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Bug Me Not Insect Repellent

Seeking a natural replacement for Deet? There are plenty of alternatives in nature. Many plants have developed natural repellent qualities that we can borrow from them. One paper I found very helpful when developing my own mosquito repellent was written by people funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  If you’d like you can read it here: Malaria Journal: Plant Based Insect Repellants

What they found is that scientists are finding promising ways to develop effective natural insect repellants by studying traditional and natural ways people have been fighting insects.

Type of insects and even types of mosquitoes are repelled by different ingredients. That’s why I created a mixture with a variety of components. So if an insect doesn’t mind one ingredient, it may hate another. Also, I have come to believe that ingredients work synergistically together, meaning that while two ingredients may work fairly well separately, when working together, they more than double their effectiveness!

Ingredients in My Natural Insect Repellent

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Apple Cider Vinegar is perhaps the safest of all bug repellents. It is thought to work in two ways, the strong smell probably confuses insects who use something like smell to locate their next victim. Vinegar also acts as a mild antibacterial, eliminating bacterial odors that insects associate with a host. Furthermore, ACV acts as a natural preservative, a natural dispersant and a natural agent in my anti-bug tincture.

Quassia and Wormwood

My ACV tincture includes two herbs that are both extrmely bitter and found to be effective effective bug repellents; Quassia and Wormwood (when I can get it, it is the plant used to flavor absinthe).

Neem Oil

The Neem Tree is perhaps the most revered tree in India. It not only provides shade where children play, picnics are held and naps taken but provides shelter from mosquitoes who avoid the tree. Neem is a natural insecticide often used in gardens.

Rosemary Water

I make my own Rosemary water from a huge bush outside my house that get no pesticides or chemicals. It is almost 40% of my recipe and smells lovely.

Other Ingredients in My Spray that repel Bugs

LEMON EUCALYPTUS ESSENTIAL OIL

LEMONGRASS ESSENTIAL OIL

LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL

CITRONELLA ESSENTIAL OIL

Oil of Citronella is a volatile, liquid oil derived from dried cultivated grasses. It works on insects without harming or killing them. It has a distinctive odor which may make it difficult for some pests to locate a host. The length of repellency time varies with the inert ingredients and the amount of citronella oil in the product. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Citronella Fact Sheet”, Citronella has been used extensively as a repellent of mosquitoes, black flies, fleas, and ticks for more than half a century with no reports of adverse effects.

PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL

CEDARWOOD ESSENTIAL OIL

TEA TREE ESSENTIAL OIL

FENNEL ESSENTIAL OIL

CINNAMON ESSENTIAL OIL

FENNEL ESSENTIAL OIL

CAMPHOR ESSENTIAL OIL

ROSEMARY ESSENTIAL OIL

EUCALYPTUS ESSENTIAL OIL