Repel those pesky mosquitoes – naturally!

Photo: Natural Home and Garden – Lemon Balm

With all the recent rains from Tropical Storm Debby my house looked like I lived on the waterfront!  I think it was one of those 100 year storms as I have never seen so much rainwater!  I filled 8 rain-barrels and drained as much standing water as possible with a small pump, but am still coping with some wet soil which the mosquitoes seem to be enjoying.  I have been experimenting with essential oil combinations, instead of DEET products and have found them to work well.

What couldn’t have come at a better time was an article in a recent Natural Home and Garden newsletter with recipes for natural mosquito repellent. A study by the National Park Service found that test groups exposed to DEET reported side effects including nausea, headaches, dizziness, skin irritation, rashes and numb or burning lips. Researchers at Duke University also found that long-term exposure to DEET can kill brain cells and cause behavioral changes in rats.  To read the entire article including clothes to wear to deter mosquitoes click here…  For the short version here’s the recipe:

Repellent Recipe
The following essential oils will naturally repel mosquitoes—for a stronger formula, try mixing several oils together. Experiment to see which oils work best with your body chemistry. Always test essential oils on a small patch of skin before applying liberally, and use extra caution with children. Most essential oils are not recommended for use on children younger than 2.

Essential Oils
• Basil
• Catnip
• Clove
• Citronella
• Eucalyptus
• Garlic
• Geranium
• Lavender
• Lemon Balm
• Myrrh
• Neem
• Palmarosa
• Peppermint
• Pine
• Rosemary

2 1/2 teaspoons total of any combination of mosquito-repelling essential oils
1 cup 190-proof grain alcohol (available in liquor stores)

1. Place ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously. Transfer to small bottles for storage. To use, rub a small amount on exposed skin or dab on clothing.

Easing bug bites and skin irritations naturally

Photo Whole Living

As our rainy season descends upon us I’m encountering more mosquitoes, wasps and other annoying bugs that seem to enjoy biting me while I work outside.  I normally run into the house looking for Benadryl when stung by a wasp or just scratch an itchy bug bite until my skin is bright red or starts bleeding.

Now that I have read this article from Natural Home about natural skin irritant remedies I can rid my cabinet of several more medications/chemicals and add more natural remedies like the aloe growing by my door.  Click here to find out how to use clays, essential oils, fruits and vegetables for skin irritations instead of adding more medicines to your cabinets.