When we think of summer, we envision moments of relaxation, leisurely breaks, basking in the sun, enjoying the ocean, and indulging in long, balmy evenings. However, the arrival of summer also brings along some unwelcome companions in the form of bothersome and biting insects. Mosquitoes, in particular, have the potential to ruin our summer pleasures and disrupt a peaceful night’s sleep.
While countless insect repellents flood the market, readily available for purchase, it’s important to note that many of these commercial products are laden with harmful chemicals. Fortunately, there are numerous alternatives to repel insects naturally. Although they may be slightly less potent, these natural insect repellents can be used repeatedly without guilt, as their reduced effectiveness is balanced by their eco-friendly qualities. Infused with essential oils that are pleasant to the human nose yet repugnant to insects, these repellents are worth a try.
To utilize these natural insect repellents, one can apply them directly to the skin or clothing (it is advisable to test them first on the inner side of the clothing to ensure they do not cause any stains). For individuals with sensitive skin, it is recommended to conduct a skin tolerance test before full application. Simply spray a small amount of the repellent on the inner area of the elbow and wait for 24 hours, ensuring that no negative reactions occur.
By embracing the power of natural insect repellents, we can enjoy summer’s offerings while keeping those pesky insects at bay, naturally.
Vinegar insect repellent
This unconventional insect repellent has a rich herbal history dating back to ancient times. Personally, I have put it to the test, and it proved to be quite effective, although I found the scent of vinegar slightly bothersome. Nevertheless, it serves as an ideal repellent, even warding off ticks during adventurous forest walks. So, what ingredients do we need to prepare this natural concoction?
Gather 17 oz / 500ml of apple vinegar and one tablespoon of each of the following dried herbs: salvia, rosemary, lavender, thyme, and mint. Find a common preserve jar and place the herbs inside, then pour the vinegar over them. Allow the mixture to macerate by leaving the jar at room temperature for 2-3 weeks, remembering to shake it daily. Once the maceration period is complete, strain the mixture through a sieve and store the resulting liquid in the refrigerator.
For direct application to the skin, dilute the vinegar repellent with water in a 1:1 ratio and spray it as needed. It is advisable for individuals with sensitive skin to conduct a skin tolerance test before widespread use, ensuring that no adverse reactions occur.
Mild insect repellent for children
This gentle insect repellent is suitable for young children and excludes alcohol from its formula. For this preparation, you will need a 3.4 oz / 100ml spray bottle and the following essential oils: 5 drops of mint oil, 5 drops of lavender oil, and 5 drops of clove oil. Incorporate 0.5 oz / 15ml of glycerin, followed by a thorough shake of the bottle. Finally, add distilled water until the volume reaches 3 oz / 90ml. Shake the bottle once more before each use.
Essential oil insect repellent – Recipe #1
To prepare this insect repellent, you will require a 3.4 oz / 100ml spray bottle and 1 oz / 30ml of potent alcohol. Dissolve the following essential oils in the alcohol: 55 drops of eucalyptus oil, 15 drops of cedar oil, 15 drops of lavender oil, and 15 drops of rosemary oil. Additionally, incorporate 1 oz / 30ml of neem oil, known for its potent natural insecticidal properties. Prior to each use, it is necessary to shake the mixture thoroughly, as the oil tends to separate from the alcohol.
Apply the spray directly to the skin (individuals with sensitive skin should perform a skin tolerance test beforehand) at hourly intervals for optimal protection against insects.
By harnessing the power of these natural insect repellents, you can navigate the outdoors confidently, knowing that you are utilizing effective and eco-friendly solutions.
Strong essential oil insect repellent – Recipe #2
For this potent variation of insect repellent, gather a 3.4 oz / 100ml spray bottle and 1 oz / 30ml of strong alcohol. Dissolve the following essential oils in the alcohol: 0.1 oz / 3.5ml of geranium oil, 22 drops of cedar oil, 43 drops of lavender oil, and 10 drops of mint oil. To achieve a total volume of 3 oz / 90ml, add distilled water to the mixture. It is recommended to leave some space in the bottle and shake it before each use. Apply as needed for optimal effectiveness.
Essential oil and glycerin insect repellent
To create this insect repellent blend, prepare a 3.4 oz / 100ml spray bottle and 1 oz / 30ml of strong alcohol. Dissolve 30 drops of tea tree oil and 15 drops of geranium oil in the alcohol. Next, add 0.5 oz / 15ml of glycerin, ensuring a thorough shake of the bottle. Complete the mixture by adding distilled water to reach a total volume of 3 oz / 90ml. Remember to shake the bottle before each use to ensure proper blending.
Single use insect repellent – Recipe #1
This single-use insect repellent mixture is designed for direct application to the skin. Adjust the volume as needed. Prepare 0.5 oz / 15ml (1 tablespoon) of grapevine oil and combine it with two types of essential oils: 5 drops of lemongrass oil and 3 drops of geranium oil. Apply the mixture accordingly.
Single use insect repellent – Recipe #2
Similar to the previous single-use repellent, this mixture is suitable for direct application to the skin, and the volume can be adjusted as desired. Begin by preparing 0.5 oz / 15ml (1 tablespoon) of grapevine oil. Then, incorporate three types of essential oils: 4 drops of lemon oil (note its photosensitive nature and keep it away from sunlight), 2 drops of basil oil, and 2 drops of mint oil. Apply the mixture as needed, ensuring proper coverage.
Wasp repellent spray
During outdoor activities in the summertime, wasps can become quite bothersome. To combat their presence, why not be prepared with a natural solution? For this homemade anti-wasp spray, gather a 1.7 oz / 50ml spray bottle, 1 oz / 30ml of strong alcohol, 0.17 oz / 5ml of lavender essential oil, and 0.5 oz / 15ml of clove essential oil. This potent repellent can be safely sprayed into the air surrounding your seating area, while you sunbathe, swim, or engage in outdoor play.
Pet friendly anti-flea spray
Insects can be a nuisance not only to us but also to our beloved pets. Therefore, it’s essential to consider their well-being too. For a natural and pet-friendly anti-flea spray, acquire a 3.4 oz / 100ml spray bottle and 0.7 oz / 22ml of strong alcohol. Dissolve the following essential oils in the alcohol: 33 drops of eucalyptus oil, 66 drops of May Chang oil, 16 drops of lemon oil, and 5 drops of mint oil. Complete the mixture by adding distilled water until the total volume reaches 3 oz / 90ml.
Apply the spray to your pet’s fur once a week, avoiding the areas around its eyes and ears. It can also be used on their bedding. Note that for cats, a reduced dosage of essential oils is recommended due to their heightened sensitivity.
Natural sting relief balm
In the event of a mosquito or bee sting, this natural balm offers soothing relief. To create this remedy, you will need a small bowl and a pot for a water bath. Combine approximately 0.07 oz / 2 g of beeswax and 0.17 oz / 5ml of St. John’s wort oil (a macerated oil of St. John’s wort) in the bowl, then melt them together. Incorporate 15 drops of lavender essential oil and 5 drops of mint essential oil into the warmed mixture. Before transferring the balm into a jar or empty lip balm tube, add a drop of vitamin E for added nourishment. Apply the balm to the affected area of the skin several times a day to alleviate discomfort naturally.
By utilizing these natural insect repellents and remedies, you can enjoy the great outdoors with peace of mind, knowing that you are taking a natural approach to insect control and finding relief from stings.