Natural Insect Repellant

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Have you ever wondered if there was a more natural way to keep away those pesky pests that seem to always be buzzing around during the summer months? According to several different authors, essential oils can be a great natural way to keep the insects at bay!

General Insect Repellants
According to Valerie Ann Worwood, author of The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, lemongrass and citronella are great oils to use to keep insects out of the room. She recommends either diffusing these oils, or placing ribbons or strings with the oils on them by windows, doorways, or other places that insects might like to enter. To keep insects from landing on you, she recommends using 30 drops lavender oil diluted in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.

In the Reference Guide for Essential Oils, Connie and Alan Higley recommend using a blend of 5 drops lavender, 5 drops lemongrass, 3 drops peppermint, and 1 drop thyme blended with a cup of water and sprayed on to help keep bugs away (Valerie Ann Worwood also recommends a blend using these same oils, but with different proportions). The Higleys also recommend basil, bergamot, cedarwood, and a blend of clove, lemon and orange as other insect-repelling oils.

One suggestion Valerie Ann Worwood gives for keeping ants out of your house is to place peppermint oil at places where ants are coming into your house, or spraying peppermint oil where the ants walk. Other authors suggest that most mint oils are effective for repelling ants.
In his book, Aromatherapy Workbook, Marcel Lavabre recommends a blend of equal parts lavender and lavandin placed in aromatic pottery in a drawer or closet to keep moths away. Gary Young also recommends patchouli oil on cotton balls or cedar chips to keep moths away in his book, Essential Oils Integrative Medical Guide.
According to Valerie Gennari Cooksley, RN, author of Aromatherapy: Soothing Remedies to Restore, Rejuvenate, and Heal, basil, cedarwood, citronella, geranium, juniper, and rosemary can all be effective for keeping mosquitoes away. She mentions in her book that her son will soak strips of cloth in a blend of citronella and geranium essential oils mixed with a vegetable oil base. He then ties the strips to trees around his camping site to successfully keep mosquitoes away.
To help keep fleas off dogs, Kristen Leigh Bell recommends in her book, Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals, a blend comprised of 1/2 oz. hazelnut or sweet almond oil, 4 drops clary sage, 1 drop citronella, 7 drops peppermint, and 3 drops lemon. She recommends either applying 2-4 drops to the neck, chest, legs, and base of the tail, or else applying the drops to a bandana or cotton collar that the dog wears.
For even more suggestions and blend recipes for helping keep bugs away during the summer months, see any of the books listed above. If you are interested in suggestions for keeping bugs out of your garden, The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy, by Valerie Ann Worwood has a complete section on what plants and essential oils can be used to repel many different insects and bugs from your garden, and the book 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol and David Schiller gives some helpful blends that can be used to help keep bugs off of your plants.
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