Commercially produced, chemical based insect repellents have catastrophic effects on our environment as well as our health and should be avoided, as far as possible. There are many natural options that can be used as insect repellents, which are extremely effective. In this context, herbs and essential oils form the best bet. Apart from being effective as insect repellents, they are also non-toxic and risk-free for humans. This article suggests some tips on how to use natural insect repellents to keep insects at bay. You will also get to know which herbs and essential oils could be used as insect repellents.
How To Use Natural Insect Repellents
- Flies can be kept away from your home by hanging bunches of basil, feverfew, lavender, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, tansy, thyme and wormwood to dry in your window.
- Boil walnut leaves for 20-30 minutes, to make a decoction and then pour the 'tea' around your house, to prevent the ants from making their way into your home. You can also draw a line of peppermint oil across their paths.
- Carry a handful of fresh elder leaves to keep the bugs at a distance, while walking in the woods. Crumple the leaves and rub on your neck, face and arms. The volatile oils released by the leaves will not allow the bugs to come close to you. Fill your pocket with leaves, if you are out for a long time, as the smell wears out after half an hour. Take care not to ingest elder leaves, by any chance.
- Chamomile or elder leaves can also be used for keeping away the bugs. Prepare a 'repellent tea' and keep it stored in a spray container to carry with you, on your outdoor excursions.
- Peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, lemongrass and lavender are the best essential oils to repel bugs.
- To repel moths from the woolens, keep strewing herbs between the layers of linens and woolens, when you store them. Use a sprinkling of lavender, a comforter, and another layer of lavender for blankets. You will not have to use moth balls and your woolens will smell much better.
- Citronella, a well-known natural insect repellent, is used in outdoor candles and patio torches. Citronella essential oil can be purchased from the market and used as the basis of an insect-repellent. Blend it with lavender or mint and mix it with water. Store it in a spray container and shake the bottle well before using.
- Peppermint, lemongrass, spearmint and lavender repel fleas, while ticks are repelled by lavender, lemongrass, sage and thyme.
- Insect repellent sprays can also be made by combining rubbing alcohol (or witch hazel, vodka, or olive oil) with one of the essential oils (about 10-to-1, alcohol-to-oil ratio). Shake well before each use.
- Mix two ounces olive oil and about 120 drops essential oil. Put the water into a deep mixing bowl. Use a wire whip to beat it, while slowly drizzling in the olive oil. After oil is mixed into the distilled water, stir in the essential oil of your choice (citronella is believed to be the most effective). Use it as an insect repellent.