Biting critters can be a challenge, especially when summer temperatures rise and there is lots of rain.
Not only are there many different types of mosquitoes, which are increasing every season I am told, but the rate of diseases carried by these creatures is increasing every season as well. The moral of this story is DO NOT GET BITTEN.
Sands flies, midges and horse flies are just as bad, not to mention the bull ant. Because of the diverse biters, a variety of products with multiple repellents works better than one containing a single ingredient.
Ever been bitten by a bull ant? Trust me you do not want to be. So start using some of these effective alternatives to the harmful mainstream options. There have been times when it looked like I had a disease on my legs from bites followed by scratching. I feel so strongly about the willy-nilly application of poison-based products to the skin, when for very little cost you can make your own effective products without putting your immune system at risk.
No more bites
Fresh herbs that are easy to grow and pick as insect repellents include:
- southern wood
What you can do with your insect repellant herbs
- Strew them with gay abandon – This means picking a bucket full of all the trimmings , remove all the leaves off the branches, then as they did in the Victorian times, just strew them all over your outdoor entertainment area. As you and your guests walk over these herbs, the beautiful aroma helps to deter the mozzies and other biting creatures. After the evening they are easy to sweep up , or just leave them there to dry and add to the compost heap. The herbs are a great activator for the heap.
- Rub the fresh herb on your skin – Where ankles, lower arms and hands and neck area are exposed ready for the biting, just crush a basil leaf and rub on skin. Use sparingly on sensitive skins. Start with a small area first. You will soon know which herbs are right for you. Remember the pure essential oils are in the leaves so you do not need to use as you would a toxic chemical insect repellent. More is not necessarily better. Use in moderation and apply as needed.
- Make a smudge stick and burn it (see smudge stick article for more details).
- Hang bunches of these herbs everywhere – Hang in the door ways, in window sills and from the trees in outdoor areas where you are entertaining. Hang more at the front and back door, anywhere where you are and the uninvited flying or crawling guests gate crash!
- Herbal flower arrangements – When arranging flowers inside or outside, make sure you include plenty of these herbs. I use only herbs in my flower arrangements. Whenever you pass just crush a few and smell the beautiful aroma that pervades the air. Trust me the mozzies go somewhere else for a while at least!
- Plant pots of insect repellent – Have these herb pots around your entertainment areas and where you sit in the garden. Pennyroyal is ideal to plant under a chair or a bench.
Pure essential oils to choose from :
- lemon grass
- rose geranium
- clarey sage
- lemon verbena
- penny royal
How to make your insect repellent spray
- Fill a 100ml glass bottle with filtered/ Genson water (you cannot use tap water for any aromatherapy products as the chemicals in the water react with the essential oils and you will not receive the full benefit of the pure essential oils applied).
- Add 40 drops of your choice of pure essential oils above.
- Spray on ankles, feet, hands and arms as well as on clothes and tablecloth.
- Shake bottle before every application. I recommend applying every couple of hours you are outside. (Here you can use half water, half cider vinegar)
Make a soothing insect repellent cream
- Use one drop of pure essential oil in every 2ml of base cream for body cream.
- For your face, use one drop in 4ml pure essential oil for every 2mls of base cream.
What happens when you have already been bitten?
- Apply neat lavender directly on the bite – Apply a couple of drops directly on the itch as soon as it happens to counteract your burning desire to scratch.
- Colloidal silver – Apply this amazing liquid available from your health food store to stop any infection in it tracks. I always have a small glass spray 50ml bottle of colloidal silver with 25 drops of lavender in it to use at a moment’s notice, straight after the bite.
- Apply aloe vera. (See article on aloe vera for more details).
- Bicarbonate of soda – This is a wonderful old remedy that works every time. Have a small bowl of bicarb handy and just add water and make a paste as soon as you feel the bite. Apply and before you know it the stinging sensation is gone.
- Mozzies (mosquitoes) most active at dust and dawn.
- Mozzies are attracted to the heat (when exercising or burning fire/candle). When exercising you release lactic acid and also after eating certain foods that are salty and high in potassium . Mozzies are attracted to this.
- Mozzies are attracted to moisture. So do not water your outdoor area when you will be entertaining. Be sure it is dry . This will reduce the mozzie activity in the area.
- Always wear light colored cotton fabrics as mosquitoes are attracted to bright colours.
- Nutritionally to keep the biting creatures at bay eat heaps of garlic. Start each day with apple cider vinegar and be sure you are getting your adequate levels of vitamin B1 every day. See Isagenix for more information on nutritional supplementation to support body cleansing, cellular replenishment and youthful ageing.
- If you are unable to make your own products, look for the words BAL, all natural, DEET free, non-chemical, non-toxic and hypo-allergenic.
Facts about DEET
- Fatal if swallowed – never apply to hands, face, cuts or near eyes at all. Can cause permanent eye damage.
- In high doses it can cause neurological damage.
- Can damage plastic and synthetic fabric. Do not use on clothes.
Why ever would you use any product containing DEET?
For your cats and dogs, use one drop of pure essential oil on their collar every week
Things that lower effectiveness
- Dilution by rain, perspiration and swimming.
- Absorption by the skin.
- Evaporation in wind and high temperatures.
For all the above, you will need to reapply the cream or spray
For safe and appropriate use of herbs, consult your doctor or health care practitioner. Do not use these herbs or essential oils on your body if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
Rudolf Steiner once said: “Matter is spiritual in the perfume of plants”