Many of us are aware of the dangers of mosquito bites. We are so afraid that we douse ourselves in anything that promises to keep us safe. The problem with this is that we are replacing one dangerous circumstance with another. The products we spray on ourselves contain substances that alter our hormones and immune system, like preservatives and fillers. There are many strategies to naturally deter pests in the garden, like planting marigolds, and we can create homemade aromatherapy blends that mimic the same science. The following is a list of essential oils and the specific bugs they repel.
Lavender - mosquitoes, flying insects
Peppermint - mosquitoes, flying insects, spiders, ticks
Clove - mosquitoes
Eucalyptus - mosquitoes
Tea Tree - fleas, lice, ticks
Lemongrass - mosquitoes
Citronella - mosquitoes, moths, fleas, ticks, ants
Cedarwood Atlas- ticks, crawling insects
Patchouli - bed bugs, fleas, ants, crawling insects
Vetiver - mosquitoes
Remember, dilution is key! Otherwise your homemade product is just as dangerous as the mass produced icky stuff. Mix no more than 30 drops per ounce of carrier. For my blend Bug Away, I combine 20 drops of Peppermint, Lemongrass and Citronella each in 2 oz carrier (distilled water and witch hazel) for a powerful mosquito and flying insect repelling spray! This can be applied anywhere on the body (eyes closed) and on any surface or material. Ideal for camping, gardening or going on walks.
Essential oils penetrate 6 inches into the body, and so this spray, or whatever you create with your choice of oils, will also have an effect on the Mind-Body-Spirit. Peppermint is cooling and refreshing, Citronella and Lemongrass are cleansing and sweet. Remember to consider the properties of the oils you choose. Refer to my list of oil properties for a refresher or to find inspiration. I would love to hear what kind of blend you make to repel bugs!! Please share with me on Facebook or Instagram, or leave a comment below.
Knowing the exact ingredients in your personal products can save your body from potential exposure to toxins. Give yourself some kudos for being sustainable, knowledgeable and capable!