Organic Insect Repellent





Introduction: Organic Insect Repellent

In this Instructable I will show you how to make a cheap and easy Organic Insect Repellent, in both a cream & handy spray form!

Step 1: How to Make the Spray

For the handy spray you will need:

5ml Neem Oil
2ml washing up liquid, or soap (organic)
1L Water
1x Spray bottle (clean)

1: Add 5ml of Neem Oil to the 1L of Water (or 5% Neem if you want to make a different quantity).

2: Add 2ml emulsifying agent, like washing up liquid or soap.

3: Decanter into a clean spray bottle, shake and apply directly to exposed skin.

Step 2: How to Make the Cream

To make the cream you will need:

4ml Neem oil
100ml Shea butter and coconut oil moisturizer

1: mix the oil into the shea butter and coconut oil moisturizer, and apply to exposed skin.

Step 3: What Is Neem Oil & How Dose It Work?

What is Neem Oil?

Neem oil, the oil pressed from the seeds of the neem tree, is the most widely known and used neem product.

Well, at least in the western world it is. Indians, of course, have known and used all parts of the neem tree for thousands of years...

Neem oil has many different uses and benefits...

* A natural insect repellent
* A safe pesticide
* A fertilizer
* A skin care ingredient
* A contraceptive
* A medicine with hundreds of different uses

How Dose It Work?

Neem oil has many complex active ingredients. Rather than being simple poisons, those ingredients are similar to the hormones that insects produce. Insects take up the neem oil ingredients just like natural hormones.

Neem enters the system and blocks the real hormones from working properly. Insects "forget" to eat, to mate, or they stop laying eggs. Some forget that they can fly. If eggs are produced they don't hatch, or the larvae don't moult.

Obviously insects that are too confused to eat or breed will not survive. The population eventually plummets, and they disappear. The cycle is broken.

How precisely it works is difficult for scientists to find out. There are too many different active substances in neem oil, and every insect species reacts differently to neem insecticide.

Field studies that were done on the natural mosquito repelling action of neem oil:

* In 1994 the the Malaria Research Centre of Delhi, India, tested whether kerosene lamps with 1% neem oil can protect people from mosquito bites. For that test they burned the lamps in living rooms, and from 6 pm to 6 am caught the mosquitoes sitting on the walls and those attracted to human bait (i.e. volunteers).

Neem oil clearly reduced the number of bites on the volunteers and also the number of mosquitoes caught. The protection was greater against anopheles species (the ones that transmit malaria) than against culex.

* A 1995 study at a field station the Malaria Research Centre in Ranipur, Hardwar, India, tested a mix of 2% neem oil mixed in coconut oil.

They showed that applying that mixture to the skin provided significant protection from various mosquitoes. It worked best against anophelines, offering 96-100% protection! (The malaria transmitting anopheles mosquitoes fall into this group). The numbers for other species were 85% for Aedes (carries dengue fever), 61-94% for Culex spp. (can carry West Nile virus) and 35% for Armigeres.

* In 1996 the Malaria Research Centre of Delhi, India did another field trial with kerosene lamps in an Indian village. Kerosene lamps with 1% neem oil were kept burning from dusk to dawn in living rooms.

They found that the lamps kept the mosquitoes out of the living rooms and that the malaria incidents of the population dropped dramatically (from about ten cases per thousand people to only one in thousand). Once the lamps were removed, the mosquitoes returned and so did the malaria.

(As for the safety of this method, another 1996 study by the Malaria Research Centre in Delhi, India tested the effects of kerosene lamps with 1% neem oil. Clinical examination of 156 adults and 110 children did not reveal any major adverse effects after one year of exposure to 1% neem oil.)



    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest
    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest
    • Stick It! Contest

      Stick It! Contest

    23 Discussions

    It's hard to give an exact time as there are many factors such as heat and humidity that can change how long it will be effective, I have found the cream to be most effective and last between 6-12 hours (one application for the whole night, or a couple of applications during the day).

    I tend to use the spray on plants as an organic pesticide, and the cream on myself as a repellent.

    Hope this helps!

    If you have tried Neem Oil or some other organic way to successfully repel mosquitoes please share it. I am surprised goverment's do not invest in research to develop gadgets and creams as these products are used by poor & rich both

    I had never read about this plant or that oil. I live in Argentina, I searched a Spanish translation, not found. I have no idea if one can get that oil here.

    6 replies

    please mail me on ( will send you the neem oil capsule,I have a business on some type of this things.

    I appreciate your kind offer, but shipping will be more expensive than the product. As is commonly said, "collar is more expensive than dog".

    It's of asian origin and is usually grown in India. They use it in almost everything from soap to toothpaste.

    Thank, very much. Surely here is something new, I went to Mercado Libre Argentina and I saw that this oil is quite expensive.

    I read once in "Prevention" Magazine that if you take added Thiamin (vitamin B-1), that once you get a certain level in your body, the mosquitos don't want to have anything to do with you. I tried it, and it worked so well that I didn't need any spray of any kind. It's just hard to remember to take an extra vitamin just to be able to walk outside without being bombarded, but there are worse things. It also seemed that any other bug didn't want any part of me, either. There is a theory I also read somewhere (?) mosquitos are attracted to some certain types of blood. I don't know, but they have always loved me, and my type is B+. I would think that taking the extra B-1 would be more healthy than putting poisin on your skin everyday, and being bitten by mosquitoes that may eventually carry disease. I also noticed that after an evening of a few alcoholic beverages, I am particularly appealing to mosquitoes. There's an argument for tea-totaling!!

    you could go the more high tech route and build an electronic Mosquito Repellent - there's one on Stripboard HERE


    Plant ginger in a pot....when it grows leaves u will find that mosquitoes get repelled by the scent of the plant. Ginger will multiply below the ground u can have 2 benefits ...freedom from mosquitoes and fresh ginger.

    I had never read about this plant or that oil. I live in Argentina, I searched a Spanish translation, not found. I have no idea if one can get that oil here.

    3 replies

    Great natural approach, I think you could do without the soap by just giving the bottle a good shake before applying to the skin, that way you'd be even more natural.
    Is there an alternative that I could hang somewhere in the room and have a pleasant, quiet night sleep instead of applying it to the skin? I live in Colombia, right in the tropic, there are times when the mosquitos don't let you sleep.

    I love this idea. Isn't 5ml only 0.5% of 1L though? Did you mean 50 ml per 1L of water? (Or 100 ml of water per 5 ml of oil.)

    I will give this a shot. I live on the Texas Gulf Coast and the Mosquito's are VICIOUS and Huge. None of the Natural organic concoctions have worked for me yet. I hate spraying "Off" on my 2 yr old but if we don't they tear her up! Also Just wondering How Neem oil is used as a Contraceptive? I guess I can Google it, but I have never heard that one before?