Make Your Own Mosquito Repellent at Home

essential oil bottlesThere are some pretty horrific mosquito infestations where I live at during certain times of the year, but electric fly swatters will only do so much. Not willing to cover myself in poisonous DEET every time I step out the door, I had to come up with another solution to keeping these little vampires away from me.

Of course, I could simply buy DEET-free mosquito repellent. Burt's Bees mosquito repellent is actually my favorite mosquito repellent on the market. However, going through bottles of that can get expensive.

So instead, I opted to use some of the essential oils I've collected to create my own natural mosquito repellent.


Make Your Own Mosquito Repellent at HomeYou'll Need:

- basil essential oil
- citronella essential oil
- eucalyptus essential oil
- lemongrass essential oil
- peppermint essential oil
- lavender essential oil
- vanilla extract or vanilla essential oil
- vodka (a cheap one will do)
- clean 300-ml spray bottle

*You don't necessarily need ALL of these ingredients for this to work, but the more the merrier.


1. Fill 85-90% of the spray bottle with vodka.
2. Fill the remaining space with any combination of the oils listed in the ingredients. You don't need to combine all of them, as they are all mosquito-repelling oils, so feel free to mix and match ratios and ingredients to create a scent that you like. I personally like to heavy on vanilla and/or fruity ingredients, as I'm not a huge fan of floral or herbal scents. Keep the total volume of oils in your mixture to 15% or below though, as a ratio higher may cause irritation to the skin.


When you need to use your homemade spray, simply shake up the bottle and spray away. Reapply as needed. Good luck!

Keep Plant Pests Away With This Homemade Hot Pepper Spray

Keep Plant Pests Away With This Homemade Hot Pepper Spray
The downside of enjoying keeping plants around the house is that sometimes they get attacked by pests, anything from mites to caterpillars. Not being a huge fan of using poisonous chemicals to keep pests away, I've turned to another alternative a spray derived from habanero peppers. As it turns out, habanero peppers are not only delicious as a salsa ingredient, but they're also quite the effective as a deterrent for bugs and parasites that like to feast on my plants.

As luck would have it, I happen to have a potted habanero plant in my home that was just about ready to be harvested.

WARNING: Habaneros are extremely hot peppers and they can cause numbness and pain in your fingers if you handle them without gloves. It's also very dangerous if you get the oils of the pepper on your face or in your eyes, so please make sure to protect yourself accordingly if you want to make your own hot pepper spray.


You'll Need:

- 1/2 cup of habanero peppers
- two cloves of garlic
- water
- cheesecloth or a strainer
- gloves
- goggles
- a spray bottle


1. Put on the gloves and goggles on to make sure your eyes and your hands are protected from the hot oils of the habanero pepper. If you do not do this, you run the risk of getting the oils on your skin or accidentally in your eyes. Although you might only experience some discomfort and numbness in your fingers if you get it on your hands, it's a much more terrible situation if a spurt of oil hits you i the eye when you're cutting up the peppers.

2. Dice the habanero peppers and garlic as finely as you can (turns out garlic also helps deter many different kinds of plant pests too!), then put it in a bowl. Pour two cups of water into it and let it sit for at least 12 hours. If you have a food processor even better. Simply put the peppers, the garlic and water into the food processor and blend it until it becomes a fine mush.

3. Pour the mixture through a strainer or piece of cheesecloth in a bowl. Make sure you are extracting only liquid from the mixture and not any of the debris. Then pour the remaining liquid into a spray bottle. You might need a funnel to do this.


And there you have it, your own hot pepper spray! Mist this over your plants every couple of weeks to keep parasites and pests away. I've been doing this for a month or so and it seems to be working so far. I would advise against making the solution any more concentrated than this recipe, as hot pepper sprays that are too strong might actually end up harming your plant.

Good luck!

Easy Ways to Freshen the Scent of Your Home

Easy Ways to Freshen the Scent of Your Home
Sometimes all sorts of odd smells get trapped inside the home — whether it's from stale air or the lingering aroma of cooking in the kitchen. Fortunately, there are few easy ways to keep the air inside your home fresh that don't include buying plug-in air fresheners or spraying Febreze all over the place.


1. Place Vanilla Extract or Essential Oils On Your Light Bulbs

Turning on the lights is something that many people have to do on a daily basis anyway, so wouldn't be nice if while they're on they also served the dual function of freshening the air? Simply place a few drops of vanilla extract (or your favorite essential oils) on the light bulbs in your house and every time you turn them on, the heat emanating from the bulbs will help dissipate the scent of the liquid. This easily produces a pleasant smell that will fill every corner of your home. Don't worry, this won't hurt your light bulbs.

2. Scent Your Air Purifier

If you happen to have an air purifier in your home that you regularly use, get more out of it by placing a few drops of the essential oil of your choice on its air filter. Do this about once a week. This is an extremely effective way to disseminate a pleasant smell throughout your house. I personally like using a clean musk or lavender scent to create a clean scent into my home. A few drops of essential oils will suffice, as air purifiers are extremely efficient at spreading the smell throughout a house. Adding too much to the filter might even cause the smell to become a tad overwhelming. And again, don't worry, this won't hurt your air purifier.

Easy Ways to Freshen the Scent of Your Home3. Get Some Indoor Plants

Did you know that there are many different kinds of plants that you can keep indoors that will clean the air for you? I will post a more in-depth piece on this at a later date, but for now, just know that there are many easy-to-take-care-of plants that will not only freshen the air in your home, but will actually remove toxins as well. This means not only will the air smell fresher, the plants are also improving your health at the same time. Among the plants you might consider getting are golden pothos, peace lilies, aloe plants and snake plans. All of these are extremely easy to take care of and don't require a lot of light or regular watering

4. Make Some Potpourri

If you like placing flowers around the house, then you also know that flowers will eventually die. But don't throw them out! Hang them up upside down until they're completely dried out, then separate the petals from the stem and place them in a bowl. If you'd like you can add a few other things, such as pine cones, to make it more aesthetically pleasing. Then simply take your favorite essential oils and drip them over your homemade potpourri. This should create a nice little decoration that will give off a pleasant scent, tickling the olfactory sense of whoever happens to be walking by. When it no longer gives off a scent, simply refresh the bowl by adding more essential oils to it.

5. Boil Some Lemons

Easy Ways to Freshen the Scent of Your HomeTo be honest, this isn't my favorite way to freshen the air in the house but I feel like I would be remiss if I didn't include it in this list. Simply cut up some lemons, and if you like, add a couple cinnamon sticks or sprigs of rosemary to a pot filled with water. Then put it over the stove until boiling. This will allow the natural smells of the ingredients to permeate the house. However, I've tried this method several times and I never felt like the smell was strong enough to my liking, nor did it create a long-lasting scent. Additionally, it required using perfectly good lemons, cinnamon sticks and rosemary sprigs that I could have used to cook other things. It required using up energy by keeping it burning on the stove. Quite evidently, this isn't my favorite method of freshening up the house, but if it is something that tickles your fancy, by try by all means give it a try.


Hope this was helpful! If you have any other good ideas for how to easily freshen up the air in the house without commercial products, please share them in the comments below!