Make your own natural bug repellant
Those invisible kamikaze vampires go straight for my ankles every time!
While mosquitoes will forever remain on the list of things that perpetually perturb me, lately I find them a subtle reminder of how ancient and deeply interconnected we are as living creatures.
Cue the Jurassic Park intro...
Our blood — the earth makeup — of you, me, the dog, a random squirrel and anything else with a pulse, is being passed around through microscopic blood transfusion via the mosquito.
I just find this act of nature utterly fascinating and terrifying all at the same time.
Naturally, it would seem in our best interest to repel them, saving ourselves from Zika and itchy skin all in one go.
In the West, DEET is by far the most preferred bug repellent ingredient. But the truth about DEET (read the research) is intensely more frightening than contracting mosquito carried diseases, for many which we have a cure.
Thus, I’ve tried all the folklore: Eat raw garlic. Take B-12. Rub a slice of onion all over your skin and repel ALL living creatures.
Though a fun experiment, none of those methods actually worked, for me at least.
Until this one.
Inspired by India’s holistic medicine wisdom, this natural bug spray remedy is safe, easy to make and an effective alternative to drugstore repellents.
The research subjects of this concoction include myself, my friends and family, a journey across India and two summer seasons of fewer bug bites.
Unique active ingredients include need oil and cedarwood essential oil.
A tropical Old World tree native to India, neem yields timber, oil and medicinal products. A 1995 study at the Malaria Research Centre in Ranipur, India, showed that applying neem to the skin provided significant protection from various mosquitoes, including those that carry deadly disease.
Similar to Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility, cedarwood’s deep woody essence masks other scents that attract mosquitoes but won’t repel your date.
Homemade Natural Bug Spray
2 teaspoons carrier oil (such as olive, jojoba or avocado)
2 tablespoons neem oil
50+ drops cedarwood essential oil
4- to 8-ounce spray bottle
1. Fill bottle halfway with witch hazel.
2. Add 2 teaspoons of carrier oil plus 2 tablespoons of neem oil. Make sure to leave enough room to shake the mixture.
3. Add approximately 50 drops of cedarwood essential oil. Substitute lavender essential oil if you are pregnant, nursing or using on a child under age 2.
4. Shake well before each application.