The Finest Insect Repelling Important Oils

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Just as you start dusting off your shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops and dreaming of evenings on the porch, hiking in the woods and picnicking by the creek, the mosquitos, no-see-ums and all their other buzzing friends come also out to play. Things can then become miserable and even unbearable.

However, there are ways we can all live a little more harmoniously with the stinging bugs without having to go without chemical insect repellants with problematic ingredients like DEET. There are many natural insect repellants available at pharmacies and wellness stores, but it is also pretty easy to make a serving for yourself.

The great thing about making your own repellent is that you are in control of what you apply to your skin. You can start with choosing a carrier oil (or any other dilution that works for you) and finish with choosing the perfect essential oil blend.

An added bonus is that while your homemade insect repellent is busy fending off these flying enemies, you can breathe in the heavenly, heady aromas of the essential oils while your skin soaks up all of the health benefits of an oil splash.

Before you get started on your beetle-repellent DIY brews, let’s take a look at some of the most effective essential oils to choose from.

Dilute your essential oils

Essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin and come with all sorts of individual warnings. Thorough research must be done before using a new essential oil. It is very important to dilute essential oils in what is called a carrier oil. A carrier oil is a base oil into which a prescribed number of essential oil drops are dripped. Coconut, olive, almond, and grapeseed oils are some that are commonly used.

The mixture of carrier oil and essential oil can then be applied to the skin leaving you smelling lovely, all moisturized, and hopefully bite free.

Lemon eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus is a popular essential oil used in insect repellants. It has a strong lemony scent and contains the compound citronellal, which is the main mosquito repellent component. Its aroma is a powerful decongestant, so be careful when applying it to your face. You will soon have clear sinuses too.

Citronella oil

This is another lemon scented essential oil made from Asian grass. This oil is said to be very effective at repelling insects, but must be reapplied after 2-3 hours.

Tea tree oil

Try tea tree for something different. It has a medicinal, woody odor and has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help treat the little bites you’ve already received. Try using a few drops of tea tree oil in your repellant.

Peppermint oil

Again, the advantages are twofold. Peppermint oil is useful for repelling insects and soothing bites that are already there. Applying a little peppermint oil to your bite will help cool down the itchiness. Scattering peppermint plants around your home can also help keep bugs at bay in the first place.

Thyme oil

Thyme oil is said to be very effective in repelling mosquitoes. Some studies report that it can be up to 97.3% effective. Again, an insect repellent made from thyme often has to be answered. Also, plant thyme in pots around your porch for extra protection.

Geranium oil

Geraniol is the compound that insects hate in this lemony and floral smelling oil. This oil is obtained from a real geranium plant (Pelargonium citrosum), not the geraniums normally found in flower pots and garden beds. However, this plant is often found in nurseries and is often referred to as the “citronella plant”.

Catnip oil

This is another plant in the mint family. While it can attract cats, it certainly does not attract mosquitos. Studies show that this oil is effective at repelling mosquitoes for up to 3 hours. Reapply your repellent after a few hours.

So before heading out into the great outdoors this summer, don’t forget to put a bottle of homemade insect repellent in your pocket. Hopefully you can enjoy a bug and bite free summer.

Always seek medical advice before using any herbal remedy or essential oil for the first time. Always use carrier oils with essential oils and refer to individual essential oil bottles for recommended uses and dilution ratios. Ask a doctor about your options when traveling to a country where mosquitoes transmit serious diseases such as Zika or malaria.

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