Summertime… The sunshine, going to the beach, gardening, the warm nights watching the stars. What I could do without is the bugs. I do my best to respect nature & I can appreciate all the good that Ladybugs, Bees & Spiders (Arachnids, I know) do for the environment but do the ants, beetles & “BIG” wolf spiders have to come in my house?
I like to use essential oil whenever possible to “repel” the bugs. Some of my favorites are Cedarwood, Spearmint, Eucalyptus Radiata, Dives or Citriodora, Geranium, Patchouli & my all time fav- Lemongrass. ( I do like Catnip too, but every time I try to use it, my cats go a little, okay a lot crazy)
These essential oils are more appropriate to use around older children & adults.
If you have younger children (age 2 – 8) essential oils that you may want to consider are Geranium, Rosalina, Tea Tree & Spearmint just to name a few.
There are different ways to use essential oil blends in your home; here are a few to consider:
- Try diffusing your blend, as it works well for airborne bugs like flies & mosquitoes.
- Room Sprays- make a blend of your favorite oils, then mix 20 – 25 drops with 125 ml of purified water or a Hydrosol.
- You can also put a few drops of your blend on a cotton ball & put it on your window sills, around your patio doors as well as in closets & attics.***Don’t use this method if you have young children & pets.
While a blend will work as an all-purpose bug repellent, certain essential oils work well for specific bugs & situations. If you have a problem with:
Ants: Make a blend of 8 drops of Peppermint & 12 drops Spearmint essential oil to 250 ml of water. Shake well before using. Spray around doorways & windows (especially the window screens). If you have a lot of ants entering your house I find that Peppermint works really well. Apply a few drops to a cotton ball & place in areas where you see the ants entering your home. ***Don’t use this method if you have young children & pets.
Flies & Mosquitoes: Lemongrass & Peppermint in a diffuser or as a room spray would be a good choice. ***Lavender & Rosalina would be a good alternative if you have young children
Wasps & Hornets: Try diffusing a blend of Cedarwood, Patchouli & Eucalyptus Radiata Essential oils. Geoff Lyth suggests putting a few drops of your blend on a folded paper napkin or tissue & leaving it on the picnic table by the food to discourage wasps & hornets. A simple but brilliant idea!!! I wish that I had thought of it. DON’T USE LAVENDER IN THIS BLEND as these bugs may be more attracted to it. If you have really young children omit the Eucalyptus Radiata in the blend.
Moths: Cedar chests were long used to store clothes & linens, so of course Cedarwood is a good essential oil to use. Peppermint, & Spearmint also oils to consider. Don’t put essential oils directly on fine textiles, Use cotton balls or pieces of cloth tucked into corners of closets or drawers. *** Spearmint is a better choice if you have younger Children
And in the Garden… Make a plant spray with 20 drops of the essential oil blend to 250 ml of water. Be sure to shake well before use. Try the following blends for:
Aphids: a plant spray made with a blend of some of the following: Spearmint, Peppermint, Cedarwood, or Hyssop.
Slugs & Snails: Make a plant spray with Cedarwood, Pine, or Patchouli essential oils (Or a blend). Spray on the plants that slugs like to snack on. (I find that slugs love my Basil Plants.)
Be sure to wash any vegetables or herbs that you have sprayed, before use.
Use Spearmint, Cedarwood, White Pine or Patchouli if you have young Children working with you in the garden.
So whether you are going on a picnic, going to the beach, going camping or enjoying your garden, I wish you a Happy, Healthy & Aromatic Bug-Free Summer…
***As always, use caution around babies, if you are pregnant or have a seizure disorder.
My blog is for information only & is not meant to replace medical advice. Essential Oils are not for ingestion& should always be diluted before topical use.
Worwood, Valerie Ann, The Complete Guide of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy, MacMillan London, Ltd 1990
Davis, Patricia. Aromatherapy an A-Z. New revised edition, Vermilion, an imprint of Edbury Publishing, a Random House Company, 2005