I've been using my homemade repellent for about a month now. The first repellent I made and tried was: Natural Mosquito Repellent #1 (water, isoprophyl alcohol, lemongrass and peppermint).
* Pros: no deet, nice fresh smell, organic. Peppermint oil = tick repellent (no ticks!)
* Cons: a few mosquito's bites.
My son, husband and I all tried the spray. The best advice I have for the homemade repellent is: apply directly to the skin; once dried, reapply. Two coats seemed to be the magic number for us. Mosquito's will still hover and may still bite. If you're not in the deep woods (like we are) I think this spray would work perfectly fine. I would recommend it as a mosquito repellent for less swampy areas or wooded areas, and as a tick repellent.
(Our biggest problem in Northern MN is our mosquito's are mini vampires, and usually don't care if you have strong repellent or weak repellent. They'll try their best to suck your blood, the little devils!)
I'm going to be trying Repellent #2 (rubbing alcohol, olive oil, tea tree oil) in August to see how that compares. Will report back!