One of my best friends called yesterday and was freaking out a bit. Her two year old son had a tick. I hate ticks. If you read my blog about spiders, know that ticks only fall slightly under spiders because I see fewer of them. She talked about getting an herbal insect repellent for her children and I thought that would make an excellent green living blog.
I had actually already bought a herbal insect repellent at Target to send to my husband overseas. If you love Burt’s Bees products, they have an herbal insect repellent that includes oils such as lemongrass, citronella, and rosemary.
But, when I started doing research, I realized I can make my own. And, not only is your homemade insect repellent not going to be filled with pesticides, it will smell wonderful due to the natural products used in it. The only caution is that a pregnant woman (or one wishing to get pregnant) should check with her doctor first before using an herbal repellent.
Before you make your herbal insect repellent, you need to decide what you want to repel because that will dictate what essential oil you use. For example, to get rid of ticks, you want to choose rose geranium, eucalyptus, lavender, or palmerosa oil. If you want to get rid of mosquitoes, look for pennyroyal, lemon balm, lavender, and thyme oil. Head lice a problem? Look for tea tree, eucalyptus, rose geranium, rosemary, or lavender oil. If you have fleas, you will need orange oil. Black flies hate lavender, eucalyptus, lemon balm, cedar, and peppermint.
Once you purchase your oil, you will need to combine 10 to 25 drops of that with 2 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil and 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel. The aloe vera isn’t necessary, but will certainly help soften your skin. Put the ingredients in a jar, shake well, and then apply a few drops to your clothing or skin.