natural-mosquito-repellent

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CDC confirms lemon eucalyptus oil as effective as toxic DEET for repelling bugs - Complete Health and Happiness
DEET, while amazingly effective at warding off mosquitoes, comes with its own dangers. It’s a neurotoxin. Found in most conventional, over-the-counter insect repellents, it can enter your bloodstream if it comes into contact with your skin. Children with DEET toxicity have reported lethargy, headaches, tremors, involuntary movements, seizures, and convulsions. It is, then, a refreshing …

Many of these different essential oils work especially well for specific pests, according to the research, here are some of the more well known pests and essential oils that work as repellents for them:

Mosquitos – citronella, lemon eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, catnip, basil, clove, thyme, lemongrass, geranium, lavender
Fleas – cedarwood, citronella, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, lemongrass, lavender, orange, pine,
Ticks – rose geranium, juniper, rosewood, thyme, grapefruit, oregano

Some studies have also shown, additional effective ingredients include: Neem Oil, Soybean Oil, Vodka, Garlic and Vanilla Extract

How-to Make Homemade Essential Oil Insect Repellent Spray 
Makes 4 ounces

  • 2 ounces distilled or boiled water
  • 1.5 ounces witch hazel or vodka
  • 30 drops citronella essential oil
  • 25 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 15 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil* (optional, if you add this, add only 1 ounce of vodka or witch hazel

(please make sure to read above for all of the different options of oils so you can make your own custom mixture)

Using a 4 oz clean spray bottle fill with water, add the witch hazel or vodka then about 50 to 75 total drops of your various essential oils. Shake well. Spray onto exposed skin and/or clothing, avoiding eyes and mucous membranes. Reapply every 2 hours, or as needed. Store in a dark bottle, away from heat or sunlight.

**For the best results, please make sure you are using therapeutic grade oils. Please do your research if you plan to use this on a pregnant woman, young children or someone undergoing holistic treatments, as essential oils can interact with certain treatments. Lavender and tea tree oils are the only essential oils that can be applied directly to the skin, all others should always be diluted. This mixture could also be sprayed on your dog’s collar to help keep pests off of him/her, but please do not use on cats, as many essential oils are toxic to cats.** 

 Remember, you don’t want to fill the bottle completely full, so there is room to shake the mixture each time, which is necessary as the essential oils do not dissolve in the water and will therefore separate.

(Source: tasty-yummies.com)

5 Easy to Grow Mosquito-Repelling Plants

Before reaching for the chemical sprays, try planting these easy-to-grow plants which have natural mosquito-repelling properties:

1. Citronella


Citronella is the most common natural ingredient used in formulating mosquito repellents. The distinctive citronella aroma is a strong smell which masks other attractants to mosquitoes, making it harder for them to find you. Although citronella is used in many forms, such as scented candles, torches and citronella ‘scented’ plants, the living plant is more effective because it has a stronger smell.

Citronella is a perennial ‘clumping’ grass which grows to a height of 5 – 6 feet. It can be grown directly in the ground in climate zones where frost does not occur. If grown in the garden or near the patio, it should be planted in the ‘background’, behind small decorative flowers and shrubs. In northern climate zones citronella can be grown in a large pot or planter, ideally with casters, so it can be rolled indoors during winter.

2. Horsemint


Also known as Beebalm, Horsemint is an adaptable perennial plant which repels mosquitoes much the same as citronella. It gives off a strong incense-like odor which confuses mosquitoes by masking the smell of its usual hosts.

Horsemint is a fast growing, shade-tolerant and drought-resistant plant which reaches a height and width of 2 – 3 feet. It does well in dry, sandy soil and can tolerate salty conditions, which is why it is often found in coastal and beach areas. Horsemint seeds can be sown indoors in trays for later transplanting, or sown directly into the ground in late summer in colder climate zones. Midwest and Eastern growing zones are favoured for growing horsemint.

Mature horsemint plants can be divided in spring and fall by dividing into small sections and transplanting into permanent locations. Horsemint can also be planted in pots for moving indoors in cold climate zones.

Horsemint leaves can be dried and used to make herbal tea. Its flowers will also attract bees and butterflies to your garden.

3. Marigolds


Commonly grown as ornamental border plants, marigolds are hardy annual plants which have a distinctive smell which mosquitoes, and some gardeners, find particularly offensive. Marigolds contain Pyrethrum, a compound used in many insect repellents.

Marigolds prefer full sunlight and reasonably fertile soil. Although marigolds can be planted from seed, starter plants are inexpensive and readily available at most garden centers. Although an annual, marigold will often reseed itself in favourable conditions, or the gardener can easily collect seeds for future germination. Established plants will need to be thinned, and flowers should be dead-headed to promote additional blooms.

4. Ageratum


Also known as Flossflowers, Ageratum emits a smell which mosquitos find particularly offensive. Ageratum secretes coumarin, which is widely used in commercial mosquito repellents.

Ageratum is a low-lying annual ornamental plant which reaches heights of 8 – 18”, and is easily recognized by its blue flowers, although there are varieties with pink, white and violet blooms. This plant will thrive in full or partial sun and does not require rich soil. It is often displayed in rock gardens where low-lying plants are favoured.

Although the leaves of Ageratum can be crushed to increase the emitted odor, it is not advisable to rub the crushed leaves directly on the skin.

5. Catnip

Catnip is a natural mosquito repellent. In August 2010, entomologists at Iowa State University reported to the American Chemical Society that catnip is ten times more effective than DEET, the chemical found in most commercial insect repellents. According to Iowa State researcher Chris Peterson, the reason for its effectiveness is still unknown. “It might simply be acting as an irritant or they don’t like the smell. But nobody really knows why insect repellents work.“

Catnip, Nepeta cateria, is very easy to grow. This perennial herb is related to mint, and grows readily both as a weed and a commercially cultivated plant in most areas of the US.

While catnip will repel mosquitoes in close proximity to the plant, some people apply crushed catnip leaves or catnip oil for more robust protection. Bear in mind, however, that cats will respond to you similarly as they would respond to the plant itself. Cat owners may want to choose an alternative plant for repelling mosquitoes.

source: http://eartheasy.com/blog/2011/04/5-easy-to-grow-mosquito-repelling-plants/

Do you need an easy mosquito repellent recipe to help combat biting insects this summer? This simple, yet effective natural homemade bug repellent recipe needs as few as two ingredients and won’t require you to buy a lot of expensive essential oils. You can find this easy mosquito repellent recipe here.