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Keep the Bugs Away - The Natural Way

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Written by Chandler Cat
Wherever you call home, most likely summertime means backyard entertaining and front porch naps, which all sounds great until you add in the mosquitos, gnats, and sand flies- or as we like to call them in the South, “no-see-ums”. Because you can’t seem ‘um...get it? We’re clever down here.
 
Everyone knows citronella candles work great for keeping the bugs away, and the best part is they smell great while offering a more natural, less toxic route than some insect repellents. Citronella is a species of plant in the lemongrass family and its strong citrus scent has the ability to mask the natural odors hungry bugs are attracted to, like the CO2 we breathe out and the natural oils and bacteria on our skin. Citronella is awesome, but did you know that there are lots of other essential oils that keep the bugs at bay? Read on for a list of oils that can work very well in keeping those pesky bugs away. Try these oils in a candle (psst, did you know we offer an Essential Oils and Fragrance Blending Candle Class?) or make your own bug repellent spray (see my sample recipe below). Happy Summering!

 

 

MOSQUITOS 
Not only are their bites annoying and less than attractive, these insects can carry dangerous diseases, which is why it’s #1 on our list of bugs to keep away. Try one or two of these oils in an outdoor candle, or try placing these plants on the porch for added protection.  


Basil
Pine
Thyme
Vetiver
Peppermint
Lemon Eucalyptus
Cinnamon

 

 

 

 

 

SAND FLIES
They come out of nowhere and love to show up right as the sun is going down, the best time for a summer cocktail. Make back deck happy hour a bit more pleasant with these amazing oils: 

Eucalyptus
Peppermint
Tea Tree
Citronella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GNATS
These little buggers usually arrive in swarms and like the smell of not only humans but your fruit bowl as well. Try these oils below, or even better purchase the plants themselves, gnats hate the smell of lavender, lemon balm, and geranium plants. 

 


Lemon
Lavender
Citronella
Pine
Geranium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANTS
These oils work well set around your home to repel ants from window sills and other areas of your home. You can create a room spray or leave a bit in a small bowl in problem areas. Be careful not to leave it out where pets and children can access it, certain essential oils can be harmful if ingested without being diluted!
 
Lavender
Spearmint
Peppermint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Cat’s Say No to Bugs Repellant Spray:
I’m all about DIY and making room and body sprays is a new found hobby of mine, aka things to do instead of fold laundry. If you don’t have any oils on hand but have always wanted to try essential oils, all of these are great starter oils and are found in lots of recipes. Feel free to tweak this recipe to find what works best on your skin!
Ingredients:
4 oz Witch Hazel (find it near the rubbing alcohol at the drugstore, 100% pure is best)
5 drops Lavender Essential Oil
5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
5 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
5 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
 Optional: 5 drops Lemongrass or Citronella Essential Oil
 
Directions:
1. Using a 4 oz spray bottle (I use amber or blue glass bottles to protect the oils from sunlight), fill ⅔ full with the witch hazel.
2. Add the drops of essential oils and cover with the remaining witch hazel.
3. Screw on the lid and shake! Be sure to shake well before using. And of course, if you experience any discomfort discontinue use!

 

Sources:

American College of Healthcare Sciences

Naturehacks.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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