Saturday, October 29, 2011

Make Your Own Mosquito Repellent, bzzzzz

It's still mosquito season here, as it's nearly 70 degrees (Fahrenheit, that's about 22C) here on the southern coast of France. Mosquitoes love me so much, and I cannot say that this infatuation is reciprocal. Mosquitoes are attracted by body heat, carbon dioxide (which we exhale), movement, moisture, sound, and dark colors - are you kidding me? Basically they're attracted to everything! Just hearing that light buzz around my head is enough to keep me awake all night! Ahhh! What to do, what to do?

I've used plenty of sprays and balms and whatnot. I've heard about why it's not okay to use products containing DEET (a chemical developed by the US Army following WWII as a crop pesticide - not only can it cause damage to the central nervous system but it can melt some plastics) and in fact I don't/won't use it. So, a no-chemical insect repellent is what I'm looking for. I can certainly make one myself!

I ordered up some essential oils that are known for keeping the skeeters at bay (left, eucalyptus and rosemary) and added one dram (each of these bottles is one dram) into a spray bottle with 40-50ml of jojoba oil. Presto bingo! After shaking it up and spraying it on, I smelled like a eucalyptus tree that would be way too unappealing for mosquitoes and my skin was super soft. I win! Cost: under $5.

You can make your own mosquito repellent by using the same recipe as mine or by using a different carrier oil or essential oil.

Carrier oils: basically any oil that can be used on the body would do, if relatively unscented. Water can work too.

Essential oils: some of the oils known to repel mosquitoes are eucalyptus, rosemary, lemongrass, thyme, pennyroyal, and lavender.

BONUS: if you have an electric diffuser (the kind that plug into the wall and diffuse a scent) you can use this solution as a diffusing liquid as well. Would be great in a home with kids!

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