June 30, 2014
274 Natural Bug Repellent [30 June 2014]
With all the rain we have had this spring when it finally warms up the mosquitoes will be out in hordes. Since the coming of West Nile Virus they are no longer just a nuisance but a very real health hazard. Ditto for ticks and Lyme Disease. DEET is still the most effective repellent for both mosquitoes and ticks. Watkins insect repellent has a good reputation because it has the highest DEET content allowed by Health Canada.
There are also many natural options. Most natural repellents use one or more essential oils like citronella or peppermint. Two unusual ones that I carry are a repellent you wear (a wrist band impregnated with peppermint oil) and one you eat (a supplement called Mozi-Q). You can also make up your own with essential oils using Witch Hazel as a base.
Here is a recipe I found:
• 15 drops citronella
• 15 drops lemongrass
• 15 drops geranium (for tick protection)
• 10 drops lavender (optional)
• 10 drops tea tree oil (optional)
• 10 drops peppermint (optional)
• 10 drops cedarwood (optional)
• 355 ml Witch Hazel
Mix in glass jar and pour into spray bottle. Apply to exposed skin and rub in. Do not spray on face – apply to hand and rub on face carefully avoiding the eyes. Repeat application every 30 minutes to 2 hours as required. Health Canada recommends DEET and citronella repellents not be used on infants and toddlers.
Peppermint oil also makes an effective rodent deterrent. Put 15-20 drops on a cotton ball and place in areas out of reach of pets and children. You can also mix the oil with water and spray it along baseboards etc. Refresh regularly as the peppermint odor fades. It works well and smells better than mothballs.
For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner. See this article on my website for links to sources and further reading.