Insects can be deadly if they are not taken care of immediately. But many mainstream insect repellents contain toxic chemicals. This is why you should rely instead on homemade herb and essential oil-based insect repellents.
Some of the most common toxic chemicals in insect repellents include pyrethroids, permethrin, cyfluthrin and DEET. These four toxic chemicals can cause a variety of dangerous health conditions including neurotoxicity, nerve damage, learning and memory dysfunction and even seizures. If babies or unborn children are exposed to even low levels of these chemicals it can even cause birth or developmental disorders. (Related: Study reveals coconut oil is a better insect repellent compared to DEET, a harmful chemical ingredient.)
To keep yourself and your family safe from unwanted insects without having to resort to toxic, chemical-based repellents, you need to turn to herbs and essential oils. Here are three kinds of all-natural insect repellents that you can use:
Fresh herbs insect repellent
For this insect repellant, you will need the following:
- One cup of water
- One cup of rubbing alcohol
- Two tablespoons of finely chopped spearmint of peppermint
- Six tablespoons of finely chopped lavender, citronella or catnip
Pour the cup of water into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once it starts boiling, remove the heat and add all of your finely chopped herbs. Cover the saucepan and let it cool completely. Once it has cooled, pour the contents into a spray bottle and add your cup of rubbing alcohol.
Store your new fresh herb-based insect repellent in a refrigerator and use it as needed.
Dried herbs insect repellent
- One cup of water
- One cup of apple cider vinegar
- One tablespoon each of thyme, rosemary, spearmint or peppermint, lavender and catnip
- One pint canning jar
Place all of your herbs in the canning jar. Pour your cup of apple cider vinegar into the jar, place the lid on the jar and shake well. Store the jar filled with herbs and vinegar in a cool, dark place for at least three weeks. Take out the jar every day to shake the contents.
After the three weeks, strain out the herbs, pour the herb-infused liquid into a spray bottle and add one cup of water. Store your insect repellent in the refrigerator and use it as needed.
Essential oils insect repellent
- Half a cup of apple cider vinegar
- Half a cup of rubbing alcohol
- Fifty drops of at least three essential oils among the following: spearmint, peppermint, lemongrass, lavender, eucalyptus, clove, citronella and catnip
This insect repellent is very easy to make. All you have to do is combine your half cup of apple cider vinegar and rubbing alcohol and the 50 drops of essential oils in a small spray bottle.
The various herbs and essential oils used in the three homemade insect repellants above are known to help protect people against insects.
Catnip, the preferred herb for the fresh and dried herbs insect repellents, is known to be more effective than DEET at keeping mosquitoes away. Lavender, which has been used for centuries to add sweet fragrances to homes, can repel mosquitoes, moths, fleas and flies.
As a bonus, many of the herbs and essential oils in these insect repellents, such as thyme, rosemary, eucalyptus and clove, can also be used to keep unwanted bugs away from your vegetable garden. Many of the herbs can even be grown with ease in your very own herb garden.
Learn more about why you need to replace your toxic, chemical-based insect repellents with ones based on natural ingredients by reading the latest articles at Pesticides.news.