It's the season again for mosquitos, bees, flies and fleas just to name a few. In the spring, many bugs come out of hibernation, come out of pupae and emerge as an adult bug, or hatch out of an egg case.  In the summer time, the bugs are adults and are looking to breed so they can make more bugs and the temperature is conducive for them to live and breed.  So, we got a lot of bug activity going on right now.  I decided to see what essential oils can do to help us with this problem and it turns out, quite a bit!

I've spent some time trying to suck up flys with the vacuum cleaner and I've splattered a couple of bees all over my wall, but there has to be a better way.  The first thing I wanted was a homemade bug spray.  I don't want to use chemicals that are not safe for my family.  Especially DEET which has been shown to be harmful and is used in many bug sprays.  I also like quick and easy and here is one I really like:

  • Use 20 drops or 2 TBSP of a carrier oil (carrier oil are oils that serve to dilute the essential oil before applying it to your skin. They act as the base for “carrying” the essential oil that is being mixed into it.  Examples are coconut oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil and argan oil) in a small container.
  • Add 15 drops of  ZAQ Lavender Oil and 5 drops of ZAQ Eucalyptus Oil to the above carrier oil
  • Shake or stir well to mix everything together and store it in a place that’s out of direct sunlight.
  • Pour a little onto your hands, rub together and rub on your child to keep bugs away.  Works like a charm and no harmful chemicals.

Also, a hiker friend swears by using rose geranium oil on her dog to keep ticks and other bugs away from him in the woods.  She adds a couple drops at the base of his tail and between his shoulder blades as well as dabbing some on her wrists and behind her ears. She has never had a problem with mosquitos for her or ticks on her dog.  

Here is a list from The Hippy Homemaker that you might find useful.  Depending on where you live and the type of bugs you deal with, this is a list of essential oils that will repel certain bugs.  They suggest if these bugs are in your garden, add the essential oils to your watering can.  If they are in your home, just use a spray bottle and dilute a bit as essential oils are strong.  

  • Ants: Peppermint, spearmint, garlic, citronella, orange, cedarwood
  • Beetles: Peppermint, thyme, garlic, cedarwood, orange
  • Chiggers: Lavender, lemongrass, sage, thyme, cedarwood, orange
  • Cutworm: Thyme, sage, cedarwood, orange
  • Fleas: Lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, cedarwood, citronella, tansy, orange
  • Flies: Lavender, peppermint, rosemary, sage, citronella, tansy, cedarwood, orange, lemongrass, lemon, thyme, tea tree, sandalwood, patchouli
  • Gnats: Patchouli, spearmint, orange, citronella, tagetes, cedarwood, peppermint, eucalyptus, rose geranium
  • Mosquitoes: Lavender, lemongrass, orange, citronella, tansy, cedarwood, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, thyme, rose geranium, clove, blue cypress, cinnamon, sage
  • Moths: Cedarwood, hyssop, lavender, peppermint, spearmint, citronella, orange
  • Roaches: Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, cinnamon, thyme, orange
  • Slugs: Cedarwood, hyssop, pine, garlic, orange
  • Snails: Cedarwood, pine, patchouli, garlic, orange
  • Spiders: Peppermint, spearmint, lemon, lime, orange, citrus, lavender, citronella, cedarwood
  • Ticks: Lavender, lemongrass, orange, sage, thyme, citronella, tea tree, geranium, cedarwood, tansy, eucalyptus, sweet myrrh
  • Weevils: Cedarwood, patchouli, sandalwood, orange

I hope this helps in the fight against bugs this season.  It's such a safer feeling having a natural alternative to commercial sprays that can be harmful to our health. Also, it's so much more fun to have a barbecue without those pesky critters flying around our hamburgers and landing on our watermelon.  

Kris Bitar

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