Alternative Essential Oils to Repel Insects
Many people are familiar with essential oils such as citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) and lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) as an insect repellent. However, if the aroma of these particular essential oils is not appealing to you, here are a few alternative suggestions to repel insects this summer.
Cape May Essential Oil for Insects
Cape May (Coleonema album) essential oil is extracted from the leaves and stems of the South African white confetti bush. It has a green, herbal aroma with a peppery note. The bush has pink-tinged white flowers with needle-like leaves and you can see the essential oil gland on the underside of the leaves. Cape May belongs to the Rutaceae plant family.
The leaves have traditionally been used as an insect repellent, among other uses, and the essential oil can be used for the same purpose.
Geranium Essential Oil for Insects
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is one of my favorite essential oils, both for its aroma and for its many uses. Geranium essential oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers of the plant and it has a rosy-sweet scent.
Geranium belongs to the Geraniaceae plant family. It is a perennial, hairy shrub with green, serrated leaves and pink flowers. Note that there are many species and cultivars of geranium available.
Geranium essential oil can be used as an insect repellent and it is an essential oil that I have also used to calm insect bites.
Bergamot Essential Oil for Insects
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is a member of the Rutaceae plant family. It is a small tree that has oval, green leaves and a small fruit which resembles an orange. However, the fruit ripens from green to yellow, not orange.
Bergamot essential oil has a number of uses and can be used both as an insect repellent and for insect bites. It has a pleasing citrus aroma. However, bergamot essential oil is photo-toxic, so do not use it prior to going out in sunlight.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil for Insects
There are a few varieties of eucalyptus essential oil that can be used as an insect repellent including blue gum eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) and lemon-scented eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora). Eucalyptus is native to Australia and belongs to the Myrtaceae plant family. The trees can be similar in appearance.
How to Use Essential Oils as Insect Repellents
One of the best ways to use essential oils as insect repellents is in an aromatherapy diffuser or a natural-based aromatherapy candle. Simply light the candle when dining outdoors in the summer to repel insects.
You can also use these essential oils in a white lotion base, carrier oil base, or a spritzer base. Make sure that all essential oils are fully diluted before applying to the skin. Check for any contra-indications for use. If in doubt, consult a certified aromatherapist.
Natural insect repellants
The warm weather is here and so are the bugs! I’m uncomfortable using but repellants and poisons that need to be kept away from children or have to be washed off after a certain length of time. Keep the little buggers at bay with these tips that are safe and easy.
These are some good methods when you have small children or pets and don’t like to use poison!
Ants won’t cross chalk lines, so start drawing! They also dislike baby powder, you can sprinkle some at their points of entry.
Put a small piece of lemon peel in your sugar bowl or try some cucumber peels or orange peels anywhere else you want to keep them from.
To keep ants out of your pet’s food dish, put some vaseline around the dish!
Try rubbing a dryer sheet on your arms and legs to prevent bites. This is safe to use on small children as long as they are not allergic to perfumes!
Well known but worth mentioning, Avon’s Skin So Soft oil really works great too!
Bees hate mint, keep a few plants around the house and take sprigs, putting them in a container by your picnic table will help keep them away from your food.
To get rid of fleas in your house: sprinkle all carpets and floors with salt, leave for about a week. The fleas eat the salt and die. Be sure to throw away your vacuum cleaner bags as their eggs will hatch and reinfest.
Safe spray for your pet:
try boiling a lemon in a pot of saltwater, fill up a spray bottle and douse your pet!
Keep some Bactine spray on hand in case of bites, it really makes kids feel better if you put on some ‘medicine’ when they get a bit! Me, I’ll be hiding in the screen tent!
Table of Contents
- 1 Alternative Essential Oils to Repel Insects
- 2 How to Use Essential Oils as Insect Repellents
- 3 Natural insect repellants