Monday, May 13, 2013

Making Natural Bug Spray

You can make your own bug sprays with herbs, vinegar and soap.

Mint plant
Make natural insect repellent with dried mint and other herbs.

Spring and summer are wonderful seasons — except for all the mosquitoes and other biting insects. Don't let bugs take the pleasure out of warm seasons. Many commercial bug sprays contain harmful chemicals like DEET. When shopping for bug sprays, look for natural products with words like non-toxic, non-chemical, herbal, or hypoallergenic.

Better yet, you can make your own bug spray. Here some recipes to get you started.

Bug Repellent Soap

Start with liquid Castile soap (such as Dr. Bronner’s soaps) and add 10 to 15 drops of essential oil per ounce of soap. Try essential oils like lemon balm (citronella), lavender, clove, pennyroyal, eucalyptus, cedar or rose geranium. Use the soap before and after spending time outdoors.

Four Thieves Insect Repellent

This recipe was supposedly used by thieves during the black plague of the 14th century.

Ingredients: 32-ounce bottle of apple cider vinegar, two tablespoons each of dried herbs (sage, rosemary, lavender, thyme, and mint), glass jar with airtight lid.

Directions:

  1. Put the vinegar and herbs into a large glass jar
  2. Seal tightly and store on counter or in a place you will see it daily. Shake well each day for two to three weeks.
  3. After two to three weeks, strain out the herbs and store in refrigerated spray bottles or tincture bottles.
  4. To use on skin, dilute by half with water in a spray bottle and use as needed.

Warning: This solutions is rather stinky while wet. The smell will dissipate as it dries.

Insect Repellent - Alternate Recipe

Ingredients: 10 to 25 drops of essential oil (such as lavender, eucalyptus, rose geranium (for ticks), peppermint, cedar, coriander, clover, and lemon balm), 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel (optional).

Directions: Combine the ingredients in a glass jar. Shake to blend. Dab some on your skin or clothes.

With these recipes or the use of commercially available natural bug sprays you should be able to enjoy the outdoors bug-free!

— By Emily Palmer, ND, LMP, naturopathic doctor and resident at Bastyr Center for Natural Health.

Subscribe to Newsletters

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

More Health Tips

Here are some ways to eat an inexpensive and well-balanced diet consisting of many nutritious whole foods.

Here's how to create a healthy posture to improve your health.

The main benefit of the Paleo diet is that it promotes eating whole, nutritious foods while avoiding refined, processed foods.

While tax season can be daunting and stressful, these are simple, easy ways to help lighten the load.

Behind the calm exterior of a doula is a person who is constantly thinking, strategizing and endeavoring to create an environment to support a pregnant, birthing or postpartum family.

With the recent buzz about gluten- and wheat-free diets, it’s good to know how they compare and if they’re right for everyone.

Events

Apr 21 Admissions

Take advantage of this opportunity to speak with an admissions representative and learn how Bastyr can help you build a career that helps create a healthier world.

Apr 22 Admissions

Take advantage of this opportunity to speak with an admissions representative and learn how Bastyr can help you build a career that helps create a healthier world.

Apr 23 Admissions

Take advantage of this opportunity to speak with an admissions representative and learn how Bastyr can help you build a career that helps create a healthier world.

Recent News

David Tolmie, BS ('06), MLIS, combines psychology and technology skills to help students navigate the fast-changing world of evidence-informed medicine.

Coquina Deger, MBA, and David Siebert fill key roles as part of President’s Cabinet

Herbal sciences students cook up foods with love -- and health-giving herbs -- in a popular lab class.

The actor and author joins us for a Q-and-A before her May 22 talk at Bastyr's Spring for Health Luncheon.

Spring 2014: There is a lot blossoming at Bastyr University

Press

Bastyr University Nutrition Faculty Member Receives Prestigious State Honor

The public is invited to a free community event to explore Bastyr University’s teaching clinic

Teaching clinic earns second consecutive year of stellar results in regional patient satisfaction survey

In the Media

FOX Q13: Bastyr University's Ellie Freeman Discusses the FDA’s New Food Labels
Bothell-Kenmore Reporter: Bastyr Center for Natural Health Expands Integrative Oncology Services
Puget Sound Business Journal: Bastyr University's President Daniel Church to Retire