Thursday, July 15, 2010

Natural Mosquito Repellent

If your family is anything like my family, in the summer mosquitos and other flying, biting insects can be quite a problem.  In our family, myself and Thing #2 are plagued the most by these little annoying bugs.  And while I admit to using commercial bug spray (with some really nasty chemicals) while on vacation, I usually don't like to do that.  And I really don't like to use it on the kids.

A few years back I did quite a bit of research into natural bug repellents.  At the time I was just starting my "green" quest and was looking for any and all information on how to make my family's life more natural and green.  There's so much information out there and it takes a while to sort through it all and try things to see what works for you and your family.

Here are some things we do around the Auburn Glen farmstead to help with repelling bugs naturally.  I hope it helps!!


The most natural thing you can do is to make your land and home bug repellent.  You can do this by planting certain plants with bug repelling properties.  Generally speaking, catmint, scented geraniums and citronella are good ones.  Plant them in pots (cause otherwise they can take over your yard!) and place them near entrances to the house, near picnic/play areas and by ditches where water will collect.


Another tip I have been given and tried with moderate success is to uptake your Vitamin B levels during the warm months.  Supposedly the higher levels make your blood not quite as tasty to those little vampires we call mosquitos.


As for making your own bug repellent, it's quite easy.  Take a few drops of essential oils such as lavendar, calundra, or peppermint and add them to a TBS or so of either witch hazel or rubbing alcohol.  Rub on your body before heading out.

If you're nervous about using alcohol as a base, try this recipe - I LOVE this one!
3 drops peppermint essential oil
2 drops lemongrass essential oil
2-3 TBS coconut oil (or almond oil) for base
Rub it on before going outside.


If you do get bites, what is the best way to treat them?

I like to use a bit of baking soda paste on bites.  Mix a couple of TBS baking soda with some water - enough to make a thick paste.  Then dab on bites.  It might sting at first, and it can be a bit messy, but it takes the sting/bite right out.

Dabbing bites with a cotton ball soaked in apple cider vinegar works pretty well also.


Hopefully you are able to get outside and enjoy God's beautiful nature without getting too many bug bites!! 


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