Deet is nasty (it melts plastic and fishing line!?). Why would you use it when your body absorbs up to 70% of what you put on your skin? Here’s an easy do-it-yourself bug spray recipe that really works and even smells great (with additional health benefits other than repelling bugs). Our family was hiking a few weeks ago up Blue Mountain, in the woods, and none of the black flies were around the kids and I, only their father who had not put on any of the spray (and he was the one that noticed this).
Just takes a little effort to head to your health food store to buy the following ingredients :
(I’ve actually used this spray on bug bites as witch hazel and many of the essential oils used can also be used to help relieve itch from bug bites. Other itch relievers: apple cider vinegar (ACV), lavender essential oil (yes it can go directly on the skin), cold spoon (leave one in the freezer during bug season) or baking soda paste (mixed with water).
deet free, gluten free, vegan
• 100 ml witch hazel* (topical astringent) (approx 1/2 cup – 4 oz)
• 7-8 drops citronella (repels mosquitos)
• 7-8 drops lemongrass (repels mosquitos)
• 5 drops peppermint (repels bugs and pests) or lavender (repels fleas & mosquitos)
• 5 drops tea tree (good for ticks – or rose geranium)
(Other essential oils that can also be used: basil, chamomile, cinnamon, cedar, cypress, clove, bergamot and calendula. Cedar wood repels mosquitos and insects in general, think I will buy some to add to my mix above.)
pour, drop and mix:
• all of the above ingredients, filling a 4 oz or 8 oz spray bottle (also found in health food stores or dollar stores)
(*if you prefer oil based 2 tbsp of carrier oil instead)
to double the recipe:
• with 2 bottles of witch hazel (to make 8 oz) or i’ve heard some use half water or apple cider vinegar instead of more witch hazel (which would definitely help if you are using to relieve bug bites); I’ve also heard some use 100% ACV though it will stink when it’s wet.
hold the spray bottle close to your skin to be sure to cover your skin well
If you’re feeling cranky about buying some of these essential oils just do a search and find out other uses for them. Feel good about doing your body good