Friday, June 3, 2011

Bug Off

For other natural bug repellants:
Getting rid of fleas
Keeping fleas away
Bed Bugs

I used to live in Panama.  It was tropical and beautiful!  We got to grow bananas and pineapples in our back yard, watch monkeys and toucans playing in the trees and even got to see a sloth that crawled up right beside the sliding glass door on the back of our house.  Oh, and I'll never forget the day our dog chased a 5 foot iguana into our house and under our couch!!  That was a little more nerve wracking than the geckos that lived with us.  (OK, a LOT more.)  Overall, I loved the experiences we had while we lived there.  Exotic birds and tropical fruits.  The water was so clear, you could wade out shoulder deep and still see your toes!  It was amazing!

But there was one bad thing...bugs!  The bugs were big enough to carry off your little sister.  These big poison trucks would come by every night and spray poison to kill the bugs.  We'd have to go indoors for about a half hour every time the trucks came through.  You could actually see the poison in the air and you could smell it in the house, even with the doors and windows shut.

Looking back, I wonder if the bugs were as bad for you as the poison?  It smelled awful.  I'm amazed that it didn't kill our parakeets that we kept in a cage outside.

Certain people are affected by certain bugs.  My husband and our oldest child don't seem to get as many bites as the other 4 of us do. (Because we are so much sweeter than they are!)

So, what do I do about the bugs?  Spray the kids with poison??  No!  Let the bugs carry them off??  Maybe......

There are certain essential oils that are good (or bad, if you are asking the bug) for different bugs.  Here is a recipe for making your own repellants.

You will have a glass jar of each repellant that you make.  Label each jar according to what bug it repels.  For instance "Mosquitoes", or "ticks"...whatever repellant you make.  Each jar should have a 6 month shelf life.  Try to make only what you will use so that none of it goes bad and your money is not wasted.

The recipe:

10 -25 drops of essential oils
2 table spoons of olive oil or vegetable oil
1 table spoon of Aloe Vera gel (optional...but strongly recommended)

Keep in tiny glass jar and dab just a bit on your skin around ankles, neck and wrists when going out.

Essential oils to chose from:
(Expectant mothers should consult with their doctors before using these repellants.)

Ticks:  Rose Geranium is the best.  Or you could go with: palmerosa, bay, eucalyptus, European pennyroyal, lavender, tickweed (American pennyroyal)

Mosquitoes:  Pennyroyal, lemon balm (citronella), thyme, lavender

Black Flies:  Sassafras, lavender, eucalyptus, pennyroyal, cedar, lemon balm (citronella), peppermint

Fleas:  Orange oil

Head Lice: Tea tree, rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, rose geranium  (I just put a few drops of Tea tree oil in our shampoos)

Other tips:

Eucalyptus keeps spiders away.  

For bees and wasps - don't wear hair spray, perfumes, or sweet smelling deodorants.  Stay away from bright colored clothing. 


  1. e have a lot of ticks and skeeters. Can you wear more than one at a time?

  2. I didn't know that eucalyptus oil keeps spiders away! I'll have to look into that! I have some on hand, and we have brown recluses. :O

  3. Neither mosquitoes or ticks like lavender. You could make a repellent with mostly lavender and a few drops of thyme or penneyroyal rose geranium.
    Just smell them each and be sure you like the way they smell. The idea is to have a good smelling (to you) healthy bug repellant.

  4. I made this up this evening before hubby and I took our 2 year old son and 3 month old twins to visit my parents who were staying at a nearby state park for worked wonderfully until we all started sweating really bad, then we had to reapply...other than that it works like a charm and smells great(we just did lavendar) :) Thanks so much for posting!

  5. I am just beginning on my journey to natural living. I love all your recommendations! Is there a book or website that you would recommend me reading to get me started on all these herbal remedies?

    Also, where is a good place to get all these oils (like tea tree oil, etc.). Thanks!

  6. You can tea tree oil at Wall Mart and you can order them and other essential oils at some health food stores and on line. I will post your question on my facebook page and you can check out several places to buy your oils and chose the one that works the best for you!