The herbs thyme, lemongrass and basil oils are often used for repellents and smell really good also! When using essential oils, be sure to dilute them with a carrier oil or a lotion.
Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and is also antibacterial and antifungal. The natural solvent proprieties in Tea tree oil actually help dissolve insect toxins in existing bites, stop itching and heal the bitten area. In fact, making Tea tree oil a part of your home first aid kit would be ideal.
Citronella candles can help keep away ticks, flies and misquotes. The ingredients in these often contain these same essential oils and have a pleasant smell.
Other effective ingredients for keeping the bugs away include:
- Lemon eucalyptus
- Rose geranium
- Pennyroyal (effective on a variety of biting insects- including chiggers, fleas, flies, gnats, ticks and mosquitoes)
- Patchouli and neem (Neem has been used for thousands of years to repel insects)
If you like the convenience of just buying a bug repellant off the shelf, go for an all natural, organic brand from the health food store. Chances are, these will contain most of the ingredients above. (I like Badger Anti-Bug Balm)
If your home is being invaded with ants this summer, try peppermint oil. Add two teaspoons to a cup of water and spray it anywhere you see ants. You can also use peppermint oil on your skin.
Enjoy a bug-free summer in the back yard or at the park, without bugs and without harmful toxins !