Mosquitoes can be annoying and depending on where you live, they attack left, right, and center, making it almost impossible to enjoy activities outdoors.
Aside from being annoying, most of us are concerned that mosquitoes could be spreading diseases like West Nile or Zika.
With that concern and the annoyance, most of us are reaching for bug sprays these days, but how safe are they?
Commercial bug sprays usually include a chemical known as DEET, which although approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is linked to skin blisters, soreness, and eye irritation.
It's even been reported that prolonged DEET exposure can damage certain parts of the brain, resulting in muscle weakness, the inability to walk, memory loss and other cognitive problems.
What Can You Use Instead?
The answer lies in using naturally occurring essential oils either in natural products you purchase or make yourself.
Essential oils are a popular ingredient these days and easily available online.
You've probably heard some of your friends raving about their favorite brands.
I have a drawer full of various brands.
Why Use Essential Oils?
Essential oils are released by plants to repel predators and attract pollinators.
Since it is a naturally occurring substance, they do more good than harm to the human body as opposed to commercial bug repellents that are made of potential toxins causing harm to the environment as well.
Essential oils also smell good and leave the skin feeling soft and fresh. They are also known to be used for a variety of other purposes such as healing headaches or burns, relieving stress and anxiety, and relaxing the mind.
Which Oils Can You Use For Bug Repellent?
Different types of essential oils are effective in repelling different kinds of bugs.
Here are just a few oils to try for some of the most common pests:
Easy Homemade Bug Repellent
There are many ways to create natural bug repellent sprays using different combinations of essential oils and carrier liquids.
Here are a few recipes to try.
15 drops of lavender essential oil
3-4 Tbsp of vanilla extract
3-4 Tbsp lemon juice
30 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil
10 drops of Geranium Essential Oil
1 T vegetable glycerin
3 oz glass spray bottle
4 oz distilled water (or boiled water; leave to cool)
1 tablespoon liquid Organic Castile soap
20 drops essential lemon oil
20 drops essential peppermint oil
8 oz spray bottle
One Essential Community (check out her awesome FREE printables)
10 drops geranium
15 drops lavender
5 drops patchouli
10 drops lemongrass
10 drops citronella
4 oz spray bottle
Should You Be Worried More About Zika or DEET?
There is a lot of information about Zika on the web. It's probably time you did some research on your own rather than relying on mainstream media.
Even after research, question everything.
Watch this Mini-documentary by Mike Adams. He exposes some interesting information about DEET and pesticides.
What I Use To Repel Bugs
Like I said, I have a drawer full of essential oils but I usually grab the nontoxic repellent I purchased online. I plan to make my own when what I have runs out.
I used All Terrain Herbal Armor DEET-Free Natural Insect Repellent tonight at soccer practice and I just purchased these Repellent Bracelets that are waterproof.
I just finished a bottle of Burt Bee's Repellent and will be saving the bottle to make one of the above recipes.
Tell Me What You Use?
Leave me a comment and tell me what you use for bug repellent.