Friday, May 30, 2014

homemade natural bug spray ¦ simple living

it's that time of year...the bugs are out, more specifically, the mosquitoes. while all bugs serve a purpose in nature, let's face it! mosquito bites suck. i really do try to avoid using commercially prepared bug spray...it's full of chemicals that get absorbed into your system via your skin that are just not good for you! but in order to avoid the mosquito-geddon that happens when it's damp and cool, i have resorted in past years to using store bought sprays.
 this year i said no more! this, apparently, is my year to finally start making all the DIY natural versions i have been wanting to try for awhile now...deodorant, laundry soap...bug spray!
today i bring you a homemade natural bug spray, that so far is off to an amazing start in my house! i first tried the spray the morning after rain, in the cool damp morning while i was gardening...a most opportune time for mosquitoes to feast! and i am very happy to report that, not only did i not get bit...but i didn't have to bat at mosquitoes while they tried to find an hole through the spray. that morning they gave me a very wide berth :) and since then my children and husband have also used the spray with the same amount of success.
bug spray is super easy to make, after some time spent googling recipes, reading about which essential oils worked and why, i settled on using the guidelines from this blog and adapting the oil choices to my family's needs.
homemade natural bug spray

ingredients
4oz distilled water (or boil water and let cool)
4oz witch hazel (i have read vodka can used here instead)
100-150 drops essential oil, choose one or a combination from the list below
  • peppermint
  • citronella
  • lemon
  • eucalyptus
  • lavender
  • lemongrass
  • tea tree 
  • geranium
  • basil
  • oregano
  • rosewood
  • orange
  • thyme
  • catnip
  • clove
  • cedarwood
  • juniper
method
 mix the water and witch hazel in a clean spray bottle, add essential oil and shake to mix.

the oil combination i used is
citronella 60 drops
peppermint 50 drops
lemon 15 drops
eucalyptus 15 drops

witch hazel is an emulsifier and keeps the oils and water from separating.
had i not just run out of tea tree and lavender i would have used those as well.
as always, whenever working with oils, please pay attention to their properties and which ones are safe for children, pregnant woman, etc.

happy friday and i hope that you enjoy a bug free weekend!

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