Last week my friend Jessica brought up the subject of natural insect repellents. I love this idea and we have tried many commercial natural repellents that didn’t seem to cut it very well with Araina. She’s got the type of body chemistry where insects would eat her alive if they could; she must taste very good! I know the ingredient Deet is the only full proof method to keep those blood suckers away, but I just CAN’T put it on my little ladies. These methods I’m about to share seem to help Fauna much more than Araina………
The best essential oils to use for homemade natural repellents are–
citronella, tea tree, cajuput, rosemary, red thyme, lavender, eucalyptus, cedarwood, geranium, juniper , patchouli, pennyroyal, pine, and lemongrass. You could make a spray with any of these oils in a witch hazel base or dilute them in a carrier oil (jojoba, sweet almond, olive oil). Important note- NEVER apply any of these essential oils directly to the skin (with the exception of tea tree and lavender) they could cause burning or other bad reactions.
The ratio to mixing your own insect repellent-
2 oz. witch hazel (or you may substitue with a carrier oil)
60 drops essential oils
* Mix in a spray bottle and shake before each use. Apply every 20 minutes *natural repellents wear off easily.
The cloth strip method
My little ladies like the cloth strip way of wearing natural bug repellents. We cut strips of cotton cloth and apply lavender directly to the cloth, mix citronella in a little grapeseed oil, then apply it to the cloth too. They wear these cloth strips as headbands, belts, and around their wrists and ankles. As you can see, it’s quite the fashion statement.
Herbalist Karen Mallinger’s, All Goode Gifts , recipe for a natural repellent-
16 oz of carrier oil (jojoba, grapeseed, sweet almond, olive oil)
16 oz witchhazel
1/2 oz citronella
1/4 oz lavender
1/8 oz pennyroyal
1/8 oz tea tree
1/8 oz lemongrass
More suggestions from blogger friends-
– We just use a spray bottle of white vinegar. It dries within 10 seconds (so no after-smell!) and works VERY well. I used to be the “bug buffet” of my family and friends (as in, I would have 20 bug bites after an hour…everyone else would have none!) and it’s the only thing I use now! Sarah M from Our House In the Middle of Our Street
–Apple Cider Vinegar-Basically you drink 1 oz. of acv (or as much as you can stomach) before going out for the day. We dilute ours in water. Renee from FIMBY
–Another fabulous combo is using yarrow tincture as the base and some neem oil. Even the no-see-ums will leave you be! Rachel from The Family Herbal
If you do get bit or stung this season-
Use a few drops of undiluted lavender directly to the bite/sting.
For those nasty ticks-
Never pull a tick off the skin once the tick’s head has penetrated; put a drop of undiluted tea tree oil on the nasty beast until he lets go. Then treat the bite once again with a drop of tea tree oil.
Other ways to avoid the buggies of warmer weather-
1. Avoid soaps and shampoos with fragrance.
2. Avoid wearing dark clothing.
Now for the Outdoor Challenge Participant of the Day-Denise, from a smile a day, photographed her dad and youngest son doing some planting together. She writes,” Grandad and youngest Grandson. Learning from each other. Connecting.” Beautiful!
lisa, sanders, angelina, phyllis, sarah, christie, jennifer, debbie, dong dong, denise,luisa, joy, stephanie, cori, alex, dawn, kristen, catherine, tricia,becky, christy, ruth, kari, courtney,branflakes,jessica, renee, haiku,brynn, amy, clemencia, sherry, leslie, lise, renee, anet, jenn, marina, amy, ella, marcia, karen, beth,julie,kyndale,kelly,lizzie, eileen,ag, mari-ann, cindy, robin, nicole, debbie, julia, renee, anita,lisa, jenn, montessori, marita,jeannie, hallie, mandy, kangaroo, andrea, joey, carmen, teena, stephinie, gidget, elizabeth, emma, rosina, saminda, melissa, katie, becca, atouria, barbara, ariella,missy, elizabeth, sarah, eileen, lisa, stacy, jennifer, tulsileaf, lisa C, morticia, angela, rana,jamie,lisa c, luz, charley, heather, valerie, kirsten, rachel, annie, kendra, beth s, lindsey, michelle, megan, jen, jenni, gabby, renee,korina, linda, adventurekerrs, laura, melissa, eva, jenny, amber, deb, wendy, courtney, shanti, msrev, kellyi, tammy, julia , maureen,indigomum, andrea, mindy, becky, dawn, sarah,michelle, shelley, amber, nicole, cara, ginny, kris, tawnie, nancy, alex, kathi, ana, sarah m, stephanie
If you leave a link on the days you participate, I will know I have permission to share, for Outdoor Challenge Participant of the Day.
“The purpose of Children & Nature Awareness Month is to celebrate the benefits of experiences in the natural world to children, and to all of us, and to offer alternatives to nature-deficit disorder,” said Dr. Cheryl Charles, President and CEO of C&NN.