Mosquito Season Safety

It’s that time of year!  Time to start finding ways to keep those bugs off you and your family!  Just today I’ve pulled one tick off me and my son found one on the floor!  And we haven’t done anything more adventurous than go to the post office and drug store!

We do live on acreage, so we do have lots of ticks, but most of our ticks are taken care of by our large flock of chickens.  This year, they seem to be especially bad.

And the mosquitoes are already out in full force. We have had a wet couple of weeks and now they are swarming!

So how can we use our oil arsenal to protect ourselves?  This graphic is from the Tisserand Institute. These oils have been studied and found be the best mosquito repellants.

Unfortunately, all but two are not rated as safe for young children (under 6, but I tend to be more cautious and say under 10. My babies have super sensitive skin). All is not lost, though!  I’ll help you get outfitted!

The two oils rated safe for children are
Citronella (Cymbopogon winterianus) and
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Peppermint is too harsh for sensitive skin and can cause neurological damage in young children.  And for the love of all that is holy, PLEASE do not put a drop neat on an embedded tick.  One, NEAT.  Two, anything like that causes the tick to regurgitate all its germs and guts as it backs out, making it MORE likely to give you Lyme, or whatever else it is carrying.

Clove, Cinnamon, and Lemongrass are all really irritating and too spicy for sensitive skin and mucus membranes.  Though not appropriate for young children, you can use them on yourself if you are not going to be around kiddos and they are effective!

Try making candles from these oils or use a diffuser outside!  I’ve used peppermint on the outside of my house to deter wasps from making nests around my doors.  It works!

Some other oils traditionally used (but less studied) for insect repellents are Catnip (Nepeta cataria) and Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia).

My recipe for bug spray is:
2 oz fractionated coconut oil
2 oz witch hazel
30-50 drops insect blend

Mix in a spray bottle, shake well, and spray skin.

Now, this contains oil, which means it may leave spots on clothes.  If you are fully covered and want to spray your clothes, you can sub the witch hazel for the FCO (4 total oz of witch hazel) so you don’t get oil spots (which come out easily with a little dish soap, by the way).  This does not dilute the oils, so if there’s a chance you might get some on your skin, I’d stick with the FCO recipe.  Or spray clothes separately or something.

I didn’t give you an insect blend.  I personally took the easy route when I started using oils a couple years ago and bought this one and still have some.  It’s safe for kids, doesn’t smell too bad, and works pretty well on mosquitoes and ticks.

 

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