Ditch The Deet & Try These DIY Natural Bug Sprays & Repellents
Michigan summers equal mosquitoes. Period point blank. You know you've seen the cartoons and t-shirts touting them as our state bird.
Annoying. Oh yeah. Expected. Absolutely. Deadly, sometimes. But increasingly now. Especially last year.
Remember the whole mosquitoes and EEE thing?
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is carried by certain types of mosquitoes in Michigan. It is a potentially serious disease that can affect anyone, but children and people over age 60 are more likely to get the more severe form of EEE illness. (Michigan.gov)
2019 Summary: Arbovirus activity, including Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Michigan (Updated April 19, 2020)
And it's trending...again. Cause...well it's 2020. This year is throwing everything at us but the kitchen sink. And why not pile this on top of Covid-19.
So how do we fight our favorite little blood suckers and make sure we don't catch this thing?
If you're gonna go the bug spray route...
When outdoors, use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and/or clothing. The repellent/insecticide permethrin can be used on clothing to protect through several washes. Always follow the directions on the package. (Michigan.gov)
Some folks have some serious issues and concerns with DEET while some swear by it.
If you want to skip the Deet (known to chemists as N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide), here are some all natural DIY solutions that really work.
Lemon eucalyptus oil
You can create your own mixture with 1 part lemon eucalyptus oil to 10 parts sunflower oil or witch hazel. Researchers from the University of Florida caution against using the mixture on children under 3 years of age. (Healthline)
There's a whole list of natural ingredients you can use to combat those pesky little blood suckers including lavender, cinnamon oil, thyme oil, and more. You can check them all out here.
Any combination of these essential oils will work: citronella, clove, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, cajeput, eucalyptus, cedar, catnip, geranium, lavender, mint. (Wellness Mama)
Homemade Bug Spray Ingredients
- 30 drops geranium essential oil
- 30 drops citronella essential oil
- 20 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
- 20 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops rosemary essential oil
- 1 TBSP vodka or rubbing alcohol
- ½ cup natural witch hazel
- ½ cup water (or vinegar)
- 1 tsp vegetable glycerin (optional)
- (Wellness Mama)
Did you notice the VODKA listed as an ingredient? I mean that or rubbing alcohol. But still...
They also suggest you don't spray these directly on your skin but you clothes and gear. You can get the complete recipe and more tips from Wellness Mama.
And as always these are just suggestion. Make and use them at you own risk. Please make sure you read all the articles and suggestions thoroughly. And test them first. As noted above, if you do make them, it is not suggested you spray them directly on your skin.
When using essential oils especially, please see the article below.
Thanks, be safe, and don't get bit. But it's gonna happen anyway so...