Keep Bugs Away with these Essential Oils
What do you love about summer? For me, it’s spending time outside with my family…without electronics!! But with the warmer weather, comes the bugs. Spiders in the garage, ants in the kitchen, and mosquitoes biting us while we’re trying to relax in the backyard. Bugs are everywhere this time of year.
Thankfully, essential oils can help keep those bugs away!
What is DEET & Why Should You Avoid it?
DEET is short for N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (also known as N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) and is a member of the toluene chemical family. Toluene is an organic solvent used in rubber and plastic cements and paint removers. When DEET is sprayed on your skin, it will be absorbed into your bloodstream.
DEET is a chemical that is meant to kill insects and has been linked to the following:
- Skin irritation
- Numb or burning lips
- Difficulty concentrating
It gets worse, prolonged use of DEET has been found to cause brain cell death and behavioral changes.
It’s important to remember that there are over 100,000 chemicals in use today. And about 80,000 of them have not been found to be safe for human health and DEET is just one of them.
Toxicity is something that should be of real concern to all of us because toxins are poisonous substances that are believed to cause – or at least contribute to – the following:
- Chronic bronchitis
- Skin rashes
- Birth defects
- Chronic cough
- Throat irritation
- Kidney and liver damage
- Nervous system damage
This is why I strongly recommend everyone consider natural remedies, such as essential oils, as a first line of defense over chemical-based products like DEET.
Bug Repellent Essential Oils
I will always look for natural ways to keep myself, my family, and my clients healthy, before turning to anything involving chemicals.
Medicinal-grade essential oils are my secret weapon. Essential oils are amazing natural remedies, that work on a cellular level, and can help a variety of different health and personal care needs.
Here are the essential oils I keep on hand to repel those pesky insects:
- TerraShield – when it comes to outdoor protection, there is no better defense than doTERRA’s TerraShield Outdoor Blend. It contains powerful essential oils and other plant oils, such as ylang ylang, cedarwood, catnip, lemon eucalyptus, litsea, arborvitae, nootka, and vanilla bean absolute. This combination is known to provide outdoor protection in a natural, safe way
- Eucalyptus – eucalyptus containing p-menthane-3,8-diol has similar efficacy compared with DEET repellents, but it’s been found that eucalyptus repelled mosquitoes longer (over 5 hours!).
- Rosemary – rosemary plants themselves actually repel mosquitoes, so it makes sense that oils made from the plant would do the same. Create your repellent blend by mixing 10 to 20 drops of oil per ounce or two of carrier oil in a spray bottle.
- Cedarwood – cedarwood oil is extremely effective at extracting moisture from insects and other bugs, leaving them dehydrated and eventually dead.
- Peppermint – bugs do not like the smell of peppermint, so it’s a natural deterrent against ants, aphids, bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, fruit flies, gnats, head lice, moths, spiders, stink bugs, and wasps.. Add 25 drops peppermint oil to a spray bottle with 1/4 cup distilled water and 2 tablespoons of witch hazel.
- Melaleuca – not only does melaleuca prevent bugs from bothering you, it’s also great at treating bug bites. Apply 1 drop of oil to affected area.
- Cinnamon – according to a study, “cinnamon oil shows promise as a great-smelling, environmentally friendly pesticide, with the ability to kill mosquito larvae more effectively than DEET” (source).
- Lemongrass – closely related to citronella, lemongrass s a great insect repellent. It’s even better when you combine it with eucalyptus or rosemary oil.
Diffusing any combination of these oils or adding them to your natural bug repellent spray bottle are great solutions to ward off pests.
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