It’s finally summer. It’s time to pull out your liberated lawn chair to bask for the first time in oh about 8 months, to sit down with a favorite book and refreshing drink – outside.
Abruptly the hair stands up on your neck. An odd sound swirling nearby catches your attention, with an eerie sensation that you are being watched….. You would be right. Mosquitoes, deer flies, black flies and even ticks lurk just out of your reach waiting to pounce on your defenseless flesh.
You’ve read the reports, mounting evidence that deet based products may be harmful to you, your children and the environment. What to do? Pure essential oils and common non-toxic ingredients can assist you with your plight. We have compiled a collection of different tips that are effective in repelling insects and crawling pests.
Tip # 1 – You can drip essential oils full strength on patio decks which are not stained, painted or varnished. Since pure essential oils will degrade or dissolve plastics, paint and varnished surfaces over time, apply essential oils to pieces of cedarwood or any other untreated wood, strategically placed around seating area.
Tip # 2 – When cleaning furniture, mix in any essential oils listed below to an unscented soap or detergent base. Wash seating and deck area with soap mixture and rinse. Since most insects are very sensitive, they will pick up on the residue and be repelled by it. Remember that synthetic aromas may actually attract insects.
Tip # 3 – Place a fan outside on the patio floor. The constant movement of air is a deterrent to insects as they can’t zero in on carbon dioxide emanating from your body.
Tip # 4 – Some bug repellent essential oils are: Citronella, Cedarwood, Clove, Cinnamon, Lemon Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Ti-Tree.
Tip #5 – During bug season, start adding bug repellent essential oils to your laundry detergent. Make sure it is unscented and in liquid form so the oils will mix thoroughly as synthetic fragrances can attract insects.
Tip #6 – Ditch the commercial fabric softener! Fabric softener residue is notorious for attracting mosquitos to your clothing. Instead, you can easily- and affordably – make your own!
Natural Fabric Softener Recipe
2 cups baking soda
100 ml glycerine
50 drops bug repellent essential oils. (optional)
4 L Distilled or Reverse osmosis water
4 L jug
Fill jug 2/3 with water
Add baking soda
Add essential oils to glycerine, stir thoroughly and allow to sit for a few minutes
Add mixture to jug
(if you do not want to use essential oils, just add glycerine directly to water)
Top up with water
Add about 100 ml to each load. Shake a few times before each use. Each jug gives you 40 loads.
**You can add vinegar to the rinse cycle for extra results. Add about 2 oz or ¼ cup
Tip #7 – If you don’t want to make your own fabric softener, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar is a suitable replacement. About 1 /2 cup baking soda to 4 oz. vinegar should be sufficient per load.
Bug repellent essential oils useful for laundry: Citronella, Lemongrass, Ti Tree, Eucalyptus (Lemon), Peppermint, and Geranium
Tip #8 – There are certain bug repellent essential oils that you should avoid using on pet’s skin. Clove, Ti-Tree and Peppermint are great for crawling pests but should be used sparingly or not at all on the skin.
Tip #9 – Just like with people, you should avoid using synthetic fragrances. If taking your pet to a groomer, bring your own natural shampoo or soap that is either unscented or has bug repellent essential oils.
Tip #10 – If your pet has a cloth collar, you can put a few drops of bug repellent essential oils right on it and let them soak in.
Tip #11 – Essential oils that are effective for repelling bugs (including ticks) are Marjoram, Basil, Cedarwood and Geranium. You can make a spray for your pets by using these oils.
Pet Bug Repellent Spray:
Ingredients: 20 drops of a combination of Marjoram, Basil, Cedarwood and Geranium.
A 250ml spray bottle
Mix together the essential oils with the glycerine in a small glass or metal cup. Make sure the oils mix well with the glycerine.
Add to a 250 ml spray top bottle and fill remaining amount with water.
Always shake before use. Be sure to not spray the mix in the dog’s eyes.
Tip #12 – When protecting your pets from ticks, be sure to concentrate on their legs and stomach and that is where ticks will crawl up and latch on.
Now get out there and enjoy the great outdoors!