5 Ways to Repel Insects Naturally
Did you know that Catnip Oil spray is reported to be ten times more effective than DEET (the unsavory toluene based chemical used in commercial insect sprays)? With rising concerns about the toxicity of conventional chemically-based insect repellents, natural alternatives for people and pets are gaining popularity:
Rose Geranium. Rose Geranium has been used as an extremely potent repellent for ticks. Rose Geranium can be applied directly to your dog's collar, or try the following blend as a tick repellent for both you and your dog: 20 drops of Rose Geranium Oil, 3 drops of Citronella Oil and Bay Leaf Tincture in 10 ounces of water. Spray this on your dog, your dog's bed, your clothes, and exposed areas.
- Catnip Oil spray. Reported to be ten times more effective than DEET (the toluene based chemical used in commercial insect sprays), Taos Herb Company's Catnip Oil Spray is an all natural alternative for pesky insects.
- Neem Oil has been used as a mosquito, flea, and tick repellent.
Put a bit of neem oil on your hands and rub it all over your dog's coat. It's a great conditioner and gives her coat a beautiful shine, and it also keeps away fleas, ticks (to some extent), mites, mosquitoes and other biting critters.
Pour 10 oz. of organic jojoba oil or organic aloe vera gel through the funnel into a spray bottle. The jojoba oil or aloe vera gel serves as a base to dilute the neem oil. Pour 1/2 oz. of organic neem oil through the funnel into the bottle.
Shake the natural neem tick repellent before each use. Spray it lightly onto the fur of pets, avoiding the face, once every two weeks. Apply the neem oil liberally onto your skin before hiking or going into wooded areas.
Neem Oil for Landscaping
Neem oil is an organic pest control remedy that is simple and effective on controlling repels aphids, thrips or whitefly. The greatest benefit of using neem oil is that it doesn't harm beneficial insects: Butterflies, earthworms, and bees all help plants pollinate and absorb nutrients.
Oil of Citronella has been used for over 50 years as an insect repellent and as an animal repellent. Our Taos Herb Co. Bug Me Not Repellant Spray is a combination of Citronella, Mint, Rosemary, and Thyme essential oils.
Citronella, Lemongrass, Cedarwood, Garlic and Cinnamon oils have traditionally been applied externally to exposed neck, ankles, and hands to discourage biting gnats.
- Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus has been used as a mosquito repellent in Europe, Latin America, and Australia and in Asia since the 1980s. It's pleasant smell and feel on the skin make it preferable mosquito protection to those with sensitive skin and irritable olfactory senses. Mosquito repellents with oil of lemon eucalyptus are much less harsh on the skin compared to mosquito repellents containing DEET.
Natural Jungle Juice Recipe
A blend of essential oils of clove, peppermint, and lemon.
Tested in the jungles of cambodia and Brazil, Jungle Juice has been shown to be effective for up to six hours against mosquitoes, flies, ticks and gnats, including the Brazilian sand fly. It contains no citronella oil and has a pleasant, spicy aroma.
All Purpose Insect/Tick Repellent Spray Recipe:
20 drops Rose Geranium
3 drops Citronella Oil
3 drops Rosemary or Lavender oil
3 drops Clove Oil
1 Tbsp. Bay Pure Essential Oil
2 Tbsp. Black Walnut Hull Extract
Mix the essential oils together, then add 1 cup of either water or aloe vera gel, or a combination of the two. The rose geranium will help repel ticks, citronella repels mosquitoes, black walnut repels flies and fleas and rosemary, like lavender and clove, is an all-purpose repellent.
Basic Essential Oil Repellent Recipe
10 to 25 drops essential oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (olive oil is fine)
1 tablespoon aloe vera gel (optional)
Combine the ingredients in a glass jar. Shake to blend. Dab a few drops on your skin or clothing.
Note: Dilute, Dilute, Dilute
Essential Oils are very concentrated and must be used carefully. Some essential oils can aggravate the skin. Undiluted essential oil of pennyroyal and cinnamon oil can be dangerous to pets.
Animals can have a severe allergic or toxic reaction to many products. Exercise caution when making choices for your pets (and you). Cats may not tolerate all essential oils. Some companies adding essential oils to their products are using perfume quality essential oils, not therapeutic grade. These usually contain 90-95% solvents so their cost is a fraction of what it takes to distill pure grade oils.
If you have any questions, please consult your Veterinarian before using essential oils on your pets.
*Research for this article was gleaned from The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care, by C.J. Puotinan and The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Valeria Ann Worwood.
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Wild Herb Retreat
Learn about the rich diversity of medicinal plants in the forests and high deserts of Northern New Mexico.
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