Natural insect repellent for personal use

I do a bit of night time fishing and the " mosies ": can drive you crazy . Here is an easy to make solution to keep them at bay .

Canola oil…50 ml

Citronella …2ml

Eucalyptus oil…2ml

Combine the ingredients in a bottle and shake well. Place a bit of the mixture on the palms of your hands .Rub to warm then apply . Citronella is an optional ingredient but I would use it as it has natural insect repellent properties like Canola Oil . I have had no rashes or skin irritations using this formula . I found the off the shelf products , Rid , Aerogard etc caused an allergic reaction on my skin . Of course that would differ from individual to individual .

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Citronella is well known to be ineffective as a repellant. Those citronella burners work (if at all) by the smoke they generate.

Only DEET (or its close variants) repels insects.

Your mozzies must have fallen for the placebo effect. :smile:

@doug1 Thanks for the input @doug1 I did say in my post that citronella was an optional ingredient . Also I was not discussing Citronella burners . Had no experience with them . All I know is that we had a mosie plague in Melbourne and I made up some of the above mixture , WITHOUT the Citronella and it worked for me . In the long run that is really all that matters .I did not get bitten to death by mosies while fishing at night. Thanks for input anyway though Doug .Will not buy Citronella burners now , good tip.

Thanks @vax2000 - might try that out here in Sydney sometime.

I recently used Bushman’s 80% DEET formula when on safari in Kenya - didn’t have a single mosquito bite - I was applying morning and evening. I used a similar, 80% DEET formula some years back when in remote Sierra Leone and didn’t get bitten either.

Key to any formula is being really rigorous with the application. Apply morning and night, wear long sleeves and long pants, socks even. I used a permethrin soaked hat (with flaps) which kept the flies and other nasties away during the day.

For your common mosquitoes, a natural method like above would be fine. I wouldn’t risk it if you’re going to malaria prone areas - I’d be using the strong stuff for that :slight_smile:


@TillySouth I have a lot of problems with skin allergies and Aerogard brought on a mild asthma attack once when I used it . After that I’m very careful what I use. The Canola and Eucalyptus worked for me at the location I was fishing . Strangely , I don’t know why , I don’t attract many mosquitoes anyway which is good for me . You are right in an area with Malaria you naturally use a known proven product . Years ago I fished the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria extensively and picked up a good dose of Ross River fever from the mosquitoes there even though I was using Rid and they had aerially “bombed” the mosquitoes with poison . Layed me up for nearly a year . Would not wish RRF on my worst enemy .

Just digressing .I was a a keen aviculturalist and bred many species of parrots . One thing I did observe was that when I put eucalyptus gum branches with leaves on them in the flights the hens would take some leaves up and put a few in their nesting logs . Those logs never seemed to have lice or mites in them and the chicks seemed healthier . We can learn a lot from nature . Not all Aussie parrots follow this behaviour with the gum leaves . I bred Western , Eastern, Crimson Rosellas , Red Rump Parrots and Bourke and Scarlet Chested Parrots . They all seemed to use the leaves but not at every nesting . Should have followed it up more at the time . Wrote a book about natural methods of bird keeping but was never published . Learnt a lot though from the experience .


I live on the Gold Coast and over the years have found that the Tropical strength RID works well, but smells really bad and is kind of expensive. After plenty of whinging from me, one of my friends gave me something last Summer to ward of the nasty little midges and mosquitoes. She uses a small travel snap lid bottle full of baby oil and then adds about 8 drops of pure Lemongrass oil. This works amazingly well, smells really good and moisturises your skin. Score!!

P.S. My friend did make a point of mentioning you have to use actual Lemongrass oil and not just scented oil.


@brett.spencer Thanks Brett will give it a try