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Natural Insect Repellent

Scratching at bug bites is not exactly how you want to end your hiking, camping, or day at the park experience. That’s why you need a natural insect repellent!

There is nothing worse than pesky mosquitoes and other annoying bugs getting under your skin. Even just the sound of them buzzing beside your ears is enough to drive you crazy. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how protected you are with long sleeves and pants they will find a way to your flesh.

Unfortunately, many of the products on the market used for bug repellents are filled with toxic ingredients that can be harmful to your health. Yes, they may keep the bugs away, but they can also cause many adverse effects not only to your skin but to your respiratory system and even your nervous system.

Although there are risks these days of mosquito bites and other insect bites, I do believe that we can do our best with natural methods as a first line of defense. Here are some tips to keep those bugs under control.

  1. Keep mosquitos away when using the barbeque by throwing sage or rosemary on the coals.
  2. Plant marigolds or basil in your garden as they give off a fragrance that bugs and insects do not like and will keep them away.
  3. Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) is a natural, plant-based oil. It works as well as products that contain lower concentrations of DEET. Make sure to purchase the insect repellent version and not “pure” oil of lemon eucalyptus (essential oil) as they are not the same. The safety and effectiveness of essential oil as a repellent is unknown.
  4. Use Catnip oil, which is derived from the nepeta cataria plant. It is said to repel mosquitos for up to seven hours.
  5. Make this super strong insect repellent; it smells when wet, but this will disappear once it has dried. In a quart-sized glass jar with an airtight lid mix one 32-ounce bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar with 2 tablespoons each of dried sage, rosemary, lavender, thyme, and mint. Let sit on the counter for 2–3 weeks and shake each day. Strain the herbs out and store in a spray bottle in the fridge. Dilute to half with water when using on skin.
  6. Other natural remedies include mixing water and vanilla extract and spraying it on the skin, rub fresh or dried herbs from the mint family all over.
  7. Get a beeswax or soy wax based candle infused with lemongrass. This is an excellent noninvasive way to keep the bugs away.

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