I love summer evenings! Whether I am camping or just hanging out in my backyard, I love how the weather cools down and a slight breeze blows and the stars begin to pop out. What I don’t love about being outdoors in the summer are the bugs! From mosquitos to gnats to tics and more, it can be a bit daunting to avoid them. And I really don’t like spraying my kids or myself down with the bug sprays you can buy at the store. I know they are probably a bit safer than getting covered in actual bug bites, but how much safer? And if I can find a natural way to keep the bugs away, with no chance of side effects or toxins getting in my skin, then I’m going to choose that! Here are a few ideas that I have found to work:
Several years ago my son did a science experiment on finding natural ways to avoid mosquitos. Using Eucalyptus essential oil was one of the options. He ordered his own mosquitos (little eggs before they hatched) and he fed them and waited for them to hatch. It was just a little scary knowing all of that was going on in our basement! When it came time to test, he had multiple people be willing to put things on their hands and place it in a net covered pail full of mosquitos. I was lucky enough to be one of the testers chosen. I’ll never forget how different things I put on my hand would draw the attention of the mosquitos and we would count how many landed over the course of 5 minutes. The only exception to this was when I was wearing the Eucalyptus Essential oil. Not a single mosquito landed during the entire time. This oil can be simply mixed with coconut oil and rubbed in or place a few drops in a glass water bottle and spritz as needed.
Lemongrass and Peppermint
This is a great combination to protect against outdoor pests. Just be sure to not use this one during daylight hours. It would only be good for night. Prepare as you would the one above with either oil or water.
Did you know that adding a little pure vanilla will also help? Most pests don’t care for the smell and will stay away! This is a great addition because it smells so good to us and you won’t have to worry about your bug repellent being too strong for others around you. Just be sure to use the real stuff and not the vanilla extract you can find cheaply at the store!
Use of Witch Hazel
Because water doesn’t always mix well with essential oils, you can use witch hazel in place of water to help it stay mixed better. Personally I use water and just shake well before every use, but either is a great option!
When you get bit…
Even if your best efforts still result in a bit or two or if you forgot to spray on the repellent and find yourself itching from multiple bites, here is a great solution you can mix up and plaster on those bites: Place 10 drops lemon, 10 drops peppermint and 20 drops lavender into a roller bottle and rub over the bites. Do this often to help keep the annoying itching at bay!
I hope these tips and ideas help! If you would like more information about where to get high quality essential oils, please contact me HERE. I would love to send you some samples to try!