What do you do when you want to enjoy a nature-filled summer or vacation in a malaria-prone area, but won’t use DEET?
Luckily, there are nontoxic alternatives for making bugs, well, bug off! So when it comes to pesky mosquitoes and your fear of Lyme disease, West Nile, and Malaria, you can go boldly where bugs are and enjoy nature, while avoiding insects with the following nontoxic, natural bug repellents…
To keep the mosquitoes at bay, use your common sense and cover up as best as possible. That means long shirts, long pants, hats, socks, and shoes that cover your entire feet for you and the kids when sitting around a campfire or walking through mosquito infested areas.
Stay Away from Standing Water
Mosquitoes like moist, damp areas, particularly at dusk and after dark. So whatever you do, steer clear of standing water, such as birdbaths, still ponds or lakes, water features that don’t have a filter, or standing puddles of water. The best thing you can do is dump them out so they don’t draw mosquitoes.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Mosquitoes love the blood of humans and animals, but they are often “turned off” biting by certain foods. Luckily, apple cider vinegar is one of those foods that mosquitoes seem to avoid. So, naturally, if you want to shun the blood suckers, start consuming a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar each day. You can drink it in a glass of water or mix it with olive oil to use as a tasty salad dressing.
Try spritzing yourself and your clothing with essential oils such as lemon balm, commonly known among mosquito-haters as citronella.
Another method for battling bugs is to wash with an infused soap before spending time in the great outdoors. Combine 10 to 15 drops of lavender essential oil with a natural soap, for instance liquid Castile soaps are best, and wash thoroughly.
Rose Geranium Oil
Equally great as a mosquito repellent for humans and pets, rose geranium oil, can be applied directly to clothing or collars (for doggy friends). Just use a drop or two as the smell might be a bit overpowering until you get used to it and can increase the dose.
Natural Insect Repellent Sprays
Luckily, if you don’t have essential oils on hand at home, you can purchase “ready-made” herbal insect repellents at your local health food store or even order it online. Just be sure to seek out all-natural, DEET-free, non-chemical, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic sprays to ensure the spray is non-chemical.
Make Your Own Insect Repellant
Alternately, you can choose to make your own homemade insect repellent. Not only is it cheaper than purchasing a bottle off the shelf, but you can be confident what’s in your mixture if you make it yourself.
I use a mixture of 2-tablespoons of vegetable oil, a bit of Aloe Vera gel (1-tablespoon will work purely so you don’t dry out your skin), and 10 to 15 drops of essential oil. I stick to citronella or peppermint to make mosquitoes bug off!