So along the same lines as my sunscreen post, I also wanted to experiment with my own natural bug repellents. A couple of months ago we were headed up to our ranch for a camping weekend, and monsoon season had started, so I decided to whip up a bug spray and see what happened. Here’s what I put together the first time:
- 2 oz distilled h20
- 2 oz witch hazel extract
- 20 drops lemon eucalyptus EO (essential oil)
- 20 drops citronella EO
- 10 drops close EO
- 10 drops lemongrass EO
- 10 drops peppermint EO
- 10 drops lavender EO
I had found a couple of cool websites with various recipes and which oils repel which types of bugs, and so I wanted to do a little of each and just see. In SW Colorado there are mosquitos, cedar gnats, flies, and ants that are the annoying insects. When we were there the mosquitos weren’t bad but the cedar gnats were terrible. And those things leave painful little red welts all over you (and all over Loki, poor guy). Well, the bug spray did not work. It may have repelled the little buggers a bit, but overall it was not a success. So I scratched that.
Then, we went to Southern Minnesota for a couple of weeks to visit R’s family before our big move. In August. Hot. Humid. Sticky. Itchy. Minnesota. I brought all my oils with me and tried something different. I did this:
- 1/2 cup witch hazel extract
- 100 drops lemon eucalyptus EO
- 50 drops citronella EO
- 50 drops lemongrass EO
I went on the strong side… because I got destroyed by mosquitos the first couple of days. It’s like they knew I wasn’t from there. After this mixture, R and I sprayed it on ourselves then went outside into the long grass and stood there. And we watched in amazement as the mosquitos would land on our arms, then just take off.
The only drawback is you do have to reapply the spray “often.” By often I mean once an hour maybe. But it smells nice, and leaves no sticky, greasy, or disgusting residue on your skin. You don’t feel like you need a shower the moment you spray it on. I made this spray recipe twice while we were there, and it worked like a charm. Hooray!
If you want a good recommendation for witch hazel and oils, check out these guys: https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/