Summer is the time of year we look to get out of the house and into the wild. Unfortunately, summer is also the time the wild tries to get into your house… I’m talking about bugs! Depending on where you live the type and severity of your bug problems during the summer months will vary, but its almost a certainty no matter where you are, you will find bugs and they will find you. Preventing these encounters between man and bug has become a billion dollar industry.
It has also become an industry that is full of toxic chemicals that are bad for us and our pets (who often are exposed to these chemicals in high doses as they sniff the ground and other surfaces). It’s not only our homes that we spray with these chemicals, we spray them directly on ourselves as we head out to camp or enjoy the outdoors! Luckily, there are alternatives. Did you know that in nature plants and animals create their own insect repellents? They create natural compounds that often work just as good if not better than store bought products that are toxic and laced with chemicals. However, lets first look at the risks you and your family take when you use conventional store bought insect repellents.
Most conventional, store bought insect repellents use a chemical called DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). Roughly 30% of Americans will be exposed to DEET this summer. Children of course are the most vulnerable to the side affects which include nausea, headaches, rashes and dizziness. A Duke University Pharmacologist, Mohammad Abou-Donia (with over 20 years of experience in researching pesticides) says research tests on rats indicate memory loss and other behavioral changes after prolonged exposure to DEET. In fact, the Toxic Substances and Disease registry lists 8 deaths directly associated with DEET ingestion or topical application.
But that does not have to leave us vulnerable as there are effective natural solutions. Let’s look at two of the most common problems associated with bug control, mosquitos and ants.
Did you know that a mosquito can smell you from 50 yards away? In the US alone there are over 200 species of mosquitoes and almost all of them can ruin a perfectly good time outdoors. The males are not a problem, but the females are thirsting for the protein and iron in your blood in order to help them produce eggs. In some cases, preventing mosquito bites is a life and death situation as they can carry diseases such as Malaria and West Nile Virus.
In order to prevent mosquito bites, there are a few things you can do such as planting marigolds around your house and yard, building a bat house to solicit their help and also (and this is big) eliminate standing water such as in pools, ponds and bird baths. These are breeding grounds.
You can also use a combination Lemon and Eucalyptus essential oil and a carrier oil such as hazel, vodka or olive oil. Think 10% essential oil. If you use 100ml of carrier oil, use 10ml of Lemon Eucalyptus oil. You can also use Citronella oil. Both must be used with a carrier oil and not directly applied to your skin.
DIY Mosquito Repellant
6 drops Lavender Essential Oil
5 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil
3 Tbsp Vodka
Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle and add water to fill up the bottle. Spray away!
How to purchase essential oils —-> HERE