Making your own Bug Repellant or buying a safe choice!

Regina’s mosquitoes are fierce this summer. June’s rainfall has ensured their breeding grounds are fecund and those female mosquitoes seem eager to bite. To keep them at bay, we have checked the Environmental Working Group (EWG) website to find a safe bug repellant. EWG’s website – Skin Deep – is a great resource of research on safe skin care products. When choosing a bug repellant, there is a balance between protecting ourselves against the bites and the diseases that may be carried in the bite, as well as protecting ourselves against the toxicity of the bug repellant we use to protect us.


While DEET is not a carcinogen, long-term exposure to DEET may cause moodiness, insomnia and impaired cognitive function [source: Peterson]. Studies have shown that after high concentrations of continued exposure, DEET can cause hypertrophy of the liver and kidneys as well as stimulation of the central nervous system causing tremors and seizures [source: Extonet.]  Higher concentrations in our environment is detrimental for many species. It is useful to use DEET-free bug repellants.

Natural way to ward off Mosquitos

We have found that Bien Ella’s mosquito repellent is terrific. Available at Head to Heal dispensary and we have been very pleased at how well it works! We have found that we need to re-apply every 2 hours. If you have the time to make your own bug repellant mix 1 part essential oil with 10-20 parts carrier oil or alcohol. For a smaller batch use:

  • 10-25 drops (total) of essential oils
  • 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil or alcohol

The essential oils that work well against mosquitoes are:

  • cinnamon oil
  • lemon eucalyptus oil
  • citronella oil
  • castor oil

Safe carrier oils and alcohols include:

  • olive oil
  • soyabean oil
  • witch hazel
  • vodka

Mix the essential oil with the carrier oil or alcohol. Rub or spray the natural insect repellent onto skin or clothing, using care to avoid the sensitive eye area. Unused natural insect repellent may be stored in a dark bottle, away from heat or sunlight.

2706 13th Avenue (Northwest corner of 13th and Angus Street)
Regina, Saskatchewan
S4T 1N3
p: 306.543.HEAL

saskatchewan association of naturopathic practitioners
canadian association of naturopathic doctors