Introduction: DIY Insect Repellent!!

About: My Name is Nick and I love making things!! Learning about everything is something I like to do. I have been a carpenter here in Australia for about 10 years but recently have quit my job to do something I l…

I like fishing. A lot of places I go or have been have more mosquitos, sand flies and midges that someone could imagine.

About 4 years ago an old fisherman told me how to make this repellent. I was asking about the dreaded sand fly and how to avoid it. None of the store-bought repellants work against this type of insect even though the labels claim they do. After making this repellent I will never go back. I received one bite the first time I used it and that was on the back of my knee where I hadn't put the spray. Next time, no bites. It's amazing!! Thanks old fisherman.

I think this is currently the best DIY repellent because it is easy to make, effective and easily modifiable. You can add tea tree oil, lavender or any scent to it and it just gets better.

A lot of people were asking about how to get rid of mosquitos and though I am still working on a trap, this will at least stop them from biting you. I dedicate this instructable to all those who hate being bitten by bugs.

Step 1: Throw Away Old Repellents

Before throwing away all your old repellents, I want you to look at what is actually in these compared with the ingredients I'm suggesting. Some are known to cause cancer.

Here's a few common chemicals found in typical store-bought repellents from this site:

1. DEET is one of the most widely used chemicals as a mosquito repellent. While the use of DEET in lower concentrations is considered safe, when used in concentrations greater than 50 percent, DEET can produce skin irritation. Eye irritation is also common. DEET also will penetrate skin and can, in some instances, affect the central nervous system. In some individuals, slurred speech, confusion and seizures have occurred. These symptoms are most commonly associated with long-term, excessive exposure or improper use.


2. Permethrin is another repellent intended for treating clothing and other items, such as tents, sleeping bags and other gear made of fabric. Permethrin can cause eye irritation. While pyrethroid chemicals directly affect the nervous system of insects, it is not certain how these chemicals will affect humans, so care should be taken to follow the directions carefully. The Environmental Protection Agency has also classified permethrin as "likely to be carcinogenic to humans" if ingested.


3. P-menthane-3,8-diol may have some associated health hazards. The Environmental Protection Agency has found that long-term skin exposure produces microscopic kidney lesions as well as skin redness and swelling. Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency states that one study found p-menthane-3,8-diol may cause genetic damage.


4. While the California Department of Pesticide Regulation Report 2007-6 indicates that there was a possible increase in liver tumors and liver necrosis in rat and mice toxicity studies, the Environmental Protection Agency has cleared Metofluthrin as safe, when properly used.

Step 2: Things You Will Need

The list as follows:


Baby oil

Methylated spirits or rubbing alcohol. High purity is best.

Hair atomiser


What is Dettol? Dettol is a disinfectant that was first used in hospitals to clean skin. It contains a chemical called chloroxylenol. Chloroxylenol is an antimicrobial chemical that controls bacteria, fungi and virus.

While Dettol can kill you if ingested, it is a safer alternative to most store-bought repellents.

Dettol contains; chloroxylenol, pine oil, castor oil, isopropanol, water and soap.

Of course there are more natural alternatives, but I find these are often less effective.

Step 3: Mixing the Solution

Using your funnel placed into the atomiser, add 1/3 equal parts of Dettol, baby oil and methylated spirits or rubbing alcohol.

Step 4: Shake and Spray

Now mix this all together and you can spray away! Avoid open cuts or wounds, eyes and mouth. This repellent is designed for external use only so don't get any silly ideas.

Fun tip: This mixture will also work on head lice. Soak the hair and comb it through, leave it for 30mins and wash out with soapy water. YES its stinks! But hey, try killing lice with any other treatment first go.

Special Prize:

The first comment with "made it", showing a picture of all your ingredients, will receive a 3 month pro membership code. "Prize redeemed by userj0lt" Congratulations.

Hope everyone enjoys being bug-free!

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