Those annoying flying insects are arguably the worst part of the warm summer months. Summer is usually the most anticipated of all the seasons. There’s the vacations, the swimming, hiking, fishing, sports and, last and certainly least are all those bug bites and stings. So, how can we keep those insects away without dumping a bottle of toxic chemicals on our skin?
Insect repellent sprays can be applied both on skin and clothing to discourage insects from coming close. Outbreaks of insect-borne diseases can be prevented and controlled by the use of repellents. Insects carry and spread diseases such as bubonic plague, West Nile fever, Lyme disease, and much more. Chemical repellents contain synthetic ingredients that are not safe for humans. Natural insect repellents are highly advised and efficient; they do not contain artificial ingredients that are harmful.
There are some herbs and oils with naturally occurring insect repelling qualities. Several of these are common, readily available at your grocery store, which can be easily used to prepare homemade repellents and insecticides. For each of the following homemade essential oil sprays, you will need a small spray bottle, distilled water, and the essential oil of your choice. Once you have added your oil and water to the bottle, be sure to shake well before spraying it onto your body as separation will occur. Each of the blends below is safe for any age as well as your beloved pets.
1. Lavender and Geranium
Create a dilution of 30 drops of either oil or 15 each if you wish to blend both, in a small spray bottle of water to protect against ticks and mosquitoes. Spray any exposed skin and consider adding drops of the oil to the cuffs of pants and long-sleeve shirts when hiking or outdoors for extended periods of time.
2. Lemon Eucalyptus
30 drops in a small spray bottle will deter a variety of insects including ticks, mosquitoes, and ants. Add the drops to a small spray bottle full of water and spray generously on exposed skin.
It’s not just for outdoor candles! Citronella essential oils are quite powerful when sprayed on your body so go ahead! Keep the mosquitoes at bay by adding 15 to 30 drops of the oil to a spray bottle of water and spray on exposed skin!
4. Soybean Oil
While this isn’t an essential oil, it has recently been named to the list of recommended repellents for mosquitoes by Canada’s National Health Agency. Add this oil to your own DIY essential oil sprays that are listed above or look for products that contain at least 2% of it if you purchase a manufactured repellent.
This is common, and it gives off its scent without being cooked or crushed. It has been proven to be an effective mosquito repellent and also repels flies, ants, and asparagus beetles.
Finding relief from insect bites is as easy as looking in your cupboards at home. Consider making this summer a “greener” one without the use of chemical filled repellents. The essential oil and herbal repellent recipes above are a fantastic option for everyday use. However, if you’re planning to go deep into the woods for an extended period, choosing a stronger product is encouraged.