Do you like being outdoors? Me too! Sunscreen applied, Hat, Sun Glasses, Water Bottle.... Are we forgetting something?
That's right! The Insect Repellent!
Did you know, that one of the most widely used ingredients in store-bought conventional bug sprays for personal use is N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide, or DEET, as it’s commonly known. According to the site ‘Green Your Body’ DEET is: “One of the most widely used ingredients in store-bought conventional bug sprays for personal use is N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide, or DEET, as it’s commonly known. DEET, which is designed to repel, rather than kill, insects. DEET is used by an estimated one-third of the US population each year. Although DEET is approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is a known eye irritant and can cause rashes, soreness, or blistering when applied to the skin. Additionally, DEET has been linked to neurological problems; according to the EPA, at least 18 different cases of children suffering adverse neurological effects, as well as the deaths of two adults, have been associated with DEET. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found that DEET causes diffuse brain cell death and behavioral changes in rats. DEET has been shown to have a negative impact on wildlife and water sources in production and during use. DEET is toxic to birds and aquatic life. DEET has been found in approximately 75 percent of U.S. water sources, including the Mississippi River.”
Just like any other skin care product, bug spray can be made inexpensively and naturally at home!
We make two Inscect repellant products that come in either RUB or SPRAY.
The Rub is applied directly onto the skin and is absorbed by the skin - it is made using natural oils (Organic Coconut Oil and Sweet Almond Oil with Beeswax added for thickening) The Spray is applied to the clothes, shoes or hair, because repeated application of spray is recommended when used on skin. You see, it is Water and Witch Hazel/Alcohol based, both evaporate easily from the skin. So, the BASE is different (Oils+Beeswax in the rub, Water+Alcohol (or Witch Hazel) in the Spray). Neither Base is an Insect Repellent by itself - it only serves as a base for the Essential Oils.
The Essential Oils are the KEY INGREDIENTS to keep the bugs away. We only use Pure, Undiluted, Organic Essential oils in our Bug Off! products, and I was asked numerous times, What oils do create the Insect Shield? Citronella, Eucalyptus, Cedarwood, Lemongrass, Lavender, Tea Tree, Patchouli, Litsea, and Catnip. This is our combination of oils. You can also add Geranium for keeping the ticks away! In my opinion, the oil-based rubs work much better than the water-based sprays, which evaporate easily and needs re-applying to keep you protected against mosquitoes. Our skin rubs are oil-based and are designed to be absorbed to lock the smell in.
One of the customers said, that she had a GREAT experience using all-natural Insect Repellent product with Witch Hazel and Essential Oils in the past, and is skeptical about the Bug OFF! Rub, because it does not have the Witch hazel in it. The Witch Hazel is popular natural remedy for many skin problems, including: Itching, Inflammation, Injury, Insect bites, Bruises and minor burns, Varicose veins, and Hemorrhoids. It is NOT an Insect Repellent, but is USED in Spray-making to combine the Essential Oils with Water and because it creates a nice layer on your skin, helping the oils stick to it.
Directions: In a double boiler melt together the oils, buttrs and beeswax. Add Essential Oils and mix well. Pour the mixture into a glass container with lid. Apply directly onto skin.
All-Natural Tick Repellent for Pets
Ingredients: • Essential Oils: Rose geranium, Lemongrassl, Cedar wood – 60 drops total • Alcohol, Filtered water (4 oz) – for Spray • Olive Oil – 4 oz for oily rub Directions (for Spray): Fil spray bottle with Alcohol , add Essential Oils, Shake. Fill with Water to the top. Done! Directions for Oil – Mix Olive Oil with the Essential Oils. Done!
Below are just a few other recipes to make your own natural Insect Repellent: (found on http://wellnessmama.com/2565/homemade-bug-spray/)
All Natural Homemade Essential Oil Bug Spray
Ingredients: 1. Essential oils: choose from Citronella, Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Cajeput, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Catnip, Lavender, Mint – total of 60 drops 2. Natural Witch Hazel – 1 Tablespoon (*can also use clear alcohol instead) 3. Distilled or boiled Water – 4 oz Directions: Fil spray bottle with Witch Hazel, add Essential Oils, Shake. Fill with Water to the top. Done!
All-Natural Homemade Fresh or Dried Herbs Bug Spray
Ingredients: 1. Distilled water 2. Witch hazel or rubbing alcohol 3. Dried herbs: peppermint, spearmint, citronella, lemongrass, catnip, lavender, etc. I recommend using at least one herb from the mint family. Directions: Boil 1 cup of water and add 3-4 TBSP of dried or fresh herbs total in any combination from the above. I use 1 TBSP each of peppermint, spearmint, catnip and lavender, and also throw in a couple of dried cloves. Mix well, cover and let cool (covering is important to keep the volatile oils in!) Strain herbs out and mix water with 1 cup of witch hazel or rubbing alcohol. Store in a spray bottle in a cool place (fridge is great because then its nice and cool!) Use as needed. Added bonus: it smells great and is very refreshing to the skin!
Super Strong Vinegar of the Four Thieves Insect Repellent Recipe
Fair warning: this stuff stinks when it is wet, though the smell disappears as it dries. It works incredibly well though, and this is the one I use when I’m going to be in the woods or in tick infested areas. It is based on a recipe that was supposedly used by thieves during the Black Plague to keep from getting sick. They used it internally and externally to avoid catching the disease and to keep the flies and other pests away. According to legend, it worked and they survived… but it definitely makes a great insect repellent these days! Its also very inexpensive to make and you probably already have the ingredients in your kitchen! Ingredients: 1. 32 ounce bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar 2. 2 TBSP each of dried Sage, Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme and Mint 3. At least quart size glass jar with airtight lid Directions: Put the vinegar and dried herbs into large glass jar. Seal tightly and store on counter or place you will see it daily. Shake well each day for 2-3 weeks. After 2-3 weeks, strain the herbs out and store in spray bottles or tincture bottles, preferably in fridge. To use on skin, dilute to half with water in a spray bottle and use as needed. Use whenever you need serious bug control!
(Note: This mixture is very strong and has antiviral and antibacterial properties. It can also be used as a tincture for any illness. For adults, dose is 1 TBSP in water several times a day, for kids over 2, dose is 1 tsp in water several times a day. More on this in an upcoming post!)
Other Simple Insect Repelling Ideas
• Use a non-toxic, plastic-free insect-repelling band, which is easier to use on children and very effective.
• Rub fresh or dried leaves of anything in the mint family all over skin to repel insects (peppermint, spearmint, catnip, pennyroyal, etc or citronella, lemongrass, etc) Basil is also said to repel mosquitoes and I’ve used fresh basil leaves in the garden with great success before!
• Use Insect Repellent Essential Oils in Vapors and Candles. Make sure they are pure Essential Oils and not toxic Fragrance Oils!