I love the sunshine, the gardening, the warm nights watching the stars. What's not to love? What I could do without is the bugs!!!
I do my best to respect nature & I can appreciate all the good that Ladybugs, Bees & Spiders (Arachnids, I know) do for the environment but do the ants, beetles & “BIG” wolf spiders have to come in my house?
I like to use essential oil whenever possible to “repel” the bugs. Some of my favorites:
Peppermint & Spearmint
Eucalyptus Radiata or Citriodora
my all-time favorite Lemongrass.
( I do like to use Catnip essential oil, but every time I do, my cats go a little, okay, a lot crazy)
These essential oils are more appropriate to use around older children & adults.
If you have younger children (age 2 – 8) essential oils that you may want to consider are Geranium, Rosalina, Tea Tree & Spearmint just to name a few.
I have an all-purpose bug repellent that I use most of the time, but for certain situations or specific bugs I will use some of the following essential oils:
Ants: Make a blend of 6 drops of Peppermint & 6 drops Spearmint essential oil to 250 ml of water. Shake well before using. Spray around doorways & windows, especially the window screens. (Use caution if you have young children)
If you have a lot of ants entering your home , I find that Peppermint works best. Apply a few drops to a cotton ball & place wherever you see ants entering, like window sills or by patio doors, behind your fridge or under your sinks. Refresh as needed. *Don’t use this method if you have young children & pets.
Flies & Mosquitoes: Using Geranium, Lemongrass & Cedarwood in your diffuser or as a room spray would be a good choice. * If you have young children, Lavender & Rosalina would be a good alternative.
Wasps & Hornets: Try diffusing a blend of Cedarwood, Patchouli & Eucalyptus Radiata essential oils. Geoff Lyth suggests putting a few drops of your blend on a folded paper napkin or tissue & leaving it on the picnic table by the food to discourage wasps & hornets. A simple but brilliant idea!!! I wish that I had thought of it.
DON’T USE LAVENDER IN THIS BLEND as wasps and hornets may be more attracted to it.
If you have really young children omit the Eucalyptus Radiata in the blend.
Moths: Cedar chests were used to store clothes & linens, so of course Cedarwood is a good essential oil to use for moths. Peppermint or lemongrass are also an oils to consider. Use cotton balls and tuck them into corners of closet shelves or dresser drawers.
Don’t put essential oils directly on fine textiles
Cedarwood or Spearmint are better choices if you have younger children.
In the garden...
To use essential oils in the garden, make a plant spray with 10 - 12 drops of an essential oil or blend to 250 ml of water.
Shake well before use.
Aphids: a plant spray made with water and a blend of some of the following: Coriander, Spearmint, Peppermint, Cedarwood, or Hyssop.
*Use Coriander, Spearmint or Spearmint if you have younger children.
Slugs & Snails: Make a plant spray with water, Cedarwood, Pine, Clove Bud or Patchouli essential oil or use a blend. Spray on the plants that slugs like to snack on. (I find that slugs love my Basil Plants.)
*Use Spearmint or Cedarwood, if you have young children working with you in the garden.
**Be sure to wash your vegetables or herbs before use.
So whether you are going on a picnic, going camping or enjoying your garden, I wish you a Happy, Aromatic & Bug-Free Summer…
***As always, use caution around babies and young children or if you are pregnant.
My blog is for information only & is not meant to replace medical advice.
Essential Oils are not for ingestion& should always be diluted before topical use.
Davis, Patricia. Aromatherapy an A-Z. New revised edition, Vermilion, an imprint of Edbury Publishing, a Random House Company, 2005
Lawless, Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils in Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health & Well-being. London: Thorsons, Updated Edition, 2014.
Worwood, Valerie Ann, The Complete Guide of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy, MacMillan London, Ltd 1990, (And the updated version, 2016) www.quinessence.com/blog/essential-oils-natures-best-insect-repellents www.naturesgift.com/aromatherapy-information/hints-tips/household/#Pest-Free Pets http://birchhillhappenings.com/garden.htm