An effective natural insect repellent is welcome to any who want to enjoy the great outdoors without the adverse effects that come from common pests and toxic repellents.
Keep in mind that repelling insects is about more than just maintaining comfort. It may help keep you healthy, too, as insects can carry serious diseases.
It is not uncommon, for example, to hear of mosquitoes transmitting West Nile virus, encephalitis, and in some areas, malaria.
Most insect repellents on the market today have dangerous chemicals as active ingredients. The most common of these, DEET, has some serious potential side effects. These include damage to brain cells, loss of memory, headaches, fatigue, respiratory problems and more.
Those most vulnerable to these problems are children and pregnant women.
Because of the known problems caused by insect bites and the popularly marketed repellents, there is growing interest in finding a good quality natural insect repellent.
This is where I've found essential oils to be an excellent choice. We've found quality essential oils to not only work in repelling bothersome insects, but they smell great, too.
My first choice is the essential oil blend Purification to repel insects. I just take a few drops and rub it on exposed skin.
Other oils that are beneficial for use as a nontoxic insect repellent are peppermint, lavender, tea tree, geranium, Idaho tansy, lemon, thyme and spearmint.
You can also mix your own blend using using equal parts of clove, lemon, and orange oil. (Just avoid direct sunlight when using citrus oils as they can make some people more photosensitive.)
And, you can make your own repellent spray by mixing 5 drops lemon and 5 drops purification in a 1 or 2 ounce spray bottle filled with water. Apply as a mist on your skin to protect yourself from flies, mosquitoes and other insects.
The oils recommended here can be used as a natural insect repellent in ways other than directly on your skin.
I have, for example, on more than one occasion kept away pesky restaurant flies by creating a barrier at our table. All I did was place a drop or two on my napkin and then run it across the table cloth. It helped make for a much more enjoyable dinner!
Quality essential oils have many uses. To use them as a natural insect repellent is one many don't think of.
Give them a try.
Already bitten up by bugs? Check out our page that describes the use of essential oils as an insect bite remedy.