Mosquitoes carry Dengue Fever, Malaria, West Nile Virus, and other serious illness. In our area, while its rare that some of these tropical diseases break out, mosquitoes traumatize children, and their bites are annoying, in the least and can lead to infection. The heavy rains and local flooding we are experiencing in BC, make it more likely that the mosquito population will be troublesome this summer.
The conventional way to combat the buzzing plague is to smother our skin with poison. The warning on the label of DEET based repellents makes you wonder if the cure isn’t worse than the disease. But herbs have been used for centuries to combat insect-vector disease and they are even more effective today, when you can get quality, essential oils at very low prices. You only need 30 ml of any of these essential oils to make your own Herbal Mosquito repellent.
My daughter is off to Pines Bible Camp to counsel for the summer. Last night I made a huge bottle of nontoxic, herbal mosquito repellent to keep her comfortable and safe, with enough to share with the campers. Herbal mosquito repellent is even more effective when a group of people are wearing it. In fact, Sarah reports that the mosquitoes swarm those poor, misguided souls wearing DEET based repellent, when she shows up with herbal BUG-OFF spray. This spray works on mosquitoes, ticks, black flies, no-see-ums, fleas, and lice. The spray acts as an insecticide, too, and its safe and effective for humans and other mammals.
Homemade Bug-Off Spray
This recipe makes 500 ml of herbal mosquito repellent:
1 — 500 ml (pint) amber glass bottle (you can upcycle a bottle that essential oils came in or use an olive oil bottle)
2 tbsp (30ml) Organic Tea Tree E.O.
2 tbsp (30 ml) Lemon Verbena E.O.
2 tsp (10ml) Cedarwood E.O.
2 tsp. (10 ml) Peppermint E.O.
2 tsp. (10 ml) Lavender E.O.
1 tbsp. (15 ml) Eucalyptus E.O.
2 tsp. (10ml) Rose Geranium E.O.
Fill up remaining space in bottle with Olive Oil or Sweet Almond Oil
By using an oil base for your bug-off spray, you preserve the essential oils, you make the repellent water proof, and you avoid rancidity.
Tropical Traditions now carries organic, steam distilled essential oils.
To purchase quality, fresh, essential oils and carrier oils online, go to Mountain Rose Herbs:
If you don’t have some of the essential oils you can substitute or use more of one and less of another. As it is, it works perfectly, for the bugs we have around here. Lemon and tea tree are the basis. Its not just a repellent. It will actually kill the bug, if it bites you, so the bugs avoid it. It works for ticks and fleas, too.
You can use it to spray pets, livestock, and its safe for babies. (Omit the tea tree e.o. if you are using it on cats or rabbits) Reapply as often as necessary.
Adapting a commercial spray mechanism to the glass bottle for more effective application:
The spray mechanism is the spritzer top from a spray bottle, sold for cleaning solutions. It fits perfectly on the 500 ml amber bottles. It will also fit the screw-top olive oil green glass bottles. To make it fit, you simply detach the plastic tube from the sprayer-top. Measure the tube against the bottle that you want to use to hold your bug-off repellent. Cut off the excess tube at the top (not the bottom). Reinsert the cut edge into the sprayer
top. And screw onto the top of your bottle. You can shut off the spray, so the bottle doesn’t dribble during transport. And you can control the fineness of the spray for application.
Delta Sprayers 82413-32 24oz 3pk Spray Bottles
You don’t want to store the product in plastic, though, as the essential oils will leach from the plastic and degrade the plastic bottle. Always use glass or another inert container to store products that contain volatile essential oils.