This post is part of the series “How to Green Up Your Life Without Getting Overwhelmed”
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Bug Spray freaks me out.
I once had a summer job at a forest preserve. Lots of manual labor and dirt. I’ve never felt so rugged. My co-workers were my brother and his two best friends. One day, I’m not sure why, our boss lined us up and sprayed us down with bug spray. (I was perfectly capable of doing this myself, thank you.) But the gal was a little trigger happy, and concentrated on my face. My lips went numb. My mouth felt disgusting.
Yes, bug spray freaks me out. I certainly didn’t want to put it on my kids. But this is Texas. I don’t want a giant mosquito making off with my baby either! I knew I’d have to add an all-natural bug spray to my arsenal.
All-natural bug sprays allow a lot of room for creativity. The basic elements are:
- Distilled or boiled water (1/2 of your container)
- Witch Hazel (1/2 of your container)
- 50 ish drops of bug repelling Essential Oil
There are a bunch of essential oils you can use. The more variety, the better. But if you’re already making lots of green products you probably have some of these essential oils lying around the house.
Lemongrass (probably most effect choice against mosquitoes)
(Citrus oils like orange may make you more susceptible to sunburn, so those were not included.)
I’ve tried a bunch of different concoctions and have found them all to work well (As long as I rub it in. Apparently my spray bottle doesn’t cover me very well.) This time I used cedarwood, citronella, eucalyptus, lavender and lemongrass. I love that the ingredients in this bug spray are loaded with health benefits and I’m kinda in love with how good it smells!
Did you make your own bug spray? What did you use? How did it work? Leave a comment!
Andrew Nixon says
As a licensed pest control professional, I can tell you that Orange oil is used in commercial pesticides as a repellent. It is effective in warding off many insects including fire ants. I know from personal and professional experience that fire ants are a real safety concern here in the south. Owen had stepped in a hill for just a few seconds and had bites all up his leg. So while it might not stop you from getting sunburns you might want to consider it for its other benefits.
Andy, thanks for your info! I appreciate it! Yeah, and I love you Hubs. 😉
Christina Coakley says
julie, i was looking up bug repellent before i left for africa. i decided on eucalyptus and citronella. i really like the combination. the only problem i have is the base liquid, its hard to find witch hazel here. i have been using saline solution but probably not the best, but i do live in africa, any suggestions?i mean it seems to be working (you know when i use it, i do have some terrible bug bited on my legs but no malaria yet so thats a success) also i have 2 little pieces of cedarwood in my closet, i love the smell of it on my clothes.
I thought you might be who’s viewing me from Africa!!! Huh, well, rubbing alcohol might work as long as you don’t have open wounds that will sting. Love ya!
You could try using coconut oil as the base. Make your own coconut oil if necessary.
That would be neat! How do you make your own coconut oil?
To learn how to make your own coconut oil — google how to make coconut oil. There are lots of videos.
I would use fractionated coconut oil as the base, instead of water. It takes a minute longer to rub in, but I like it for the essential oils as it is a dilution and less risk of sensitive skin issues if the essential oil is diluted with coconut oil. My skin burns easily from undiluted essential oils.
Water is NOT an effective method of diluting essential oils.
BTW, I’ve been using essential oils,
to keep me healthy, for more than 30 years