Swatting bugs away from you is never fun, especially during the hot summer months. Chances are that when patience expires, you reach for a can of bug repellent. But this is not always the best choice. Read on to discover more eco-friendly and natural bug repellent options.
Bug Repellent Precautions
Insect repellent comes in a variety of forms, such as liquids, aerosols or creams. DEET is a chemical that is commonly used in bug repellent.
Although it is regarded as safe, DEET is hailed as an eye irritant that can cause blisters, soreness or rashes when applied to the skin. It has also been tied to possible neurological problems. Duke University Medical Center found that DEET causes behavioral changes in rats.
It is important to be cautious when applying DEET-containing creams to children. Although small amounts are considered safe, there are still precautions that need to be adhered to, both with DEET and other bug repellents. One must not use them in closed areas as it’s not good to breathe in the chemicals. It’s also important to wash one’s clothing after it has been exposed to bug repellent. It’s not a good idea to use DEET products on your skin if you have applied sunscreen as DEET makes sunscreen less effective. Added to this, the danger is that using sunscreen and DEET simultaneously can overexpose your children to the DEET because you need to reapply the sunscreen often.
Natural Bug Repellent Recipe
Sometimes it’s safer to use a natural bug repellent than one that contains chemicals because there are always possible side-effects when chemicals are used.
1. Fill half a spray bottle with boiled water
2. Add witch hazel to fill the remainder of the bottle.
3. Add about 50 drops of essential oils. These oils repel insects because of their smells, but they will also smell good on your skin. Some essential oils that are known to repel insects include lavender, eucalyptus, lemon and rosewood. You can learn more about these essential oils here.
Vinegar is often used in natural eco-friendly cleaning tips because it is a powerful product that leaves the home feeling fresh. It also contains natural anti-bacterial properties. Adding vinegar to a natural insect repellent is therefore a good idea. It is especially good when keeping ants at bay. Wipe the area in your home where you have seen ants with a 50-50 mixture of vinegar and water.
Get Rid of Mosquitos
There are various natural repellent ideas to keep mosquitos away. Oils such as eucalyptus, citronella and rosemary are especially effective. Planting marigolds and Thai Lemon grass in the garden can also help to repel mosquitos because of their scent.
If you have pets but you’re worried about fleas, make sure you use a natural flea repellent instead of harmful chemicals that can be dangerous for your pet. Cut a lemon into quarters and cover it with boiling water. Let the lemon pieces soak overnight, then spray the mixture on your dog. Focus on spraying on his head and behind his ears. Also spray at the base of his tail and under his legs. Make sure you don’t spray the mixture into his eyes, though!
How are you going to replace chemical bug repellent with natural alternatives? Tell us in the comments box below!