Re-posted with permission from MyHolisticVillage
Here’s a cost effective way to make natural insect repellents that really work!
There are a number of essential oils that insects find distasteful or cause them to become confused. You’re about to learn how to use that to your advantage.
Since oil and water don’t mix, you’ll need to use a carrier oil or alcohol to create your repellent. We’ve included a list of some that are safe for contact with skin. Be sure to use the recommended ratios to avoid the irritation that some essential oils can cause. Therapeutic grade oils are your best choice.
And, of course, if you are pregnant or nursing, you should check with your physician about the safety of using these recipes. These formulas will work for pets too. However, you should check with your vet first because, while, many essential oils are safe to use on pets, not all are.
Natural Insect Repellent Recipes
You’ll need to experiment to find which combinations work best for you and the pests you are trying to deter. You may find that combining 2 or more oils is most effective. Use these ratios:
- 10-25 drops (total) of essential oils
- 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil or alcohol
The essential oils that work well against biting insects (mosquitoes, flies, ticks, fleas) are:
- cinnamon oil (mosquitoes)
- lemon eucalyptus or regular eucalyptus oil (mosquitoes, ticks, and lice)
- citronella oil (mosquitoes and biting flies)
- castor oil (mosquitoes)
- orange oil (fleas)
- rose geranium (ticks and lice)
Carrier oils and alcohols that work include:
- almond oil
- olive oil
- sunflower oil
- aloe vera gel (for a thicker consistency)
- witch hazel
Mix the essential oils with the carrier oil or alcohol and rub or spray onto skin or clothing and reapply as needed. Store in a dark bottle away from sunlight and enjoy the outdoors!
P.S. Applying undiluted essential oils directly to the skin is generally not recommended. However, several sources say that one drop of rose geranium on each ankle, wrist, elbow and at the base of the skull works like a charm to repel ticks. If you decide to give it a try, please test an area with a single drop first. If you experience numbness or irritation, avoid further undiluted use.
A single drop between the shoulder blades of your dog or cat should keep them tick free as well.