Working out in the garden is so rewarding and lovely until you look down at your leg and see…a tick! What nasty, little creatures! Or have you ever gotten swarmed by mosquitoes while trimming back your raspberries? I have. Mosquito bites are annoying, but tick bites can be deadly. They carry a host of diseases, including Lyme disease, Colorado tick fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, African tick bite fever, Tick paralysis, tick-borne meningoencephalitis. Yuck!
For the past six weeks, I’ve been outside teaching gardening to the local school children and have seen my share of bugs. However, since I made my own all-natural bug repellant, there has been so sign of ticks on me or mosquitoes swarming my head! I am sharing this super, easy recipe because, well… it works!
How does it work you ask? Well, the essential oils and fresh mint used in this recipe have been shown to repel bugs. Basically, they don’t like the smell and they buzz off. (Ha! Couldn’t resist!)
What you need:
- Small Spray Bottle (available at most drug stores)
- Tea Tree Essential Oil*
- Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil*
- Rosemary Essential Oil*
- Cedarwood Essential Oil*
- Citronella Essential Oil*
- Rose Geranium Essential Oil*
- Witch hazel- you can pick this up at any drug store
- Pinch of chopped, fresh mint
- Distilled (or boiled) water
* I buy my essential oils at Vitacost.com where they have great products at great prices.
What you do:
First, fill the bottle halfway with the distilled water, and then with witch hazel, leaving about a half an inch at the top for the oils and herbs.
Put in about 36 drops total of essential oils. That means six drops of each essential oil listed above. Essential oils can irritate the skin if directly applied to the skin, so try to avoid this.
Sprinkle in a pinch of fresh mint, cap it, and shake it up. Spray yourself generously, staying away from the eyes.
As with any all-natural product, the shelf life is shorter, so use it or lose it! Also, make sure to reapply frequently to get the most bug-repelling affects. I keep it in my garden apron and reapply every 20 minutes or so. Yes, you smell like a citronella candle, but hey…it definitely could be worse.
Happy Bug-free Gardening!