Let’s face it, bugs are annoying! In the summertime, there are many more bugs outside that can get in your way. Bugs cause painful and itchy bites, illness, and even deadly disease. Many people tend to use chemical sprays to kill bugs. Chemical sprays can be harmful to breathe, harmful to our skin, and harmful to the environment. Luckily, nature has some great remedies for repelling those pesky bugs. Check out these essential oils that will keep bugs away!
Fleas – These pesky little insects are generally found in dark places and on animals, and flourish in warm weather. Although extreme heat will deter their numbers, the perfect temperature for fleas is 70-85 degrees. The humidity is often high in northern Virginia, which is also another perfect birthing ground for flea larva. Fleas find their hosts by smell, so essential oils will mask the scent as well as repel them. To keep them away from your furry friends, make a spray with 30 drops of either eucalyptus, peppermint, cedarwood, lemongrass or citronella (or a mixture of all of them) combined with one cup of water. You can also mix these oils into a carrier oil and massage it into their fur.
Ticks – Ticks are often found outside in areas with tall grass. They are flightless parasites, feeding on animals and humans. There are many different types, including some so small that they are barely visible, and they can carry serious diseases, like lyme disease. You can reduce the amount of ticks that you pick up when outside by wearing long pants, but you can also repel them with essential oils. Ticks are like fleas in that they sense their hosts through smell, so essential oils are great for masking scents and giving a scent that will ward off the ticks. The top essential oils to drive away ticks are lavender, pennyroyal, lemongrass, eucalyptus, lemon.
Mosquitos – One of the most annoying summer bugs are mosquitos! These flying blood suckers hunt for their animal and human prey by searching out smells of carbon dioxide and sweat. Their bites create an itchy bump that irritates the skin, and can also carry deadly viruses such as malaria, West Nile virus, and Zika virus. Citronella is the most common essential oil to keep mosquitos away and can be used in candles and bug sprays. Other essential oil options to ward off mosquitos include lemongrass, peppermint, tea tree oil, witch hazel, lavender, eucalyptus.
All of these essential oils are a natural, safe, nonchemical approach to keeping bugs away this summer. Always make sure to test all of your ingredients on your skin before applying it everywhere. While these essential oils are safe and non-toxic, always make sure that you do not have a sensitivity or allergy to any oils by testing a small amount first. Once you find that your skin does not have any reactions, spray liberally or apply using a carrier oil. If you do happen to get a bit or a sting, mix together tea tree oil, peppermint, and a carrier oil to reduce irritation. Stay safe from bugs and bug bites this summer with these great essential oil sprays and repellants!