7 Essential Oils to Battle Bugs, Insects and Pests
Bugs and insects might have a purpose in this world, but we typically don’t want them bothering us. Whether it is while we are relaxing on our patio or going for a walk, repelling bugs, insects and pests is necessary. Luckily, we don’t have to turn to store-bought repellants when there is a cabinet full of essential oils!
Some insects can even carry viruses! Mosquitoes are well known for carrying the West Nile Virus. Pregnant women are wary of the Zika virus, carried by insects. There are dozens of pathogens that can be carried by flies. Repelling insects is more than just to avoid frustration; it helps to keep us healthy as well!
Dangers of DEET
You could turn to a chemical spray to get rid of the bugs. However, there are several reasons to opt for a homemade version instead.
- DEET may interfere with our nervous system enzymes. It blocks cholinesterase, which is an enzyme that transmits messages from the brain to muscles. While it was meant to do so in just insects, research shows it also has a similar effect on mammals.
- It can cause excess saliva, watery eyes, muscle spasms, tremors, and hives.
Essential Oils to Use to Avoid Bugs, Insects, and Pests
Natural is great, but it has to work for us to want to use it. Not all essential oils have the same repellant effects as the others. Typically, I mix more than one oil (always check if they are safe for kids if you plan to use them on children).
Everyone has heard of citronella! It is in the candles you purchase at the store to set outside. It is so effective because citronella naturally masks the smells that are attracting the bugs. Citronella can repel flies outside, but there is more! It is also effective at repelling ants, mosquitoes, fleas gnats, ticks and more. Leaving cotton balls around with drops of citronella oil is a great way to repel cockroaches.
If you are battling mosquitoes, lemongrass should be one of the first essential oils you reach for in your cabinet. Lemongrass has several beneficial properties such as being antifungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory.
Insects strongly dislike the smell of lemongrass, making it a great choice as a repellant! Fleas, flies, and mosquitoes all run at the scent. Try boiling a pot of water on your stove with several drops of lemongrass essential oil. You could also spray a mixture on your doors and around your house. Lemongrass battles back those annoying fruit flies!
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