Don’t know if you noticed, but Arizona has gotten some serious rain here lately! That’s a good thing for the most part. Getting it all at once like we have really wasn’t a good thing – the ground here gets so dry that it actually repels water. So, we get a LOT all at once and the water pretty much rolls off – often taking with it the nice top soil we’ve put in or the light gravel we lined our walkways with. Some folks got caught by surprise and lost their cars or in some sad instances, their lives.
We all know what extra water often means: mosquitoes. As I was out working out on my back porch this morning, I was being plagued by the mosquitoes. Then I remembered: Had not put on my bug repellent! I sprayed myself lightly, went back out and the mosquitoes left me alone.
You do not have to go out and buy expensive anything for this and you certainly do not have to suject yourself to toxic chemicals to keep the skeeters at bay. 🙂
What you’ll need
32 oz spray bottle
2 teaspoons Catnip (yes, the green herb you find in the pet department!)
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup rubbing alchohol
50 – 60 drops essential oil(s)
now, this can be one such as tea tree oil or a blend of a few – many, if not most of them can be purchased at Walmart, Sprouts, drug stores, natural groceries, vitamin stores, etc., or you can get them online at Moutain Rose Herbs – they often have organic essential oils and like food, you’re better off in the long run if you can get organic.
Essential oils to try: Tea tree, Citronella, eucalyptus, cedarwood (either variety), Lemongrass, Lavender, Patchouli, any citrus – orange, lemon, grapefruit, Catnip essential oil is REALLY expensive! Really. That’s why we’re using tea.
NOTE: Yes, there are a few companies that sell essential oil blends that repel bugs. Some of them are GREAT and they work fine. PLEASE read the ingredients on some of those blends – often you’re only getting 3-5 PERCENT essential oil, the rest is fractionated coconut oil. Seriously. Ingredient lists are important. If you’re OK spending $20 per ounce for a blend that is mostly coconut oil, go for it. I am not OK with it. For that same money, I get pure, organic essential oil that isn’t diluted.
I use: 15 drops citronella, 15 drops cedarwood (You can stop right here as those two oils are EXCELLENT repellents on their own, combined they’re a powerhouse, but the smell they create when blended can put some off) , 1 (ONE) drop clove, 10 drops eucalyptus, 5 drops tea tree, 10 drops lemongrass, 5 drops lavender. This is what I came up with through trial and error that not only repelled the bugs, but the critters could handle being sprayed with as well. If you’re just spraying around doors and windows and you like the smell of citronella only, by all means use it!
Basically you’re going to make tea with that catnip herb. Use an infuser or be prepared to strain the herb out of the water. Let it steep for as long as you’re able – 20 minutes is good, overnight is better.
While the tea is steeping, pour 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol into the spray bottle, then add the essential oil(s) and swish it around. By dissolving the essential oils in alcohol, you won’t have to shake the bottle every time you use this. I get to moving so fast, I forget to shake bottles, so I nearly always use alcohol.
Add your cooled catnip tea.
Add 1.5 to 2 cups of water. Shake to blend, then test it in an inconspicuous place on your skin and/or clothing. I haven’t had any spots that were difficult to launder out yet, but I usually use this when I am wearing work and workout clothes.