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Natural Bug Repellents and Remedies

Natural Bug Repellents and Remedies

Essential oils $19.99 (although, prices do vary) | Small driftwood $1.99

Fish flies, mosquitos, and ticks, oh my!

It seems those pesky bugs have finally made their summer arrival. And boy, did they arrive with a bang! One evening I was outside, living my best life, and the next night, I couldn’t stop smacking those darn mosquitos, then the next night…fish fly apocalypse!

While the fish fly season is short lived, we have to put up with the ticks and mosquitos for the whole summer. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to let some bothersome bugs keep me and my family from enjoying the outdoors. At the same time, I’m not comfortable dousing our bodies in chemicals every time we step out the door. Luckily, there are plenty of natural remedies to ward off the bugs.

We can begin by creating an atmosphere that is less inviting to bugs with specific plants. In the summer months I try to arm my seating area with combinations of lemongrass, lavender, citronella, catnip, and rosemary.

Anouk Spanish Lavender Tree $39.99 (40% OFF) 

For many plants that claim to be mosquito repelling, you need to actually break open the leaves to release the oils. Which is perfectly fine by me. If breaking some leaves helps against the army of mosquitos, sign me up! Catnip and Citronella both carry strongly scented oils in their foliage that help to deter mosquitos. You can simply rip up the leaves and leave them on plates nearby. With citronella you can also break off some pieces and roll it around in your hands to release the citrusy oils. See how much oil two little leaves produce?

Lavender emits a scent that most bugs find offensive. Although one plant isn’t enough to really defend your space. If you are truly committed to reducing the pesky bugs in your yard, consider planting 5 – 10 lavender plants around your deck or seating area. Lavender bushes are perennials, and like full sun. So, if your space is suitable for growing, this one-time lavender investment will help fend off bugs in the years ahead. Plus, lavender has multiple uses. It can be used in herbal teas, flower bouquets, and for flavouring sugar. Added bonus, rabbits dislike it too! So, planting lots of lavender could keep the bunnies from nibbling at your garden.
Homemade mosquito and tick repellent can also be made using essential oils. If you go online and search, you will find many blends of oils to keep these bugs off your skin. And if you have a diffuser at home, there’s a good chance that you already have some of the recommended oils.

Anna’s carries a book of Essential oil diffuser recipes that, amongst many other uses, has a chapter dedicated to seasonal defense. If you love to use essential oils and have a diffuser at home, I highly recommend this book.
There are countless recipes online, and they differ for the type of bug you are trying to repel, but many have overlapping oils. For the most part you can blend any combination of the recommended oils, just be sure to keep the oil ratio under 15%, otherwise, it could irritate your skin.
  • Mosquitos – lemon, eucalyptus, citronella, peppermint, lavender, and patchouli oils are to help repel mosquitos
  • Ticks – cedarwood, lavender and tea tree oil will help keep the ticks away
  • Flies – lavender, patchouli, peppermint, and eucalyptus oils are recommended to fend off flies    

 Tea Tree Oil $19.99 | French Lavender $19.99 Peppermint $19.99 | Lemongrass $19.99

Insect Repellent Spray

  • 2 oz distilled or boiled water
  • 1.5 oz vodka or witch hazel
  • 20 drops of lemongrass essential oil
  • 25 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 15 drops tea tree essential oil

Simply add this to a dark spray bottle and shake before using!
I really like to use the tinted plant misters for this, if you're spraying it on clothes it just helps prevent big droplets from saturating your fabric. 

(As an aside, if you are pregnant or applying to children under the age of 2, check with your physician first.)

And if you aren’t a big essential oil user, and don’t care to purchase a whole bottle of each type of oil, Anna’s has you covered with some pre-blended roller sticks and oils created to defend against bugs.

Defense Essential Oil $19.99  | SpaRoom Protect Roll-On Essential Oils Blend $14.99

Lastly, another great tool to add to your arsenal against bugs are cinnamon and citronella scented fire starters. These can really help decrease the amount of pesks flying around by the campfire in the evening.

Firestarters $19.99

I hope these tips help with the never-ending summer battle of the bugs! Happy summer everyone!

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