With summer fast approaching, we are looking at all the ways we can spend a lot of time outdoors without having to deal with the repercussions of all the annoying and even potentially dangerous insects that we will inevitably encounter.
Mosquito bites may happen due to any combination of scent, light, heat, and even humidity. Some are even more prone to mosquito bites than others. Many are attracted to bacteria and sweat while others are attracted to carbon monoxide. So, if you are going to be spending any time outdoors, it is important to make sure you have the right protection in place to ward off these insects.
Many commercial insect repellents contain harmful ingredients that can cause both health and environmental problems. DEET is one of the more common active ingredients that can be found in most commercial insect repellents. While some believe that it is safe to use on the skin, others are choosing more natural alternatives that are safe and effective without the possibility of any harsh side effects.
Natural insect repellents can easily be made at home yourself using natural ingredients like essential oil. The following are just a few of these very simple DIYs that you can try before spending any more time outdoors with the bugs.
This combination is one of the more well-known insect repellents. Eucalyptus essential oil has been used as an insect repellent since the 1940s and has even been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as being an effective ingredient in mosquito repellent.
Lemon Eucalyptus can help repel both mosquitoes and ticks. It can even be used in and around the home for pest control. Mosquitoes hate the smell of lemon, and really any other citrus smells there are.
Lavender oil is a good insect repellent for both humans and animals outdoors. A mist can be made by combining the lavender essential oil with lemon and witch hazel. The mist can then be sprayed on your body and your animals before going outdoors.
Insects don't like lavender because it is a very fragrant oil so they will stay away. An added benefit to lavender oil for insect repellent is the fact that it is also soothing for the skin and can help with any mosquito bites you may have already gotten.
This is one of the most common and effective ways to repel insects naturally. It is also an ingredient that can be found in several traditional insect repellents you can purchase. It has been said to be as effective as DEET and can protect a person while outdoors for up to two hours. However, if the formula isn't right, the citronella oil can evaporate very quickly and will leave your skin unprotected. To keep your home free of pesky insects add 15-20 drops of citronella essential oil to your nebulizing diffuser.
This oil is very well known for its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. It is used for a variety of different ailments or conditions and has also been suggested as a proper alternative to commercial repellents.
Tea tree oil has been found to be effective against a variety of insects, including mosquitoes, bush flies, and biting midges. While it is good at preventing bites, it can also treat bites you may already have. It is a natural insecticide that has been proven effective.
Geranium oil is another common ingredient found in many insect repellents. It is lemon scented and reminiscent of citronella grass. Its strong fragrance is effective at keeping the bugs at bay. It has also been found to be an effective tick repellent. It is potent and should only be applied in small drops or dots.
To make your own homemade bug spray, you will need:
• 30 drops Geranium essential oil
• 30 drops Citronella essential oil
• 20 drops Lemon eucalyptus oil
• 20 drops Lavender essential oil
• 10 drops Rosemary essential oil
• 100ml Rubbing alcohol
• Witch hazel
• A ½ cup of vinegar
You will place the essential oil drops in a glass spray bottle, and you can then add the alcohol. Shake the mixture well. Next, pour in half a cup of witch hazel and shake the mixture to combine.
You want to shake every time something is added to the mixture. You will also want to shake before each use because the oils and other ingredients will naturally begin to separate.
You can also combine six drops of any of the above essential oils to an unscented lotion. For example, add six drops of lemongrass essential oil to two ounces of unscented lotion. You can also add in three drops of lavender and two drops of geranium for an even better topical mosquito repellent.