With warm weather, we again must fight bugs in the yard and home. Here in Florida it’s almost a year round battle. If you’re like me, the last thing you want to do is spray your home or your family with horrible chemicals.
A. Essential Oils
For those of you interested in more natural remedies, certain essential oils repel a variety of bugs:
Cedarwood Himalayan Cedarwood oil has been in use as a mosquito and insect repellent for a long time.
Citronella Oil classified as a bio pesticide by EPA
Geranium Bourbon can be used to repel ticks
Lemon eucalyptus oil is used for preventing mosquito and deer tick bites
Lavender Lavender has a strong scent that repels moths, flies, fleas, and mosquitoes. Use it fresh or dry some of the flowers to hang around the house or put in with your clothing to keep bugs out
Lemongrass repels bugs like mosquitoes and ants
Peppermint Oil Repels many kinds of insects; see link for 20 uses
B. Suggestions to Keep Bugs at Bay
Place essential oils such as lemongrass or citronella in a diffuser. This will help keep away flying insects.
Soak cotton balls with lavender or peppermint oil and place in strategic areas in the home where you want to repel ants and other bugs. Make sure there are no tiny holes allowing bug entry to your home by surveying outside walls and windows. Ants can travel hundreds of miles inside your wall seeking entry.
Add a few drops of tea tree or lavender to water when cleaning floors and counters. Eliminate standing water in your yard no matter how small as that is where mosquitoes breed.
Plant bug repelling plants in your yard and by your house entries. Six easy-to-find herbs readily available at most nurseries that are said to repel mosquitoes and other annoying insects include lavender, basil, lemongrass, lemon thyme, and mint. The smell from the fragrant herbs is the result of the distribution of tiny globules that contain oils. High temperatures, for example, can cause the globules to become volatile, evaporating the essential oils and turning them into vapors. Have a few herbal plants on the porch around your door. For more information and names of ornamental flowers that repel insects, see Plants & Other Ideas That Repel Insects.
Have pots of herbs like lavender and basil on tables at a cookout and around the deck or patio. They can be a decoration and a gift at outdoor parties.
C. Make or buy a natural insect repellent
The simplest spray I’ve seen is peppermint and water. Add 4-5 drops of peppermint essential oil to water in a spray bottle. This also works to get rid of aphids in the garden.
For a heavy-duty insect repellent:
Natural Insect Repellent
- 10 drops Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
- 20 drops Cedar wood Himalayan Oil
- 10 drops Tea Tree Oil
- 10 drops Peppermint Oil
- 3 oz. Jojoba Golden Carrier Oil
- Combine oils together in a glass spritzer bottle.
- Apply to skin as needed avoiding the eye area, cuts and wounds. Keep out of reach of children. Test on a small area of skin for sensitivities. (Consult a medical professional before using essential oils during pregnancy. Essential oils should not be used if you have a compromised immune system. Ask your doctor first.)
Recipe courtesy of New Directions Aromatics
For other recipes and information for homemade insect repellent, check out the links below for recipes. When you make your own spray, I strongly recommend adding lemon eucalyptus oil if it is not in the recipe you choose. Tests show it as effective as DEET. It is the only natural oil rated that strongly.
- All Natural Homemade Insect Repellent @ Thank Your Body
- Homemade Insect Repellent @ DIY Natural
- How To Make An Easy Mosquito and Tick Repellent @ Adventures of Mel
- 4 Homemade Natural Mosquito & Insect Repellents @ Good Housekeeping
To Purchase Natural Repellents:
Learning about the ways essential oils will protect your family while protecting the environment Wishing you a bug free summer!
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