I hate bug bites. Especially mosquitos, because I have no control in not scratching. I scratch until it bleeds and scabs over. Or at least I used to. Nowadays I have found things to put on after the bite (peppermint oil) that make the itching go away almost immediately. But while peppermint oil helps after the bites, I needed something that would prevent the bites altogether. Back in the day we used Avon oil. But that stuff has a strong scent that I'm not the biggest fan of. I used to use OFF, but that stuff stinks and I prefer using something with ingredients I know. No Deet spray for us.
So I got to googling and everybody knows citronella candles do a pretty good of keeping the mosquitos away. And so does the essential oil. And you can use the oil to make your own spray.
Here's what I used:
7-15 drops of Citronella (adjust based on your preferences, Citronella is Strong)
4 Drops Peppermint
2 Drops Eucalyptus
2 Drops Lavender
Half bottle Distilled (or boiled water), Half Witch Hazel or Cheap Vodka
1 ounce glass bottle (adjust accordingly if you have a larger bottle)
I don't always stick to these quantities and I have played around with changing the mixture. It's up to you and you may find that you can make a great bug spray with just the citronella and one other oil. Alternatively you can add the essential oil to sweet almond oil, apricot oil, or grassed oil and have an oil repellent that's also moisturizing.
If you plan on using on children under 10 I would skip the mint and eucalyptus oil and research the other oils to make sure you are OK applying to children.
We took it with us to the family reunion and everyone that used it didn't get even one bite. The whole night. And most didn't even respray. I did. Mostly because I wasn't taking any chances and plus mine came out smelling pretty nice. Almost like Mountain Dew. Most people the smelled it thought it smelled amazing. I even had a couple offers to purchase some if I started selling it.
This is an alternative I have found works for me. It may work great for you, or not at all depending on your area and the type of bugs you have. If you are in an area that has Zika or any other horrible virus you may want to use a DEET spray just to be certain you don't catch anything!