As the summer months starts to warm up and especially with a dog in the house, I’m always trying to combat insect bites. Also with the growing concerns of the Zika virus, it’s a good idea to protect myself with bug spray. But conventional bug sprays are often toxic and contain chemicals that aren’t very good for our bodies, so today I’m going to show you how to make a natural DIY bug repellent using just a few simple ingredinets.
DIY Bug Spray:
4 oz of distilled water
4oz of witch hazel
1 tsp of almond oil
And a combination of the following essential oils:
- Lemon Eucalyptus (Reported by the CDC to be a good natural substitution for DEET in repelling insects, but not recommended for use on children under 3 yrs old. Lavender or Lemongrass works best for small children.)
- Tea Tree Oil - works best against ticks, chiggers, and deer flies, while citronella, lemon, and eucalyptus are the best for fending off mosquitos and black flies.
Essential oils are the true powerhouses when it comes to keeping the bugs away, and the ones that are most effective are:
When using essential oils, it’s important to dilute them with a carrier oil so they don’t irritate the skin.
I’ll Mix everything together and transfer to a spray bottle. Always shake the bottle well before using as the ingredients naturally separate, and reapply every few hours for best results.
I like making a few of bug sprays to keep them in my medicine cabinet and even my purse so I always have some with me!
Now if I've already been bitten by a bug, here are some natural remedies to help me stop the itch:
Aloe: The cooling effect of fresh aloe can soothe the itch and help heal the skin if it has been scratched open. I have an aloe plant that I’ll just pinch a tiny bit and rub the gel on the bite.
Banana peel: This sounds really strange, but the sugars from the peel helps to draw fluid out of the bite, so rubbing the inside of a banana peel on the area will really help.
Camphor is another great anti - itch relief and really works. It stings a bit due to the menthol properties, but if applied early enough, it may even prevent the itchy bump from forming.
If you’re looking for an itch cream, I found this Florasone cream from Whole Foods that also really work. It’s a natural homeopathic anti itch cream that doesn’t have drugs in them. The active ingredient is Cardiospermum halicabacum tincture.
Be sure not to scratch the bite because that tends to inflame the skin and makes it worse. If you REALLY have to, slap the bite. I know it sounds really strange too but you feel more of the slapping pain then the itch and personally I like that feeling way more.