Here we discuss combating mosquitoes and other unwanted pests. You go out to enjoy the beautiful summer weather and hear it. That horrible buzzing, right next to your ear. Or host a BBQ pool party and constantly swatting away flies every 14 seconds. Or go for a quick stroll through your trail and look down to see ticks crawling up your leg. It’s that time of year again! The bugs are out and we are too. So what are your options? You can stay inside. You can reach for the DEET. Or you could give essential oils a try!
Plants have been used for thousands of years to deter pesky bugs from not only ruining a good time, but preventing seriously dangerous diseases harbored by insects. Ticks spread Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, among other things.
Everyone knows mosquitoes spread Malaria and West Nile. Flies are responsible for thousands of deaths a year causing Cholera, Dysentery, and Typhoid Fever. So how did our ancestors combat these pests? In a few ways! Burning rosemary or sage on their fires repelled flies and mosquitoes. Highly effective and smells nice. Give it a try at your next outing! Fresh or dry, both work. Planting mosquito repellent plants. Lavender, lemon grass, rosemary and catnip are some popular ones but there are many to choose from! They would crush the dried herbs and rub the oils from the plants on their bodies and pets or soaps made with the herbs to help keep them at bay! We can still do this today and it’s surprisingly super effective. **pro tip-you can place satchels of dried mint-peppermint esp- to repel mice, snakes, and spiders! Plus it smells nice, a win-win!
My Experiences with combating mosquitoes
I make roller bottles for us based on our age and where we will be going. If I’m combating flies and mosquitoes at a BBQ, I use citronella, eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint, basil, tea tree, geranium and lavender for myself and cedar wood, citronella, cinnamon bark, geranium, lavender and lemongrass for my littles(2+).
***Some oils should not be used for certain ages. I tailor our oils by age and needs. Be careful with your oils with children, they are potent and need to be diluted properly.*** If we are going camping and will be tromping through the woods, I bring the mosquito roller but bring one for ticks. For ticks, I formulate it slightly differently. Ticks absolutely HATE rose geranium, geranium, thyme, sage, rosemary, lemongrass, lavender and eucalyptus but they also dislike cedar wood, citronella, lemon, patchouli, and spearmint which are safe options for babies(3 months and up) and toddlers. Combined with lavender, it’s an effective but safe option for your young ones. As they get older, you can add in the most effective oils as they hit the safe age zone.
To use, apply directly to the skin that will be exposed, concentrating on areas around ankles, legs, places they love to bite or crawl up. A spray can be made and used on clothes. You could also use an oil difuser bracelet or necklace! **Be careful if your little one is still in the everything goes into the mouth phase, keep the oils off their hands. We have had a lot of luck with ours and only have a few bites between us.
-Kris in the Kitchen-
*** I’m not a doctor. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Possible skin sensitivity may occur, always test skin and properly dilute essential oils. Keep out of reach of children. If pregnant or under doctors care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears and sensitive areas.