Hello bugs. Of every shape size and kind.
Hello sicknesses like Lyme disease, West Nile virus and malaria.
Hello chemicals. Loads of them. Like DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). Which is a staple in commercial insect repellants and has been known to have harsh side effects, including rashes, skin irritation, dizziness, headache, nausea, disorientation, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, headache, muscle weakness and fatigue, shortness of breath and joint pain. It’s also toxic to birds and aquatic life.
So, instead: Hello natural, homemade insect repellant. Sans the harmful chemicals.
Because in a world seriously overloaded with toxic chemicals, why would you want to add to the burden on your bodies with noxious insect repellants? When you can easily make one loaded with all kinds of clean, green and good stuff right at home? For a fraction of the price and in about 10 minutes?
This one is based on a 15th century French recipe called Vinegar of the Four Thieves, which was said not to repel just bugs but also several kinds of virus. Legend says thieves used it to keep the Black Plague at bay, along with flies and other pests. So, if it worked for them… !
30 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
25 drops cinnamon leaf oil or citronella oil
15 drops rosemary or tea tree essential oil
2 ounces distilled or boiled water
1.5 ounces witch hazel or vodka
1 teaspoon jojoba oil (optional if you want moisturising benefits as well)
Clean spray bottle
How to make the natural insect repellant
- Fill the spray bottle with the distilled or boiled water
- Add the witch hazel or vodka
- Add the jojoba oil, if using
- Add all the essential oils
- Shake the mixture well so all the ingredients are well blended
- Spray on clean skin and gently rub in as and when needed; shake well before every usage
Why it works
These natural botanicals are potent insect repellants. In fact, studies hold that these may be even more effective than DEET in keeping bugs at bay. For example, a study conducted by Consumer Reports show that spray-on repellents made of lemon eucalyptus oil were able to keep mosquitoes and ticks away for at least seven hours!
What’s your beat-the-bugs secret?