June 16, 2021
With the summer sun heating up we’re all ready to get outside and have some fun. But while you’re enjoying the sunshine and the beauty of nature, it’s important to protect yourself from pesky bugs and critters that are lurking among the grass or flying around your home.
While the quick and easy solution may be to run to your local store and pick up a bottle of bug repellent or bug spray, these common household products are full of nasty chemicals that come with a long list of warnings and precautions. However, there are other natural and organic alternatives to these commonly used sprays that not only protect your health but also keep you and your home smelling fresh. We’re here to share our favorite five essential oils for keeping the summer bugs at bay as well as a few of our favorite bug bite solutions.
The grassy and fresh scent of lemongrass essential oil is one of our favorites, but thankfully it's not a favorite scent of most bugs. Similar to citronella, lemongrass works to repel a variety of pests including mosquitos, ticks, fleas and flies. Because of its high citral and geraniol content along with its antimicrobial effects, lemongrass oil is known as a herbicide and as an insecticide.
Tea Tree essential oil has anti-fungal, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that make it great for use as a natural insecticide and bug repellent. If you do happen to get a bite, Tea Tree essential oil is great for soothing and healing too.
Peppermint is a great natural alternative to help drive bugs away. A wide variety of bugs including ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, fruit flies, spiders, wasps, and gnats can’t stand the smell.
Lavender is a great essential oil to use as a bug repellent because it’s very versatile and helps with mosquitos, flies, spiders, moths, ants, ticks and bed bugs. Not only does it repel bugs, but it also smells great and promotes relaxation. In addition, lavender’s analgesic, antifungal, and antiseptic qualities make it great at not only preventing bites, but also soothing and calming bites.
In a 2010 study on the benefits of eucalyptus against sandflies, it was found that eucalyptus essential oil is more effective than other natural products at repelling, making it another great option for those looking to repel insects.
If traveling or planning to be outdoors, make sure to pack your Tea Tree, Lemongrass or Eucalyptus roll-on and apply to areas of exposed skin before going outside. Make sure to reapply throughout the day.
Maciel, M V et al. “Chemical composition of Eucalyptus spp. essential oils and their insecticidal effects on Lutzomyia longipalpis.” Veterinary parasitology vol. 167, 1 (2010): 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2009.09.053
Shah, Gagan et al. “Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Cymbopogon citratus, stapf (Lemon grass).” Journal of advanced pharmaceutical technology & research vol. 2, 1 (2011): 3-8. https://dx.doi.org/10.4103%2F2231-4040.79796
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