Making Insect Repellent with Basil

What You'll Need
4 6 ounces of fresh basil leaves
4 ounces boiling water
4 ounces vodka
Spray bottle

Fresh basil is one of the many ingredients you can use to make an insect repellent. Basil insect repellent not only keeps stinging bugs away, but it has a pleasant aroma as well. Making this type of natural insect repellent requires only a basic few steps and can be done quickly. Rather than cover your skin with chemically anti-insect products that must be reapplied frequently, make your own natural mixture. You will save money and smell better while wearing the spray.

Note: Because this homemade insect repellent calls for a small amount of vodka, if you are not of legal drinking age, you won’t be able to acquire the ingredient. In this case, have a parent or guardian assist you with the making of the mixture.

Step 1: Prepare the basil

Take your fresh basil and make sure it is thoroughly clean. You will be steeping it in hot water, so there should be no dirt or debris in it. The stems can stay attached and be steeped along with the leaves.

Step 2: Boil water for steeping

When the water has boiled, pour it over the basil in a container, cover it and leave it to sit for several hours. Be sure to only use the amount of water the recipe calls for. Too much water and the basil infusion will be weaker than you want it for maximum effectiveness.

Step 3: Transfer infused water

After the basil has steeped in the water for several hours, sift out the leaves and pour the basil-infused water into a spray bottle. Squeeze every last drop of liquid out of the saturated leaves into the bottle as well. The infused water should smell heavily of basil at this point.

Step 4: Mix with carrier alcohol

The vodka is used as a carrier and diluter. In the spray bottle, pour in the four ounces of vodka and mix it with the basil water by shaking the bottle gently.

Step 5: Apply insect repellent

Now that the basil water is mixed with the alcohol, attach the spray bottle nozzle to the container. It can be sprayed onto your skin or clothes to repel stinging insects. Do not get it in your eyes, nasal cavity or mouth, and make sure that it stays out of reach of young children.

Rather than use a chemical insect repellent, you can make your own at home for half the expense and in hardly any time. Making an insect repellent out of fresh basil not only works to keep stinging insects off of you, but it smells nice as well. There are powerful properties contained in herbs like basil that are often forgotten. People are so used to buying commercial versions of things like insect repellent that they overlook the fact that insects were once repelled a more natural way.