The Essential Oil Bug Spray Lowdown

The Essential Oil Bug Spray Lowdown

7 minute read

Essential oils are the best way to ward off mosquitoes, naturally.

Did you know most mosquito sprays contain toxic chemicals? Yep. No thanks!

With summer approaching, we all know that familiar buzz of mosquitoes. The zzing that zips past your ears.

Think back to those camping trips, those walks in the woods or that picnic you decide to wrap up early due to fear of the dreaded bite.

So, this time let’s reach for essential oils.

I know, who would have thought essential oils could help against mosquitoes?

Like most moms, I strive for perfection. I try and find the most natural, wholesome, environmental products for my little ones. But it’s not easy right?

Sometimes I just go for convenience, then I fall into a black hole of guilt and feel crap.

So, when it comes to mosquitoes, I want something natural, but I also want something effective.

Most mosquito repellents are loaded with toxic chemicals. The worry is two parts. One, the worry for our kids sensitive, soft skin. The other is the damage these toxic chemicals do to the environment.

And what about us moms?

We have sensitive skin with all the multi-tasking we do. If it’s not doing the dishes and putting out the trash, it’s wiping up after Little Johnny, and our hands bear the brunt.

We need a mosquito repellent that’s gonna look after us too.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could use something that’s good for the environment, and doesn’t cost the earth, literally?

How about saving enough for a massage or a weekend away with the kids?

“Tell me more!”

Look no further than essential oils for mosquito bites and more. They’re awesome at fending off mosquitoes’ inappropriate advances, relieving stress, and bringing on restful sleep.

I bet you’ve forgotten what that is.

As well as using them in your bug spray, why not drop them in a relaxing bath?

(I escape to the bathroom for lengthy periods in the tub and hold my head underwater for a little bit too long. I want some fricking peace and quiet. Just me? Thought not.)

What’s the recipe?

Ways you can use an essential oil as a mosquito repellent:

  1. Directly onto your skin – dilute the oils by mixing with coconut or vegetable oil. Why not mix ingredients while cooking dinner?
  2. Diffuser – drops of essential oil mixed with water. Make your home smell delicious and transport yourself to the top of a tranquil mountain.
  3. Spray – the eco-conscious can dilute oils with water or witch hazel toner - or even vodka (seriously). Make yourself a little cocktail at the same time. Mine’s a Cosmo! Use dark blue or amber glass bottles for your spray, as plastic degrades (and we’re trying to be more Greta and save the environment).

Various great recipes for DIY essential oil bug repellent can be found online. The sprays last 2 hours and are gentle on the skin.

Go crazy.

Lose your inhibitions, like a drunk uncle at a wedding. Become an expert mixologist in your own home with the following oils:

  • Citronella
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Sweet basil
  • Catnip (I know, right? Who knew?)
  • Tea tree oil
  • Clary sage

WARNING: Don’t you go getting desperate and drinking the stuff. We’re all adults, but it’s not good for you okay? Especially neat and on the rocks, with a twist of lime.

Sounds good, but how?

Preamble over.

Down to the nitty-gritty - how to repel mosquitoes.

Isn’t this the reason why you tapped these words into Google? Found yourself here and carried on reading (thank you, sweet reader!).

Some natural scents we humans love, but mosquitoes hate. They retch at the smell and need a long lie down in a dark room, listening to whale music.

We all have different scent preferences, and everyone’s smell is different.

No judgment here!

After a day of running after a toddler, in the same clothes I’ve been wearing for weeks, I have perfected Scent de Moi. It’s a bit like Chanel No 5, just a more homely musk.

Find out what works well for you.

Experiment with the essential oils on your poor guinea pigs trusted and loving family and friends.

Go wild like Hermione in Potion Class at Hogwarts, with a dash of Spring Break!

You could buy different oils, huddle over your cauldron, and brew up unique handmade gifts for your coven. Before you know it, you’ve got a new and creative hobby taking over your life.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to you all! You are welcome.

The Holy Grail of oils, and biggest DEET competitor, is oil of lemon eucalyptus. It contains a compound called PMD which is incredibly effective against mosquitoes.

Please, please don’t get it confused with lemon eucalyptus oil!

They are different.

I know, it blew my mind too. Trust me on this: it has a completely different chemical footprint…YAWN!

For some other oils that mosquitoes really can’t abide. See below:

  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lemongrass
  • Lavender
  • Neem
  • Marigold
  • Catnip
  • Bergamot
  • Eucalyptus

So, there’s something I need to tell you...

Don’t freak out…

Some of these essential oils might entice other bugs.

What?!

I hear you, sister, I do.

It would be remiss of me not to mention it. Bees and butterflies love lemon balm, so watch where you stick that. Unless you’ve got an insect fetish of course, in which case spray it all over you like a virgin on prom night.

Bite Relief

Guess what?

I’ve got some great tips to help you out. Get back on board with me here.

These incredible essential oils repel mosquitoes too. They treat the bites those lousy bloodsuckers leave behind too. More bang for your buck and providing an all-round service!

We’ve all been there, pawing at our skin, making it bleed and weep.

It feels so good, goddamn it.

Mosquitoes love having a nibble. The last thing you want to do is give them a seat in your flesh restaurant. Don’t let them sate their thirst on the tasting menu.

  • Peppermint oil’s cooling properties distract your body from the itch.
  • Tea tree oil is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory. Wow, all the anti’s! Apply directly to skin.
  • Lavender oil is known for its soothing effect. And mosquitoes hate the smell, so it can prevent future bites too.
  • Rosemary oil is effective in repelling mosquitoes for a short time. This powerful option needs to be mixed with coconut or oil.
  • Chamomile oil is another multifaceted fighter against inflammation and infection.

EXTRA BONUS TIP: Make chamomile ice-cubes by brewing chamomile tea. Then freeze it in an ice-cube tray. Both combined will help soothe the irritation.

Mosquito Fun Facts

  • They drink 3 times their own body weight in blood – makes Lost Boys look like a Disney movie.
  • O-type blood is irresistible as a bite target, they can’t get enough of it.
  • Females excrete saliva and pee on bites – something we’ve all thought about doing to our partners. Am I right?!
  • Females are the biters; the males are harmless.
  • The blood of beer drinking humans is like crack to mosquitoes. Our higher body temperature, combined with a boozy scent, is the reason we often get bitten in the evening.

So…

Lavender oil is my personal favorite. In fact, I’m taking a hit of it to keep sane while writing this. My darling boy is repeatedly bashing his toys against the wall again and again and again. Trust me, we all need a bit of essential oil action in our lives.

If you’re a newbie to the wonderful world of essential oils, do a bit of research and investigate further. Essentially(!), it’s good stuff.

Disclaimer Alert: The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t check essential oils, so don’t rely on these ramblings. Please do your own research.

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