Make your own mosquito spray with Florida native plant, Beautyberry. This native plant is often considered a weed and can be recognized on roadsides or woods. This DIY project is great for the whole family to learn. Make your own mosquito spray to use fewer chemical-based sprays when possible.
Beautyberry has been used for many natural remedies, primarily by Native Americans. They used the leaves of the bush to rub on their skin. This released the natural oils that carry the repellent properties. Soaking the leaves in a carrier like alcohol or witch hazel for one to two weeks releases the oil. This allows you to spray it on clothing and the skin as an effective bug repellent.
I hosted a class for families to come and learn about beautyberry and to make their own bug spray to take home. Teaching kids about native plants is passing on knowledge to the next generation. We had a great time, and the kids were fascinated by how many things you can make from one plant.
Part of the class was to come up with their own names for their mosquito spray. I love it when kids get creative. They made their own labels and had fun with the whole process of the class.
Purchase custom labels for your bug spray: LABEL
Print my labels: Bug Spray label
As part of my Florida Master Naturalist training, we had project assignments with each module. During one of the modules, I made the bug spray and shared the history of the uses of beautyberry. I had to do my presentation during a hike on a natural trail here in Florida. After my presentation, several classmates took the spray and sprayed it all around their ankles, shoes, and socks. Many of us did not use the spray, including me.
Our next class was two days later. Several of us had large welts on our ankles and lower legs and were very itchy. As we began discussing how we all got the chigger bites, we realized that only those who had not sprayed the mosquito spray on ourselves had the bites.
I gave away all the bottles I had made to my classmates. Weeks later, I heard from park rangers to beach patrol people who said the spray worked on sand gnats, mosquitos, and horse flies. What a testament and a wonderful thing to share with those that work in nature.
Watch this video for complete instructions on how to make your own natural bug repellent.
Holly is an author, storyteller, and Florida Master Naturalist who loves to share heritage skills taught to her by her grandmothers. Florida has been her family home for generations and preserving that lifestyle for the future is her goal. Holly enjoys coming alongside women to share skills and help them discover their own natural gifts and talents.