Insects and bugs can be troublesome if you don’t have an effective insect repellant. However, many shop-bought products are packed with toxic chemicals. There are a number of DIY repellants you can make at home using safe and naturally occurring oils. The following information will help you to find the perfect spray to use in your home.
The Problem with Commercial Bug Sprays
Commercial bug sprays contain a lot of chemicals, such as DEET, that can be irritating to the skin and eyes when applied. These chemicals are also unfriendly to the environment. Certain natural repellants can be just as effective without spraying these harmful toxins into the air.
Insect Repelling Essential Oils
There are a number of essential oils which naturally deter insects and bugs. These include cedar-wood, lavender, clove, citronella, tea tree, cypress, peppermint, rose geranium, lemongrass and lemon eucalyptus.
DIY Insect Repellant Spray Recipes
Now here are a few recipes:
Lemon Eucalyptus, Cedarwood, Lavender and Rosemary
It’s easy to create this natural bug repellent. Simply mix together 55 drops of lemon eucalyptus essential oil, 15 drops of lavender essential oil, 15 drops of cedarwood oil and 15 drops of rosemary essential oil. This combination has been reported by the CDC as being a suitable alternative to DEET in repelling insects. However, eucalyptus oil is not suitable for infants and young children, so a substitute is advised in this case.
Rosemary, lemongrass, geranium and castor oil
This mixture requires 1-1/2 tablespoons of water, 8 drops of rosemary essential oil, 8 drops of lemongrass essential oil, 1 teaspoon of castor oil and 4 drops of geranium essential oil. The castor oil helps create the right sticky texture required for this mixture to stay on your clothes and skin. This repellent is great for making in bulk, so you can leave a bottle in the car and in the home for whenever you need it.
Thyme, Lemongrass, Lavender, Peppermint
Add together 4 drops of thyme, 8 drops of lavender, 8 drops of lemongrass and 4 drops of peppermint oil. This repellant is perfect for adding to a pillow at night or adding to a piece of material such as a ribbon and hanging it outside your room.
By blending this mixture with a solid oil such as coconut oil, you can make a great lotion to apply to your skin before hiking or camping.
To make this sweet smelling repellent, mix together 15 drops of lavender essential oil, 4 tablespoons of vanilla extract, and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice. Then add some water and shake well. This mixture is great for spraying onto the skin, clothes or bedding.
This recipe requires 16 ounces of rubbing alcohol, 3.5 ounces of whole cloves and 3.5 ounces of baby oil. If you prefer, you can substitute the baby oil for another oil of your choice such as sesame or almond. To make it, simply infuse the alcohol and clove for a couple of days. Then, strain the alcohol from the cloves and add to the oil. This mixture is good for spraying onto your clothes around the home.
Mosquito and Tick Repellant
Mosquitos and ticks can be very troublesome, and are renowned for spreading disease and infections. To make a natural mosquito and tick repellent, mix together 6 ounces of witch hazel, 5 drops of cinnamon, 2 ounces of castor oil, 15 drops of eucalyptus oil and 15 drops of citronella oil.
Warnings and Tips
Even though essential oils are naturally occurring, they can be potent and are unsafe in certain circumstances. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, a healthcare practitioner should advise you on whether essential oils are safe or not. Some oils such as eucalyptus are not suitable for infants or young children and can induce breathing problems.
When applying essential oils to your skin, always conduct a patch test 24 hours before, to ensure you do not develop a reaction. Remember, once you’ve created a batch of repellent, label the bottle or jar so that it’s clear what’s inside.
It is so straightforward to make your own natural insect and bug repellant. If you feel that you need professional help in getting rid of mosquitoes around your house, please contact us today!
Filed in: Bugs