While we all love the return of spring and the return of warmer weather, sadly enough, it also brings the return of mosquitoes and other really annoying biting insects. Mainstream culture uses bug repellents with DEET in them. DEET was developed by the US army, following its experience of jungle warfare during WW II. It was originally tested as a pesticide on farm fields, and entered military use in 1946 and civilian use in 1957. It was used in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
As a chemical, it is not one many people care to use a lot of. After all, the thought of putting something on my skin that was developed by the army to use in warfare just creeps me out a bit somehow! The full health effects are not known but studies are still in progress. Because we like to make our world a better and more healthy place, essential oils are a great alternative to heavy-duty chemicals like DEET.
So what to do when you want to go camping or hiking or swimming or just go play in your own back yard? Essential oils are great ways to repel bugs because they are natural scents that are safer for your entire family. And they smell better!
We put forth this question to many of our RMO family and the recommendations poured in. We are so glad so many of you like to help each other out!
Oils you can use
Citronella, Lavender, Eucalyptus citriodora, Peppermint, Lemon, Lemongrass, Cedarwood, Bergamot, Thyme, Tea Tree, Rosemary, Cajeput, Geranium, and the Rocky Mountain Oil blend Bug Off, to name a few.
Ways to use them
There are a variety of ways to use these oils and here we have a list of oils and their uses recommended by many of you.
- SG said: Put a drop or two of Bug Off on your ankles, wrists, neck, and head.
- KLM said: I use Lavender or Peppermint on cotton balls along the door frame and shoes and the dogs area!
- CF said: I use 2 drops Eucalyptus, 2 drops Tea Tree, 3 drops Lavender and a touch of Ylang Ylang to offset the smell of the Tea Tree. I usually mix them in a carrier oil base like olive oil, then I apply as I would lotion!
- From PT: Lemongrass, Eucalyptus and Citronella in a base of witch hazel. Use it in a spray bottle.
- ML said: I use equal amounts of Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, and Eucalyptus mixed in a empty 15 ml bottle. Place on skin not covered by clothes.
- JL said: The Essential Oils Book by Colleen K Dodt has a recipe: Add 5 drops of Geranium, 1 drop Peppermint, and 1 drop Lemongrass to 4 ounces water. Place in a spray bottle and spray clothes before a walk in the woods.
- KH said: I mix 1 tsp. Geranium, 1 tsp. alcohol, 30 drops Citronella, 30 drops Bergamot, 30 drops Cedarwood and 8 oz. distilled water (filtered works) and the bugs run from us. Gardened for the first time this year and not a single bite!!! And . . . best part . . . I smelled pretty!!
- From SJ: I put Bug Off on the floor around my thresholds and along the inside of my windows.
How do you use essential oils to keep the bugs away? This is important information for everyone so please share in the comment section at the bottom of the page. We’d all like to know!