Living Naturally

How to Use Essential Oils as Safe and Natural Mosquito Repellents

How to Use Essential Oils as Safe and Natural Mosquito RepellentsIf you’re tired of mosquitoes, but don’t want to use DEET or other chemicals to keep them away, you might have resigned yourself to just running the risk of the diseases they carry or else staying inside altogether. However, there are plenty of natural insect repellents that can provide you with the protection you want from mosquitoes, without using those dangerous chemicals that are so harmful to the environment, to you, and to your children and pets. These methods will drive the mosquitoes as far away from you as they can fly, protecting you from those annoying, itchy bug bites as well as the risk of West Nile Disease. The best natural remedies to mosquitoes involve essential oils, and can be mixed into a spray, a soap, or a salve that you dab on your skin or clothing before going outdoors.

Natural insect repellents can be mixed together in minutes, and they work beautifully. These usually involve a mixture of essential oils, which you can buy in any health food store. The first option is a repellent soap that you can wash with before and after spending time outdoors, to keep the mosquitoes away from your body. Mix in 10-15 drops of lemon balm (citronella), pennyroyal, lavender, and rose geranium to each ounce of liquid Castile soap, and you’ll have a wonderful smelling soap that will keep mosquitoes far away from you.

For your pets, you have a number of great choices. A drop of rose geranium on your dog or cat’s collar each week will repel ticks, a much healthier (and cheaper) option than flea and tick chemicals! You can also make a mixture of essential oils and/or herbs with a fruit- or nut-oil carrier to make a mixture that you can dab on your skin or on your children or pet’s skin or fur.

Another great alternative requires 10-25 drops of essential oil, such as lavender, rose geranium, coriander seeds, peppermint, cajeput, and/or citronella with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and a tablespoon of aloe vera gel. You combine these ingredients in a glass jar and just dab a few drops on your skin or clothing, and the mosquitoes will fly away from you instead of towards you.

If you don’t want to take the time to mix up your own concoctions, there are many ready-made herbal insect repellents available either online or in your health food store. When shopping for these, you’ll want to look for words like “herbal,” “all-natural,” “DEET-free,” “non-chemical,” or “non-toxic.” Looking for the word hypoallergenic is also a great idea.

Just because you want to keep mosquitoes away without using dangerous chemicals doesn’t mean you need to keep yourself cooped up indoors. Nor is it a reason to just take your chances and hope that you don’t contract West Nile. These simple but effective home recipes are all made using natural ingredients that won’t harm you, your children, or your pets. They will, however, keep the mosquitoes away so you can enjoy your time in the outdoors without worrying about dangerous infections.