UPDATED MAY 31:
"SHOO FLY, DON'T BOTHER ME!" Tis the season of the bug!
Create your own natural bug repellent !
It is easy to make your own non toxic bug spray, without the unecessarily high amounts of essential oils that are so often found in natural bug sprays. Essential oils are steam distilled concentrates of the natural oils present in plants, flowers, roots, and trees. They are 100 % pure and must be carefully used by the drop.
These are the ones most commonly used in bug repellants:
CEDARWOOD (Juniperus mexicana
CITRONELLA (Cymbopagon nardus)
LEMONGRASS (Cymbopogon citratus) .
PENNYROYAL (Mentha puleglum)
TEA TREE OIL ( Melaleuca alternifolia)
GERANIUM (Pelargonium graveolens)
CATNIP (NepetaCataria) Preliminary studies have show catnip oil to be 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitos!!
EUCALYPTUS OIL (Eucalyptus globulus) In a New England Journal of Medicine study, oil of eucalyptus at 30% concentration prevented mosquito bites for 120.1 minutes, while Bite Blocker with 2% soybean oil kept bites away for 96.4 minutes. (the eucalyptus oil must have a minimum of 70% cineole content, the active therapeutic ingredient.) Citronella, a common alternative to DEET, performed poorly, warding off bugs for only 20 minutes.
Patch test before using on your skin. Keep out of mucus membranes. With the exception of Lavender and Tea Tree ALL essential oils must be diluted before use. Essential oils SHOULD BE USED INTERNALLY.
Other effective ingredients to use in your bug repellent:
The Neem Tree is considered to be one of the most promising trees of the 21st century. It has great potential in the fields of Pest Management, Environmental Protection and Medicine.It is believed to help control diseases like Malaria, Cancer and AIDS, combat desertification and deforestation, reduce excessive global temperature through it's gentle but effective means of controlling pests and plant disease. To generations of Indians, neem was known to provide protection from disease - therefore protecting and planting Neem was not only considered a sacred duty - but it was encouraged by religious sanction.
Neem is a tropical tree with wide adaptability and is especially suited to semi-arid conditions. Currently it is grown in many Asian countries and in the tropical regions of the western hemisphere.
SOY BEAN OIL:
THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE found soybean oil to be an effective natural repellant. Comparing to DEET the repelling capabilities just did not last as long 301 mins to Neems 94 mins.
To repel ticks, mosquitoes, and black flies, try a diluted tincture of yarrow (Alchellia millefolium) flowers directly on all exposed skin. A recent US Army study showed yarrow tincture to be more effective than DEET as an insect repellent.
An effective natural bug repellent, mix one part garlic juice with 5 parts water in a small spray bottle. Shake well before using. Spray lightly on exposed body parts for an effective repellent lasting up to 5 - 6 hours. Strips of cotton cloth can also be dipped in this mixture and hung in areas, such as patios, as a localized deterrent.
** You can make your own insect repellent sprays by combining rubbing alcohol (or witch hazel, vodka, or olive oil) with one of the listed essential oils (about 10-to-1, alcohol-to-oil ratio). Shake well before each use.
** If you find that you need to apply repellents several times throughout the day, and you are doing this everyday, I recommend that you make several different repellents and use them in alternation.
And to protect yourself from being bit.......:
- Eat less sugar and more garlic!!
- Planting marigolds around your yard works as a natural bug repellent because the flowers give off a fragrance bugs and flying insects do not like.
-The most important measure you can take is to remove standing water sources. Change birdbaths, wading pools and pet's water bowl twice a week. Keep your eavestroughs clean and well-draining. Remove yard items that collect water.
-Supplement with one vitamin B-1 tablet a day from April through October. Add 100 mg of B-1 to a B-100 Complex daily during the mosquito season.
-Don't eat bananas during mosquito season--mosquitoes love bananas! There is something about how your body processes the banana oil that attracts these female sugar-loving insects.
-One of the best natural insect repellents is Vick's Vaporub®. Here is recipe to make your own
1 cup (sage/thyme/comfrey/olive/hyssop) infused oil
1/4 cup beeswax
Essential oils of 2-3 of each:Eucalyptus radiata, clove, cinnamon, camphor, wintergreen, peppermint (total 3-6 drops)
A sample Home Herbal Bug Repellent:
2 oz Yarrow tincture
2 drops each Essential oils of Geranium/Citronella/Cedarwood
or 3 drops each Tea Tree /Lavender
1 oz Distilled water
1/2 OZ witch hazel
Insect Repelling Plants:
ANT REPELLENTS: Tansy
FLEA REPELLENTS: brewers yeast, garlic, fennel, pennyroyal, pyrethrum daisy, garlic (GARLIC - Garlic combined with brewers yeast protects your pets against fleas. They usually love this sprinkled on their food each day. PENNYROYAL - Place a drop of pennyroyal on your pets collar to repel fleas. You can also add a few drops of pennyroyal oil to water and spray around areas where your pets sleeps.)
FLY REPELLENTS: basil, bay leaf, cloves, tansy
MICE REPELLENTS: mints
MOTH REPELLENTS: basil, bay leaf, cedar, cloves, eucalyptus, lavender, mints (not peppermint) patchouli, pennyroyal, black pepper, pyrethrum daisy, rosemary, rue, tansy, southernwood, thyme, wormwood.
Herbal protectionFOR PEOPLE: basil, bay leaf, citronella oil, clove, garlic, neem leaf, pennyroyal, rosemary, rue, thyme, tea tree, witch hazel
WEEVILS Bay leaf - Place whole leaf in grain and flour packages.