Natural Repellents to Keep Those Pesky Bugs Away
Summer means different things to different people. For some, it’s endless days on the beach, surfing, picnics and ice-cream. It’s cooling off in the ocean, taking a vacation and enjoying icy cold drinks. For many people, however, it also means mosquitoes.
Have you noticed how some people happily parade around in sleeveless tops and shorts and don’t get a single bite? Others may get one or two, but they don’t cause any discomfort. Then there’s the rest of us, who end up covered in itchy red lumps that drive us crazy!
Did you know there are around 3500 species of mosquito worldwide?
And 300 of those are here in Australia. There are 100 different species just in WA! As well as being annoying they can also carry diseases, such as Dengue fever, Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus and Australian encephalitis.
Only the females bite and they are attracted to you by several different factors. First, it’s the carbon dioxide you exhale, so there’s no way to avoid that! Then there are the natural attractants on our skin, such as sweat (lactic acid), bacteria and around 400 chemical compounds.
You may have heard that eating lots of garlic or vegemite or taking Vitamin B will help but there’s no real evidence to support that.
So, if you’re not keen on covering yourself in toxic insect repellents, you may think the only choice is never to go outside again! Luckily, there are some natural mozzie repellents that will keep these annoying little critters away without the use of poisons.
KEEPING YOUR COOL
The higher your body temperature, and the more sweat you produce, the more mozzies you’ll attract. Try and keep your body temperature as low as possible and regularly wash off sweat.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Not only is organic apple cider vinegar good for your general health but it can also help repel mozzies. If you use enough of it in your diet, you’ll develop a body odour that should put them off. Alternatively, run it on to your skin before entering mozzie-infected territory!
HOMEMADE MOZZIE SPRAYS
Add a few drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil to half a cup of water and store in a clean spray bottle. To use simply shake and spray onto your skin, clothes or around the home. Never use Cinnamon Oil undiluted.
Add 4 drops of Thyme Essential Oil to a teaspoon of base oil, such as almond oil, and apply to the skin. Alternatively, mix 5 drops of Thyme Essential Oil with a quarter of a cup of water and store in a clean spray bottle.
Lavender Essential Oil can help repel mozzies and give natural relief from itching if you do get bitten. Choose a quality oil and apply directly to the skin. If you’ve never used it before, do a small skin test first.
Try growing lavender around your doors and windows for added protection.
CITRONELLA & TEA TREE OIL
These are known to be among the best natural bug repellents in the world. Made from a mix of herbs, Citronella Essential Oil can be as effective as DEET if it’s formulated correctly, so always buy a good quality pure oil. Mix a few drops with water to make your own mozzie spray.
Tea Tree Essential Oil repels not only mozzies but also midges and flies. Make your own spray by mixing one-part Tea Tree Oil with 3-parts water. To treat insect bites, simply dab on some Tea Tree Essential Oil. Always try one small area first to check you’re not allergic