Spring has sprung, and for that I am thrilled beyond words. Like Anna
, though, I detest bugs swarming around me, ruining a good outside moment.Anna's fly trap
is a good start, but if the flies, mosquitoes and ticks still want a piece of you, making your own all-natural insect repellent with essential oils is easy to do.
You may have on hand many essential oils that will work, and after the break we will discuss those and give some recipes that are bug-specific, but we'll also learn about some essential oils that are proven to deter mosquitoes better than DEET.
Most pungent smelling essential oils, like lemongrass, lemon myrtle, citronella, geranium and lemon tea tree have some insect-repelling properties, especially mosquitoes and black flies. The same goes for most mints, like peppermint, eucalyptus, and tea tree oils, which send ticks fleeing. Even strong herbal essential oils, like thyme and rosemary will help, as will patchouli (which some may argue would repel people as well!) and cedarwood.
All these choices are both good and bad. Since you probably have at least a few of these handy, you can experiment with your own blends and find what works for you. However, there is not a lot of science to back most of these up and you probably want something that you know will work.
Something that science has proven to repel mosquitoes ten times better than DEET
? Send some my way, and fast! I am writing about catnip essential oil. Just a one-percent solution wards off those skeeters as well as 5% up to 25% DEET, which is a whole lot of chemical, folks. Neem oil
has been shown to be effective to keep away sandflies
just as effectively as chemical repellents at only a 2% dilution. The drawbacks? This stuff stinks, so you really have to blend it with something pleasant-smelling so you don't repel yourself! Lemon eucalyptus
is another essential oil that science has shown to be as effective as chemicals in repelling mosquitoes
. This one smells rather pleasant if you like lemony scents, so it is a good choice to mask the odor of neem if you want to use it. Mosquito Repellent for People
I like to use a based of fractionated coconut oil. It is light enough that you can put this formula in a spray bottle, yet it stays on better than something water based. And hey, if my skin can get a little moisture out of the deal then that is a great bonus in my eyes.
- 60 drops catnip essential oil (this is a 5% dilution)
- 20 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- 2 oz. fractionated coconut oil
You can add whatever you like to help this smell better from the list above, but be sure to keep the total percentage of essential oils under 15% for safety. Tick Repellent for Dogs
Never use essential oils on cats, but this blend has been effective on my dog for years. Ticks seem to dislike the minty / herby / woody scents the most. Always use a water-based solution for fur.
- 15 drops tea tree essential oil
- 15 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops cedarwood essential oil
- 4 oz. distilled water
Always shake well before applying, and avoid your dog's face. Spray liberally elsewhere and repeat as needed. My dog has never gotten a tick while wearing this blend and it smells fabulous.
I suppose we should all be off to enjoy the great outdoors, bug free!