8 Effective Homemade Insect Repellent for Children: Mom Hacks


Mosquitoes are infamous for being disease carriers. Bugs are infamous for their poisonous bites. There are some insects like scorpion which can precipitate emergency medical conditions if they bite or sting. Children are more vulnerable to these insects, mosquitoes and bugs. So when it comes to protecting your children, you need to protect it from bugs, insects as well as mosquitoes using insect repellent.

Though you can get different types of insect repellents in the store, some of these may be harmful for younger children. You need to know how to prepare insect repellents at home. These homemade insect repellents can be made with most of the kitchen cabinet staff, spices or herbs that you can get in the grocery store.

8 Homemade Insect Repellents for Kids

insect repellents

Citronella grass

This is a shrub which is famous for its mosquito repellent capability. This is even used to manufacture insect repellents by several prominent brands. It is believed that the distinctive smell of the grass is responsible for its property. This grassy shrub grows in warmer climates. You can grow these plants in all the corners of your house. The best way to use it as an insect repellent is to grow it in your house.


Catnip can be found almost anywhere. It belongs to the mint family and it grows abundantly. It spreads fast and may have a weed-like growth. But this is also an amazing mosquito repellent. A study at Iowa State University has indicated that this herb is ten times more effective than DEET. DEET is a chemical used widely in insect repellents. Since it is the scent of the plant that works, you just need to grow it in your garden to repel insects.


Rosemary is a herb known for its woody scent. It seems it is this scent that keeps mosquitoes and other insects away. It grows abundantly in hot, dry climates. In winter too you may try to grow them, but inside containers. Since they make great borders and decorations, you can use them to fence off your house and repel insects automatically.



Basil is a herb which emits a pungent smell from its leaves. This scent is believed to keep pests and insects away. It also keeps flies and mosquitoes away. The best way to use it to repel insects is to plant some of it in the garden. It needs good drainage, but loves sun and can be placed in containers.


The essential oils of lavender which are responsible for many of its medicinal qualities are also good insect repellents. Since the oils are present in the leaves, you can prevent insect infestation by sprinkling an extract of its leaves around your house. It is also a robust and drought-resistant plant and does not need much care. You can reap maximum benefits of the herb if you let it grow in your house. It just needs good drainage and full sun, much like basil.

Scented Geraniums

This plant smells much like citronella grass. Beautiful flowers bloom on the plants. These flowers have a strong fragrance. This fragrance keeps the insects away. This is a fast growing plant much like a weed. It grows in sunny, warm and dry climates. However, if you are residing in cold climates, you too can try to grow this plant. You can grow these plants in planters and repel insects from your home. However, it needs constant pruning.

Garlic-Mint Insect Spray

Garlic has been known to be a very good antimicrobial and insecticidal agent. This property of garlic makes it a good insect repellent too. You can use it for pest-control. Mix some mint leaves with the garlic cloves and blend it in a food processor. Now mix it with water and strain it. Sprinkle the solution around your house time and again. You can prevent some mosquitoes and insects from entering the confines of your house.

Borax and Sugar Ant Killer

If the ants are making a beeline in your kitchen counter or elsewhere, then it is time to use some homemade repellent. Ants are innately attracted to sugar. This makes your job very easy. Just add some Borax in a cup of bowl of sugar. The mixture needs to be placed in the line the ants are marching. The ants will inadvertently jump into the bowl. But as they go into it, they get trapped and killed. You need only a small amount of sugar such as half a cup. You can add it to one cup of warm water and add 2 tablespoons of Borax to it.