Many store-bought bug repellents contain ingredients that may be harmful to us. Some of these chemicals don’t work or cause bad reactions. There are natural ways to keep bugs away that are much better for you and more effective, at the same time saving you money.
Here are a few ways you can naturally ward off mosquitoes, biting flies, ticks and lice:
You can personalize the scent of your spray by using one or a mixture of different oils/
Be aware that the more essential oils that are used the stronger the smell. You’ll need a ‘base’ for your sprays/rubs and you can use olive oil, castile soap, witch hazel or other cooking oils.
Oils to Use
- Citronella Oil
- Lemon or Regular Eucalyptus
- Rose Geranium
- Cinnamon oil
- Tea Tree
- Orange Oil
- Castor Oil
- Mix 10-25 drops of essential oils with 2 tablespoons of whichever base you’re using. You can also, if you want, add a tablespoon of Aloe Vera gel. Combine all the ingredients in a jar and stir. Apply a few drops or sprays on your skin and you’re ready to go! The Aloe Vera gel will change the consistency, which is okay, but you will not be able to put and use this mixture into a spray bottle.
- Combine 25 drops of essential oils and Â¼ cup of water or apple cider vinegar. Again, combine in jar, stir and apply.
- Take 4 ounces of distilled water and put into a spray bottle. Add natural witch hazel so it almost fills the bottle. Use 30-50 drops of which essential oils you want to use.
Boil one cup of water and add 4 tablespoons of dried herbs (any combination you like). Mix, cover (you MUST cover it!) and cool it. Filter out the herbs and add mixture to 1 cup of witch hazel or alcohol. Keep cool in a spray bottle.
Make a Candle
In a heat resistant bucket or bowl, add crumbled white wax with dried rosemary and sage and light. It’s that simple. You can also use lavender, rue, wormwood or chamomile.
Simple Ways to Keep Bugs Out of the House
Mix these together in a dish or bowl: caraway seeds, nutmeg, mace and cinnamon. You can place this around the house. Or you can hang sage (fresh or dried) in various places in your home, patio or yard.
7 More Tips
- Rub vanilla extract on skin or add to spray and rub (vanilla, witch hazel and water also work well together).
- Drink apple cider vinegar.
- Eat garlic.
- Rub lavender oil on hot parts of the skin.
- Rub mint or basil leaves on skin.
- For dogs, dab a small amount of rose geranium on their collar.
- Keep sprays and rubs in the refrigerator. It will keep longer and be cool and refreshing.
If you’re really not into making your own repellent there are many good options that you can find at your local health food store. Either way, make sure to stay safe and healthy this summer, especially from bugs, which can carry certain illnesses. Remember to keep the sprays and rubs in an airtight container, in a cool, dark place. Reapply every hour, after swimming and exercising.