Thursday, May 24, 2007

Natural Insect Repellents


One of my friends asked about a natural insect repellent after mentioning it in my earlier post. You can make it easily with essential oils, either using one or a combination. Essential oils that work well are citronella, lemon grass, eucalyptus, lavender, thyme, tansy and pennyroyal (avoid pennyroyal if pregnant!). I use either citronella or lemongrass or a combination of those and others depending on what I have on hand.

Add approximately 20-30 drops of essential oil into a bottle to which an ounce or two of carrier oil such as almond or grapeseed has been added. (A small bottle with a squeeze top works well.) Roll bottle between your hands or shake gently to mix oils before applying to skin.

You can also add essential oils to water, witch hazel or cider vinegar using the same ratio as above. Increase the liquid if you plan on using this as a spray on repellent. I would guess-timate about 20-30 drops of oil per ½ cup of liquid would be sufficient for a spray. My advice is test as you go to see what seems tolerable to your skin and nose. Sometimes less is more or you may find you are senstive to certain oils. Remember; never put essential oils directly on the skin. They can burn or cause irritation.

Be sure to use pure essential oils, not fragrance oils.
Dusk is the absolute worst time for mosquitoes.


Ticks live in grasses, shrubs and trees as well as on warm blooded animals. Be sure to check yourself and your pet for ticks during the summer months when you’re spending time outdoors.

A natural tick repellant is found in rose geranium essential oil. In a spray bottle place 2 cups water and 2 teaspoons rose geranium oil. Shake to blend. Use this to spray dog beds and other areas where they sleep. You can also dab a few drops of rose geranium oil onto clothing or pet collars.

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