Summer is fast approaching, and the warmer weather is just perfect for lots of creatures, including bugs. Whether you’re trying to keep creepy crawlies off of your skin, away from your deck, or out of your home, there are natural options that you can make at home, based on essential oils, that are effective against bugs and non-toxic to you and your pets.
My personal war is against spiders.
They creep me out so much! Spiders make their homes in corners and crevices, and can sneak up on you in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, and especially the basement. Sure, they eat other bugs and keep smaller pests away, but that’s just not worth it to me. To keep the spiders from coming into my home, I make a creeper spray. I mix a base of water with peppermint essential oil and a few drops of dish soap. The dish soap helps the oil to dissipate into the water evenly, making it more effective. You have to make sure the smell is strong, since the stronger the smell is, the more spiders will be repelled by it.
As a bug repellent: Ants, beetles, cockroaches, mice, spiders all hate peppermint. I combine peppermint and lavender oil drops on a sponge, make sure sponges have a good combination of the oils on them and distribute them at random in your dwelling, not only does it smell nice but those little critters will stay away. This needs to be repeated every couple of weeks but it does do the trick.
It is Important that when trying to repel these unwanted guests, to use sprays (outside) or sponges (inside) not only in those areas where they are seen, but also near their food source and of course their entry way.
Mosquitoes are a big problem, since there are accidental pools of standing water nearby, whether it’s just pooling on the ground from rain, or buckets that have been left out. Mosquito bites are pretty uncomfortable, and they can carry diseases with them. To keep these buggers off of my body, I apply an essential oil blend made of cinnamon, eucalyptus, and lemon. You can use a similar tactic as the spider spray above, mixing these oils in water with a few drops of dish soap. You can also mix them in a carrier oil like jojoba or sweet almond, and rub into your exposed skin. It has a bright, refreshing scent that isn’t overpowering at all.
For an overall bug repellent that works against all pests, you can make a spray with witch hazel, since it’s great for your skin, and you’re likely to be applying it daily before outdoor adventures. Add lavender and rosemary essential oils to keep the bugs off of your skin all day. It has a mild, earthy scent to you and other people, but bugs get the overwhelming message to stay away.
These are some of my favorite, and most effective recipes, but in most cases, any combination you enjoy of peppermint, cinnamon, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, tea tree, and lemongrass can help ward away pests. Make sure to add at least one member of the mint family to your recipe, since mints are particularly effective at this job.
On a final note, the best recipe is the one that works for you, Some scents are stronger than others,
always make sure to do a patch test first when applying these oils or blends to your skin.