Essential Oil Insect Repellents - the natural alternative!
Perfect for the entire family, including your pets
One of the soaps that I make has natural essential oil insect repellents. It is the same recipe that I have been using for years and I get rave reviews about it. It can be used on people and all pets, and like my label states, this soap bar has "been tested extensively on humans".
There is also a non-aresol spray that I make, which I find great for spraying on my head, as the soap bar would be a little mucky for that. Below is a list of the essential oil insect repellents and the specialty oils that I use in these two products.
Citronella. Citronella oil may irritate sensitive skin and cause dermatitis in certain individuals. But it is not without its therapeutic properties. Those being antiseptic, bactericidal, deodorant, diaphoretic, insecticide, parasitic, tonic and stimulant.
Citronella oil's most useful quality is being one of the best natural essential oil insect repellents. It is best used in a spray, a diffuser or on a cotton ball amongst linen. It is also useful in ridding cats and dogs of fleas. In a diffuser, citronella oil can be used as an insect repellent, for colds and flu, for clearing the mind and to refresh the sickroom. In Africa, where malaria is a great problem, citronella oil is used to a great extent to keep the disease carrying mosquitoes at bay.
When included in a cream or lotion, citronella oil is most useful to keep the tropical wearer safe from mosquitoes that cause malaria. It also has a dramatic freshening effect on tired sweaty feet.
Yet, not as a repellent, citronella oil helps to clear the mind and has a general toning and tonic effect on the body. It is helpful with colds, flu and minor infections and also has deodorizing qualities. Its antiseptic properties make it a great neutralizer to clear a sickroom. It also has an excellent effect on clearing the mind. It may be used for combating excessive perspiration and for balancing oily skin, as well as fighting intestinal parasites and bringing down fever.
Tea Tree. Tea Tree Oil is another one of the great essential oil insect repellents for people or pets. Spraying repellents onto yourself and the kids to avoid the parasites is one great solution. Tea Tree is an oil so it could leave an oily spot on your clothes, but you can certainly spray it diluted on your skin and hair. Tea Tree is also one of a few essential oil insect repellents that you can place neat or undiluted on your skin. Besides being a great natural mosquito and insect repellent, it's also a great moisturizer, an eczema fighter, a fungus fighter, and so much more. Specifically, Tea tree oil is known to repel mosquitoes, lice, ants, and many other insects that bite. It also soothes insect bites and stings and helps in removal of ticks.
To make this simple bug repelling solution, all you'll need is a large misting spray bottle, 2 oz of organic tea tree oil, and some water. Pour the 2 ounces of organic tea tree oil into the spray bottle and fill the rest with water. Mist the solution onto the skin and rub in gently. Reapply as needed.
Tea tree oil also can repel insects in the garden. Be cautious when using tea tree oil on plants, it must be diluted with water and must not be sprayed directly on the plants. It can burn them. Instead, spray around the plants. To make tea tree oil insect repellent for the garden, mix the same solution as used on skin above.
Lemon eucalyptus oil. Probably the most effective natural essential oil insect repellent for mosquitos is Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil. A 2002 study in the New England Journal of Medicine compared different synthetic chemical and herbal repellents: Essential oil insect repellents also includes Lemon Eucalyptus. A repellent spray provided 120.1 minutes of mosquito protection, more than a repellent with a low concentration of the chemical DEET (Off Skintastic for Kids with 4.75% DEET provided 88.4 minutes of protection) and less than Off Deep Woods with 23.8% DEET, which provided 301.5 minutes of protection.
A study by the US Department of Agriculture compared four synthetic mosquito repellents and eight natural mosquito repellents and found that the Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil was the most effective repellent, more so than a 7% DEET repellent.
Lemon eucalyptus essential oil insect repellents, have been reviewed and approved for effectiveness and human safety and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for mosquitoes that may carry the West Nile virus. In one testing period, volunteers criticized its odor, but don't let this stop you from trying it.
Cedarwood oil was used by ancient Egyptians and today in Tibetan medicines. It has a woodsy smell and combines well with other essential oil insect repellents and other therapeutic blends. Cedarwood essential oil uses are varied and it can improve many health conditions.
As a bug repellent for camping or outdoors and having problems with stinging or biting bugs, try releasing a few drops of cedarwood oil. Cedarwood is a natural insecticide. Place a few drops on a cotton ball or a tissue and place around your body to keep the insects away. You could also mix a few drops with a lotion and apply the lotion for a natural bug repellent.
This essential oil is most well known for improving skin conditions. Cedarwood oil helps with dandruff, oily skin and acne. Place a few drops into an unscented shampoo or in some rinse water to fight dandruff. To fight oily skin or acne, add a few drops to distilled water and apply the solution using a cotton ball.
If you've got a cough or other bronchial irritation, try dropping a bit of cedarwood oil onto a cotton ball and you can also try adding a drop or two to hot water and inhaling the steam coming off the water. The combination of the cedarwood oil and the steam may help release congestion. Cedarwood oil is a great natural detoxifier.
Neem Oil, this particular oil is not in the spray that I make, due to its consistency, but is it in the soap. Also, this particular tropical oil from the Neem tree has a horrible smell. If you have a weak stomach, don't smell it straight from the bottle. Sniff the lid if you have to. I have a strong stomach, but it lurched the last time I smelled it. But it works, and here are results of some of the field studies that were done on the natural mosquito repelling action of neem oil:
In 1994 the the Malaria Research Centre of Delhi, tested whether kerosene lamps with 1% neem oil can protect people from mosquito bites. For that test they burned the lamps in living rooms, and from 6 pm to 6 am caught the mosquitoes sitting on the walls and those attracted to human bait/volunteers.
Neem oil clearly reduced the number of bites on the volunteers and also the number of mosquitoes caught. The protection was greater against anopheles species, the ones that transmit malaria, than against culex variety.
A 1995 study at a field station the Malaria Research Centre in India, tested a mix of 2% neem oil mixed in coconut oil.
They showed that applying that mixture to the skin provided significant protection from various mosquitoes. It worked best against anophelines, offering 96-100% protection! (The malaria transmitting anopheles mosquitoes fall into this group). The numbers for other species were 85% for Aedes (carries dengue fever), 61-94% for Culex spp. (can carry West Nile virus) and 35% for Armigeres.
In 1996 the Malaria Research Centre of India did another field trial with kerosene lamps in an Indian village. Kerosene lamps with 1% neem oil were kept burning from dusk to dawn in living rooms.
They found that the lamps kept the mosquitoes out of the living rooms and that the malaria incidents of the population dropped dramatically (from about ten cases per thousand people to only one in thousand). Once the lamps were removed, the mosquitoes returned and so did the malaria.
In another 1996 study by the Malaria Research Centre in Delhi, they tested the effects of kerosene lamps with 1% neem oil. Clinical examination of 156 adults and 110 children did not reveal any major adverse effects after one year of exposure to 1% neem oil.
If you make your own essential oil insect repellent product, you can have some fun naming this one - Bug Off, Buzz Off, Entomophobia (fear of insects), Insecticider, or Bug NOT (which is what I call mine).