Insect Repellent with Essential Oils

Insect Repellent with Essential OilsWe all look forward to spring and summer coming, but unfortunately the bugs come with them!  Mosquitoes, flies and bees can put a serious damper on outdoor fun.  It’s almost not worth an evening on the porch if you’re coming in with 10-20 itchy bites all over your body.  Am I right? Well rest assured, we have some great recipes for insect repellent to ease your buggy fears!

Most insect repellents contain a strong chemical called DEET, some up to 100%, which no doubt keeps bugs away, but may not be the safest, especially for children.

Essential oils are a good alternative to mainstream insect repellants and they can be tailored to the kind of insect you wish to deter.  Although not an all-inclusive list, here are a few suggestions for oils that repel the insects below:

Mosquitoes

Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Clove, Cinnamon and Citronella

Flies/Gnats

Lavender, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Cedarwood and Rosemary

Spiders

Lavender, Rose, Cinnamon, Tea tree, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Peppermint and Citronella

Ticks

Tea Tree, Peppermint, Geranium, Cedarwood and Thyme

There are a lot of recipes out there and your oil blend will depend on what insect you want to get rid of the most, your climate and the type of insects in your area.  But most recipes start with a half and half mixture of water and either witch hazel, apple cider vinegar or vodka.  I have tried recipes with witch hazel and apple cider vinegar and both seem to work.

You can try any mixture of the oils above, but it’s recommended not to exceed 10% dilution (about 50 drops in 30ml) so as not to cause skin irritation.  Some of the oils above can be very skin irritating in too high of concentrations.

After you make your mixture, you can put it in a roll on, a spray bottle or even diffuse it.  Feel free to explore recipes to find your favorite!  For the kiddos, you may want to limit it to oils safe for use in kids such as Lavender, Cedarwood and Geranium.  Dilution for them should be about half that of adults.

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