Itchy bug bites are not only inconvenient but also dangerous because of their potential health risks. Hence, having a bug spray with you is always important, whether you’re at work, home, or in the woods. But sticky sprays are not always the best options during warm weather. Channel the survivalist in you by trying these natural ways to repel insects without a bug spray!
Make Your Own Repellent
The first thing you might be thinking of is, making your own repellent is the most natural and effective way to repel insects. Simply prepare a spray bottle, 1 pint of distilled white vinegar, 1 pint of water, 25 drops of tea tree oil, and 25 drops of lavender essential oil. Add them together in the spray bottle and shake well. You can spray it on your boot, clothing, and skin if it isn’t sensitive.
Here are other natural ingredients you can try for your DIY natural repellent.
- Lemon eucalyptus oil. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has approved it as an effective mosquito repellent. A study even shows that it provides more than 95% protection against mosquitoes for three hours. Try mixing 1 part of it with 10 parts sunflower oil or witch hazel.
- Citronella. This is a common natural and effective essential oil that works against mosquitoes. Made from a mix of herbs, it’s an ingredient in many mosquito repellents.
- Thyme oil. Thyme oil is the best at providing protection against mosquitoes. All you have to do is combine four drops of thyme oil to every teaspoon of base oil like olive or jojoba.
Remember that essential oils themselves shouldn’t be put on the skin directly. For those with sensitive skin, even dilution in a carrier oil like almond oil might still cause reactions.
Consider Wild Plants
Many wild plants contain bug repelling properties, some are native species, while others are brought to the continent. Here are some of them:
- Pineapple weed. This non-native species is uncommon. They are often found on roadsides and other disturbed grounds with feathery leaves and tender stems. To use as a repellent, crush the leaves and stem then apply to the skin and clothing,
- Paw Paw. This is commonly found in the rivers and waterways throughout the eastern US, bearing tropical-looking fruits and large ovate leaves that can be crushed and wiped on your skin as a repellent.
- Catnip. This mint family member not only makes calming tea but also repels flying insects like mosquitoes. All you have to do is crush the fresh leaves and stems onto your skin and clothing.
Try producing Smoke
There are many ways you can create smoke, and most of these are effective at keeping the bugs away. Fishermen who hate biting flies and pests around the water do this all the time by smoking cigars when the air suddenly gets buggy. However, if you’re a non-smoker, any smoke will work, though some are much better than the others.
Cedar is one famous bug repellent, and cedar bark can smolder than simply burst into flame. A bunch of this can then keep the bugs at bay. Cattails can also be a great option for producing smoke. The dead brown seed heads can be found atop the tall grass-like plants. The end of the corndog-like feature is where you will apply the open flame. Then, the smoke will drift out of it so place the seen head upwind from you with the glowing end into the wind, and sit where the smoke can bathe you.