A few weeks after I found out I was pregnant with our daughter, we were wheels down in the Dominican Republic. The trip was booked long before I even suspected pregnancy. This was in summer 2014 before anyone had ever heard of the Zika Virus, although I’m sure it existed back then, too. Nowadays, the mosquito-born virus is much more prevalent, or at least more publicized. Pregnant women across the U.S. and the world, I imagine, are concerned about traveling to South America, Central America, or the Caribbean, where outbreaks of the Zika virus have been identified. And those fears are validated, knowing the very serious birth defects that this virus can cause. But mosquito-born viruses can largely be prevented with mosquito repellent. Fortunately, for those like me who prefer natural alternatives to chemicals like DEET, there is a great essential oil mosquito repellent blend that works wonders!

Zika Virus in Central America and the Caribbean

If I was in the same situation today, knowing the prevalence of the Zika Virus, would I still go to the Caribbean pregnant? Truthfully, probably not. It’s just not worth the risk. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control advise you take enhanced precautions, and urge pregnant women not to travel to areas where the Zika virus has been detected.

Parenthood and Passports -Mama Traveling Childless

However, I know travel is a personal choice, and when you’ve been planning a trip and looking forward to it, it’s tough to cancel it over a virus you likely won’t get. So if you do plan to visit any of the areas impacted by this virus, definitely do as the CDC suggests.  Take every precaution necessary to avoid exposure. This means wearing appropriate clothing and constantly applying mosquito repellent. There are numerous mosquito repellents on the market that effectively keep the bugs away. Do your research first on the best mosquito repellents on the market, or opt for a natural, homemade solution.

A natural solution: essential oil mosquito repellent

Hanging Bridges Costa Rica - using essential oil mosquito repellent
Hiking through the Costa Rican Rainforest

I’ve always been somewhat “crunchy” when it comes to chemicals or the environment. This was especially true when I was pregnant, and it’s now even more so since becoming a mother. For this reason, I typically stray away from DEET, the main ingredient in mosquito repellent. So on our last trip to Central America, I wanted to find an all-natural solution.

A good friend of mine swore by a homemade mosquito repellent with essential oils. Since I don’t like using chemicals on my skin, and I most certainly wasn’t going to use them on our infant daughter. I decided to give the essential oil mosquito repellent blend a try. (Doctors do not recommend using DEET on babies.)

The natural repellent not only smelled great, but it worked wonders! We hiked through the rain forest and literally walked through clouds of mosquitoes. My husband, who did not use any of the insect repellent (men…sigh), was eaten alive! But I’m not even joking when I tell you that my daughter and I didn’t get a single mosquito bite!

With all the reports about the Zika virus in recent years, I wanted to share the ingredients and instructions for making this all-natural essential oil mosquito repellent. It will cost a bit up front to buy all of the essential oils, but they will last you a long time and can be used for many different things, not just mosquito repellent. I use Young Living Essential Oils, but you can use any trusted brand. Essential oils are even available on Amazon, which you can find links to below.Caribbean vacation using mosquito repellent with essential oils

Ingredients for essential oil mosquito repellent

10 oz water
60 drops lemon oil
60 drops purification
40 drops cedarwood
40 drops clove
60 drops rosemary
30 drops peppermint
30 drops citrus

Just mix the ingredients for the essential oil mosquito repellent together in a spray bottle and shake well before each use.

Whether you’re traveling or not,  if you’re somewhat crunchy like me, or just want to avoid using DEET during mosquito season, this is a tried and tested natural mosquito repellent that I personally vouch for.

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