Have you ever been chatting with a friend at an outdoor party only to be interrupted by the world's most persistent mosquito? I know I have. There is nothing more frustrating than putting on stinky bug spray only to have bugs crowd around you like you're the best thing since sliced bread. I've been hearing a lot about natural bug repellents lately and thought I'd take a closer look at some of them this week. Here's what I found.
The Benefits of Natural Bug Repellents
When you use natural bug repellent, you're avoiding the toxic chemicals contained in many of today's commercial bug sprays. A natural repellent is safe for you, your children, and any pets that may come in contact with it. I know that I have to put my can of bug spray up on a top shelf in the garage to keep it away from curious little hands. Also, do you realize that when you use commercial bug spray, you're killing flying pests along with other insects that may be in the area? Killing moths, butterflies, and other harmless insects can upset the ecological balance in our environment. Saving money is another reason to use natural repellent. Making your own bug repellent using herbs and other ingredients is a lot less expensive than buying several cans of commercial bug spray during the warm-weather months. Plus, when you purchase a can of insect repellent from the store, you are adding another can or plastic container to the landfill when all of the liquid is gone. This is one of the best reasons to make bug repellent instead of buying it. You can put your homemade mixture in a reusable jar, plastic spray bottle, or even a fancy atomizer.
Examples of Natural Bug Repellents
In my research, I found that there are certain scents that can drive mosquitoes and other pests away. Some examples include lavender, rosemary, sesame, cinnamon, and peppermint. All of these plant derivatives are easy to find. I know some friends who grow their own rosemary and lavender to use in various entrees. If you have an herb garden in the kitchen window, you're well on your way to making an effective supply of natural bug repellent. You can also make your own citronella candle with a few supplies, including beeswax, citronella essential oil, a lead-free wick, and an eight-ounce canning jar. Light this candle at your next backyard gathering and watch the mosquitoes turn and head for the hills!
Homemade Bug Repellents
If you have a lemon balm plant in your garden, then you have all of the ingredients you need for an effective natural bug repellent. You can apply crushed leaves to your skin or just plant these herbs around your patio to move the mosquitoes on to greener pastures. Alternatively, butterflies love the fragrance of lemon balm plants. Now I call that a two-for-one deal! There are several other natural bug repellents that can be made in a matter of minutes. These combine oil such as lavender, mint, eucalyptus, or clove with coconut oil. Most of these natural repellents only require a small amount on the skin to drive away pests.
I hope you give some of these natural bug repellents a chance at your next barbecue or backyard party. They can save you some money as well as give you a break from those buzzing intruders. Thanks for reading. - Alan