Home recipes for herbs, teas and oils - Natural Beauty and Family Health
Homemade Insect Repellents
Getting rid of insects, pests, and mosquitoes. There are many benefits of using natural insect repellent remedies rather than commercial sprays based on toxins. When I am in the backyard garden for a few hours, I would much rather spritz myself with a great smelling, homemade spray made with witch hazel and essential oils than bath my body with chemicals. For those times when you want to opt for something stronger, try neem oil (smelly but effective). Neem stands out as one of the most highly effective, but non-toxic insecticides, although the smell, reminiscent of sweaty gym socks, can take some getting used to. Neem contains more than 25 active compounds that combat insects. Insect repellents made from wormwood and rue are another strong remedy to keep off biting insects. Crushed garlic is an other good and smelly addition to any homemade insecticide spray. Garlic cloves, placed in the ground around plants will deter slugs and act as a natural pesticide against mosquito larvae.
A strong tea made of feverfew makes a non-toxic flea rinse for your pet, pour boiling water over the fresh herbs and let stand until completely cooled. Wet the fur and skin thoroughly. Do not towel dry or rinse. The same skin wash gives protection for humans as well, let the tea dry on your skin to gain protection against biting mosquitoes, flies and gnats. Feverfew is botanically related to chrysanthemum and tansy, both plants are good contact insecticides. Calendula flowers and comfrey leaves can also be used in homemade insect repellents and remedies for the bites than do occur. Growing these plants in the garden helps to protect tastier plants from the voracious appetites of insects and pests. 1
Essential oils provide and the easiest and best smelling way to keep insects at bay. Use them in a base of vodka, witch hazel, carrier oil or purified water. Pennyroyal has been used as a natural insect repellent for centuries and is one the strongest essential oils used for this purpose. A very little goes a long way. Linalool (Demize), a citrus peel extract, is a natural, fast-acting flea killer, giving short residual control. Other botanicals include d-Limonene (Flea-Stop), citronella and lemongrass oil, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, rosemary, and tea tree oil.2 Spray house and garden plants with geranium oil diluted in distilled water to discourage larvae from feeding. Oil of lemon eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora ) provides protection against mosquito bites, according to the CDC. Add 1 to 2 drops (depending on your pets size), of lemongrass or citronella essential oil to your pets shampoo. It adds a fresh clean scent and discourages fleas and biting mosquitoes. Use dried lavender flowers and thyme in sachet bags to protect clothes against moths, and in floral arrangements to deter flies and mosquitoes. Always reapply essential oils frequently, as they evaporate quickly.
Ants seem to mount an home invasion every spring where I live. The kitchen and bathroom counters are no place for toxic chemicals. Thankfully ants dislike peppermint, and detest clove oil. you can prevent them from entering by scenting cotton balls, spraying along shelves,and entryways.