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Stop Bugging Me – Naturally….

February 12, 2009

Summer is great, nights  by the barbeque, long days at the beach and plenty of time to get our and work in the garden.  If that sounds like heaven, it is until  something prickly comes along! We are talking bugs, things that crawl, fly, bite or sting.  There are a wide range of insect repellents in the marketplace some of which contain naturally occurring additives and some which are man made.

A common man made repellent is called DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide). This ingredient is great at repelling mosquitos and other little bighters including ticks.  DEET was first used in world war two and was created to protect the military from malaria in Jungle warfare (necessity is the mother of all invention).  DEET works because of its smell. Insects don’t like it so they keep away – it does them no harm but it isn’t great for our skin.  DEET should never be used on broken or damaged skin as it can be very irritating.  It has been linked to a few health issues in people with high exposure and so should be used with care.  DEET can’t bioaccumulate  (build up in the bodies of humans and other animals)but it has been found to be toxic to some fish species. However when faced with a jungle full of malaria infected mosquitos I’d go the DEET…

If you prefer something more environmentally pure, here are some natural born bug killers to add to your arsenal.

Lavender

Lavender can be used to prevent moth attacks on clothes – get rid of those camphor balls right now!  You could try hanging a sachet of lavender flowers in your wardrobe or spraying regularly with lavender water.

Applied to the skin, Lavender also helps to prevent you from getting bitten. Mosquito’s, flies and midges are all repelled by lavender so it is a great thing to plant next to your outside eating area or barbeque.  Apply to the skin by making up a blend of carrier oil (about 30 ml of almond or whatever you usually use), 3 drops of lavender and 2 drops of bergamot.

Citronella and Tea Tree Blend.

Use 100ml base oil  (whatever suits you) with 5 drops of  Citronella and 5 drops of Tea Tree Blend.  Citronella  comes from a lemon scented grass.  Citronella is the main ingredient in many commercial insect repellents and is also blended into soaps, repellent candles and disinfectants.

Cedarwood.

Cedarwood is great against termites and in oil form will also help keep mosquito’s  and fleas away.  It has a light woody fragrance and is often used in masculine fragrances. You could try burning the oil in a diffuser to keep bugs at bay. A lighter alternative to citronella.

Grandpa’s Brew!

Now, I am not sure where Grandpa got this recipe but I can assure you it works. Just don’t apply if you are expecting company – it stinks!

In 100ml of baby oil (or a natural carrier oil if you prefer) add 25ml of white cider vinegar,  5ml of tea tree oil and mix.  Give it a go….

And if you do get bitten…..


Blue Cypress Essential Oil.

This Australian gem is an itch stopper extrordinair.  A staple ingredient of the Aboriginal medicine bag this oil is amazing.  It also has anti bacterial and cleansing properties.

Bicarb of soda for Bee Stings.

The sting from a bee is acidic so neutralizing it with Bicarbonate of Soda will ease some (not all) of the pain. The acid is Formic if you are interested!

Vinegar for Wasp stings.

Wasps stings are alkaline so neutralizing it with vinegar or lemon juice will give some relief.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 2, 2009 11:27 am

    Hey,
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    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink
      March 2, 2009 6:03 pm

      Hi there,

      Good on you with the weight loss! Of course that story should be shared – I will check out your site and see if we should look into it further.

      Amanda

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