Spring and summer are just around the corner and we’re excited to share this list of natural insect repellents and home remedies for insect bites with you! Get ready for the change in season and prepare your natural arsenal to keep the bites and stings to a minimum!
Natural Insect Repellents with Essential OilsChoosing a plant-based protection as your natural repellent is more effective than you may think and using essential oils as a DIY protector is an easy way to create a natural spray that can be used for several days. Each of these recipes call for oil and distilled water so be sure to shake the bottle well as natural separation occurs.
- Lavender and Geranium Oil: Dilutions of 30 drops of either oil in a small spray bottle filled with distilled water will do the trick to protect against ticks and mosquitos.
- Citronella Oil: 30 drops in a small spray bottle of distilled water will keep mosquitos at bay. If you are choosing a product that already contains citronella oil rather than making your own, be sure to pick a blend that contains 5 to 10 percent citronella oil so it will be effective.
- Lemon Eucalyptus Oil: 30 drops in a small spray bottle of distilled water will deter insects. Like citronella oil, you can buy products that contain lemon eucalyptus oil rather than creating a DIY spray but be sure to choose products containing 30 percent or more.
- Soybean Oil: Make your own DIY repellent or choose products that contain at least 2% of this oil that Canada’s National Health Agency recently added to their list of recommended repellents for mosquitos.
- We’ve even got your furry friends covered! Repellent Recipe for Your Dog or Cat: These essential oils are to be blended and applied to the top of your pet’s collar where they are unable to lick. Please note this blend may stain or discolor their collar. 5 drops vetiver, 5 drops lemon eucalyptus, and 10 drops sandalwood.
For extended trips into the wilderness, or where the stinging and biting pests are especially pesky, be sure to reapply these DIY oils frequently or consider something a bit stronger like this product from Herbal Armor.
Other Natural Insect Repellents
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Hanna recommended ingesting 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar each dayto discourage mosquitos from biting.
- Parsley Tea: Brew a strong pot of parsley tea and rub it on the skin after it has cooled. Try adding the tea to a spray bottle (after you have strained the parsley from the water) and use for several days in a row.
- Basil: Hanna used basil as an insect repellent so consider brewing a tea with the same direction of parsley above or use a basil essential oil and add 30 drops to a small spray bottle filled with distilled water.
- Lemon Balm: Hanna’s faith in herbs didn’t stop with parley and basil; she also recommended dried lemon balm as a tea (applied to skin) for repelling insects. You can consider an essential oil for this remedy as well but she shared that ingesting it would also be helpful.
A more extensive list of these natural repellents and the home remedies to follow can be found in Hanna’s books!
Home Remedies for Insect Bites
- Garlic: Cut a clove of garlic and rub the cut side onto a sting or bite to relieve the pain.
- Thyme and Parsley Tea: Brew a strong pot of either of these dried herbs and apply to bites and stings to bring relief and speed healing. Try using dried parsley in a poultice for insect bites or stings as well.
- Ice: It sounds simple, and it is. Applying ice to a bite or sting will help reduce swelling and slow the spread of the itch!
- Soap: Wet a bar of soap and rub it on the bite or sting to bring relief from itching and pain.
- Baking Soda: Make a paste of the soda and water and apply directly to bites to help dry them up and reduce swelling. If you’re in the wilderness, mud will also work!
- Banana Peel: Apply the peel directly to the bite to relieve itching or stinging.
- Oatmeal Bath: A soak in a bath drawn with oatmeal will help to soothe the itchiness and redness of skin from stings and bites. An oatmeal bath is an especially helpful when you’ve been stung or bitten several times and find relaxing (and not scratching!) nearly impossible. If you’d like to keep a stock of premixed, healing packets for this sort of situation, you can look at your local grocery store for products like Aveeno.
Curious what you can do to keep insects away from your garden? Take a look at this list of repellent plants to find out how you can discourage specific insects from setting up shop. Also, consider this list of companions that outlines which plants should and shouldn’t be planted together for the best crop possible and how they work together to keep bugs away.
Spring and summer are wonderful seasons to get outside and enjoy being physically active and if bugs were a factor in keeping you indoors, do some research on which of these natural insect repellents work best for you. Essential oils and home remedies are a wonderful way to address the bites and stings of the warmer months—get out and enjoy!