Most ingredients for natural mosquito repellent can be grown in the garden or bought locally, or you can order them in bulk from Amazon. Using pure ingredients will help protect your health.

Being able to make my own remedies and protect my kids and family against mosquitoes and itching throughout the summer is so satisfying. 

Baby Safe Bug Spray

This natural mosquito repellent for babies also works just as well for kids and adults.  I use DoTerra brand oils and have much fewer reactions to my allergies.

Bottles of essential oils.

To make baby-safe bug spray, mix ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup distilled water, 1 teaspoon Homemade Vanilla, 15 drops Lavender Essential Oil, 10 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil, 10 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil, and 20 drops Melaleuca or Tea Tree Oil. Pour the mix into a spray bottle and shake well before each use.

Does imitation vanilla repel mosquitoes? As far as I have found, the vanilla you use in this recipe needs to be real vanilla. Imitation vanilla does not help like the real thing. 

Does peppermint oil repel mosquitos? Peppermint oil can also be a useful natural mosquito repellent, and I use it in my bug spray if I am only using it on adults. Peppermint is less safe for children, so for my kids, I leave out the peppermint. To make this recipe for adults, just add 10 drops of peppermint essential oil.

How to Make Natural Bug Bite Sticks

Of course, no bug repellent is 100% effective. When my kids do get a bug bite, I’m prepared with my homemade natural bug bite sticks (recipe here). Just rub them on bites to take out the itch or sting.

Homemade natural bug bite sticks from Little Sprouts Learning.

The recipe makes about 13 sticks in your crock pot.

Note: Please be cautious when using essential oils or any products on children. Information shared on this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, and has not been evaluated by the FDA. These are simply recipes that I use.

If you like these recipes, check out my homemade healing salve,  and homemade Sore Away Pain Relieving Cream.

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Natural Baby Safe Bug Spray

Baby safe bug spray made with all natural ingredients to repel bothersome insects.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time2 minutes
Total Time7 minutes
Author: Christina


  • ¼ C. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ C. Distilled Water
  • 1 Teaspoon Homemade Vanilla (Learn how to make it here)
  • 15 Drops Lavender Essential Oil (I use DoTerra brand oils and have much less reactions with my allergies.)
  • 10 Drops Lemon Grass Essential Oil
  • 10 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • 20 Drops Melaleuca or Tea Tree Oil


  • Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle.
  • Shake well before each use.


You should always test any product on a small patch of skin before use. Use caution when using essential oils on children.
Mosquito repellent.

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  1. MOSQUITOES ARE THE WORST. They’re so bad around my house but I refuse to spray because of my bee gardens and veggies. Thank you for posting all this info!

  2. Thanks so much for these recipes. I’ll try the spray. Hopefully commercial vanilla will work if I’m stuffed for time!

  3. Oooh these DIY repellents look great, thanks! I bet they smell really nice too, unlike the nasty store bought bottled stuff

  4. We live deep in the woods, and insects are a serious problem. While I do use some Muskoil, I spray it on hats and clothes, never on skin. However! Last week, I accidentally got some on the back of my hand, and by the time I got in the house, my skin was red and inflamed and SO sore. This is a fabulous alternative, and I think I already have most of the ingredients!

    Thank you so much for sharing with us at #SustainableSundays and I look forward to seeing what you share with us this week. This is Marie’s PICK for featured posts, so come back to Just Plain Living and check it out.

    1. Ah, thanks so much Marie! 🙂 I hope it helps you fight the bad bugs. They can be soooo annoying and even dangerous. 🙁 Our mosquito season is in full swing now and I have to remember to spray every time! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. This is great! I have been bitten so many times already, and it is barely June! I need some of this!

  6. I’m going to try the bug bite sticks. My poor girl gets eaten alive in the summer. Must be because she’s so sweet. 🙂 #sustainablesundays

  7. Definitely giving this natural mosquito repellant go because we live in a dengue region! All the better that it’s homemade too.