June 14, 2011

Natural Bug Repellents- Make Your Own

Mosquito Attractants
Use this list of items and activities that attract mosquitoes as a list of things to avoid or that can be used as bait to lure mosquitoes away from you.

  • Dark Clothing  Many mosquitoes use vision to locate hosts from a distance. Dark clothes and foliage are initial attractants.

  • Carbon Dioxide You give off more carbon dioxide when you are hot or have been exercising. A burning candle or other fire is another source of carbon dioxide.

  • Lactic Acid You release more lactic acid when you have been exercising or after eating certain foods (e.g., salty foods, high-potassium foods).

  • Floral or Fruity Fragrances In addition to perfumes, hair products, and scented sunscreens, watch for the subtle floral fragrance from fabric softeners and dryer sheets.

  • Skin Temperature The exact temperature depends on the type of mosquito. Many mosquitoes are attracted to the slightly cooler temperatures of the extremities.

  • Moisture Mosquitoes are attracted by perspiration because of the chemicals it contains and also because it increases the humidity around your body. Even small amounts of water (e.g., moist plants or mud puddles) will draw mosquitoes. Standing water also allows mosquitoes to reproduce.

Things that Lower Repellent Effectiveness
  • Many Sunscreens
  • Dilution from Rain, Perspiration, or Swimming
  • Absorption into the Skin
  • Evaporation from Wind or High Temperatures
Keep in mind that 'natural' does not automatically imply 'safe'. Many people are sensitive to plant oils. Some natural insect repellents are actually toxic. Therefore, although natural repellents provide an alternative to synthetic chemicals, please remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions when using these products.

Natural Repellents
It's very easy to make your own natural mosquito repellent. These natural products will effectively repel mosquitoes, but they require more frequent reapplication (at least every 2 hours) and higher concentrations than DEET. Because of the differences between types of mosquitoes, products that contain multiple repellents tend to be more effective than those containing a single ingredient. As you can see, natural repellents tend to be volatile plant oils.
  • Citronella Oil
  • Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
  • Cinnamon Oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Rosemary Oil
  • Lemongrass Oil
  • Cedar Oil
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Clove Oil
  • Geranium Oil
  • Possibly Oils from Verbena, Pennyroyal, Lavender, Pine, Cajeput, Basil, Thyme, Allspice, Soybean, and Garlic
Another plant-derived substance, pyrethrum, is an insecticide. Pyrethrum comes from the flowers of the daisy Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium.

*from about.com

Other Bug Repellent Essential Oils

Caution: Pregnant women should consult with their doctors before using.

List By Bugs
Ticks: Rose Geranium (first choice), Other: Palmerosa, bay, eucalyptus, European pennyroyal, lavender, tickweed (American pennyroyal)
Blackflies: Sassafras, lavender, eucalyptus, pennyroyal, cedar, lemon balm (citronella), peppermint
Head Lice: Tea tree, rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, rose geranium
Fleas: Orange oil

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/custom-made-insect-repellent.html#ixzz1PCPrBldw

List By Oils
* Lemongrass - Mosquitoes, chiggers, noseeums, gnats, fleas, and ticks
* Tea Tree Oil - Mosquitoes, chiggers, noseeums, gnats, fleas, horseflies, ticks
* Eucalyptus - Mosquitoes, chiggers, noseeums, gnats, ticks
* Lavender - Ticks, Chiggers, ants
* Spearmint and Peppermint - Ants, roaches, chiggers, fleas, gnats, and spiders
* Catnip - Highly touted as being MORE effective than DEET and a good general natural insect repellent.

How to Make Repellent for the Body
Use a clean spray bottle (not used with chemicals) for this repellant solution. If you are making large amounts of mosquito repellent, a good rule of thumb is to mix the repellent so it's 5-10% essential oil, so mix 1 part essential oil with 10-20 parts carrier oil. For a smaller batch use: (should last about 6 months)

+10-25 drops (total) of essential oils
+ 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil (olive oil, sunflower oil, almond, avocado oil, etc.)

* 2 oz. of a carrier oil
* 1/4 teas. Catnip/mint or citronella oil
* 1/8 teas. Eucalyptus oil
* 1/8 teas. Lavender oil

This will make a good broad spectrum natural insect repellent. You can, however, use any of the essential oils listed in step one for your own combination. Spray the oil directly onto your skin, or your hands, and rub in well. It is not recommended that this be applied around the mouth or eye

How to Make Repellent for the Home
You can take strips of cloth or paper or a sponge and soak with the following solution. (You can put a tiny piece of sponge that has been soaked in this solution in an old altoid tin and then open and place on the picnic table for the evening. Will need to replenish it for next use though.)

* 5 drops each of Lavender oil and Citronella oil, or
* 5 drops each of Peppermint and Eucalyptus oil

Hang these strips near windows and doors where the mosquitoes and other insects enter your home. It is not necessary to dilute the oils, if you are not putting them on your skin.
For ants, rub spearmint and cinnamon oil on the counters, and put cedar chips that have been soak in those oils at entry points on the floor in your home.
Read more: How to Make a Natural Insect Repellant with Essential Oils | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5064418_make-insect-repellant-essential-oils.html#ixzz1PCV5MLAg

As a side note, you can try this recipe if you have these herbs in your garden. Supposedly its what thieves in the forest would wear to protect themselves from the black plague....

Vinegar of the Four Thieves Insect Repellent Ingredients:

+ 1 32 ounce bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar
+ 2 TBSP each of dried Sage, Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme and Mint (or play around with other herbs mentioned above)
+ At least quart size glass jar with airtight lid
Put the vinegar and dried herbs into large glass jar.
Seal tightly and store on counter or place you will see it daily. Shake well each day for 2-3 weeks.
After 2-3 weeks, strain the herbs out and store in spray bottles or tincture bottles, preferably in fridge.
To use on skin, dilute to half with water in a spray bottle and use as needed.
Use whenever you need serious bug control!

[Note: This mixture is very strong and has antiviral and antibacterial properties. It can also be used as a tincture for any illness. For adults, dose is 1 TBSP in water several times a day,for kids over 2, dose is 1 tsp in water several times a day.]

*from www.wellnessmama.com

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