Lavender Insect Repellent Recipe
Mosquito Up Close and Personal
Once Bitten . . . Twice Shy ~
I wish I had known how easy and effective Lavender was to incorporate into my own insect repellent when travelling to Turkey. Mosquitoes had never bothered me abroad, obviously favouring the paler skins of my fellow countrymen and women from the hideous welts, lumps and red sores they had visibly been left with after an attack of the dreaded mosquito.
On holiday in Alanya,Turkey one summer, I awoke one morning to find I could not open my right eye. Panicking, I looked in the mirror to find my eye completely swollen, red and looking like I had just gone ten rounds with Muhammad Ali. After a visit to the doctor I was told it was a severe mosquito bite and I was given cortisone and antihistamine tablets.
The following year I returned to Alanya to see friends and was armed with my deet insect repellent to ward off “Morris the Mosquito” returning. Alas, to no avail. Morris hunted me down and attacked the same eye as before, leaving me once again at the mercy of drugs and dark sunglasses.
The Herb To Grow ~
On my quest to find natural alternatives to beauty and cosmetic products, natural insect repellents were a must. Having sold many branded insect repellents for an outdoor leisure retailer, I certainly questioned the high price tags, chemical ingredients and effectiveness in warding off insect bites.
Lavender is a plant I grew up with and have loved for many years. Growing Lavender in our garden, the wafting smell was one we all grew to love and looked forward to from spring through summer.
Dried Lavender flowers were used inside our wardrobes by my mother to ward off moths and the scent was heavenly. This flowering herb is one of the most widely used essential oils in aromatherapy and has medicinal, culinary and beauty uses with therapeutic benefits when used dried, fresh or infused with oil.
Make A Natural Insect Repellent
Why not to use Deet ~
Deet (chemical name N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) is a chemical found in a high percentage of commercial insect repellents, particularly the mosquito repellents. Known to repel mosquitoes and other biting insects such as ticks, it is an active ingredient highly sought after by the consumer. Whilst it is approved for use by the US Environmental Protection Agency, there are a number of reasons why not to use it.
Deet has been found to cause blistering, redness to the skin when applied and is an eye irritant. According to the EPA it has been linked to neurological disorders in children and even been directly linked to two cases of deaths in adults.
Deet is also toxic to wildlife, in particular birds and aquatic life when used as a pest control product.
List of Best Natural Bug Repellents ~
- Clove Oil
- Citronella (Rose Geranium)
- Tea Tree Oil
- Castor Oil
- Vanilla Extract
- Geranium Oil
Lavender Benefits ~
- Insect Repellent
- Relieves Stress
- Head Lice
- Scalp Infections
- Migraine Headaches
- Analgesic Properties
- Floor Cleaner
Lavender Flowers Lavender Colors
Making Insect Repellent ~
Making your own insect repellent at home is very easy and can be changed depending on what ingredients you have available. With bugs such as mosquitoes, horseflies, ticks, flies and dog fleas abounding here are my favourites to make that are cost effective, safe to use on children and are effective against Insects.
Word of Caution – Do not use if you have a known or suspected allergy to any of the ingredients, particularly the essential oils. These should never to be ingested and always consult a doctor for medical advice before using with a known medical condition.
Say Goodbye To Insect Bites
- How to Make Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is produced as an essential oil or an infused oil. Originating in the wild thousands of years ago, it has become the most versatile member of the mint family with its many culinary and medicinal benefits.
Super Strong Insect Repellent ~
This bug zapper is seriously strong smelling when first applied but will disappear once dry on the skin. It is both antiviral and antibacterial. Ideal for walking in large infested woods or near water, it is also great for Morris mosquito attacks!
1 large clean glass jar with lid
32 oz apple cider vinegar
2-3 tbsp of dried lavender, mint, rosemary, thyme and sage (12-15 tbsp total)
- Pour the apple cider vinegar into the glass jar.
- Add the dried herbs and give a good stir.
- Screw on lid tightly and leave in the kitchen where you will see it.
- Leave for 3 weeks, shaking the mixture daily to get the herbs infusing with the vinegar.
- After 3 weeks, strain out the herbs. You will need another jar or a mixing bowl will work fine.
- Pour your infused repellent into the glass jar and pop into the fridge until you need it.
- To use the repellent take a clean spray bottle (easily purchased in drug stores, pharmacies and dollar stores) and have half water half vinegar. Give a good shake and your set! Keep the main jar in the fridge until you need to make it up.
- Every time you need to replenish, add half vinegar with half water.
Aromatic Bug Zapper Spray ~
A wonderful fragrant repellent you can mix to your own liking. If a stronger scent is required, add more essential oil.
4 oz (120 ml) witch hazel
4 oz (120 ml) boiled water (or distilled water may be used)
Essential oils – choose 1 or a mixture of as many as you like from lavender, citronella, eucalyptus, lemongrass, mint, cinnamon, rosemary, clove, catnip, cedar and tea tree.
1 spray bottle (8 oz size)
½ tsp vegetable glycerine (optional)
- Fill the spray bottle with your witch hazel and then to near the top with your water.
- Add glycerine if using.
- Add 40-50 drops of essential oil or a mixture out of the suggested list.
- Shake well to mix and your ready to go!
Ideas and Tips ~
- Rub lavender oil or even lavender flowers on your pulse points of the body which are also the hot spots. Include under arms, behind ears, neck and on the inner arm area behind the elbow to repel insects.
- The mint family of herbs is excellent as an insect repellent so even rub the fresh or dried leaves on the body as another natural repellent.
- Basil is also said to be a great bug repellent so make sure you have that in your garden growing or in a container planted up.
- Vanilla Extract may be used directly onto the skin as a bug deterrent or you can mix it with witch hazel and water for a spray version to carry around.
- The above insect repellents are safe to spray on your dogs if they get bitten when out in woods or bug infested areas and get bitten by mosquitoes or horse flies. Some people spray dog collars and it works wonders at keeping your pets bite free.
- White vinegar rubbed into the skin has proven successful for keeping mosquitoes, gnats and fleas away.
- Dried and fresh herbs may also be used in homemade insect repellents if you don’t have essential oils or would prefer not to use them.
- Dried lavender in sachets or in bunches are great deterrents against moths in the closet or wardrobe.
Have you made your own insect repellent before?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.