Now that summer is in full swing, pests, spiders and other bugs are at their height of human annoyance. You can barely step outside past dusk without being met by a swarm of blisteringly buzzing mosquitoes or strawberry-sized horseflies.
Instead of applying copious amounts of store bought, DEET laden bug spray to ward off these nasty little creatures, try concocting your own natural, healthier bug spray.
Like many other home products, bug spray can be made cheaply and easily using a slew of regular household items.
Benefits of natural bug spray
There are vast benefits to making your own natural bug spray. DEET, the most widely used ingredient in store-bought bug sprays, has been known to cause adverse neurological disorders and rashes in humans. Additionally, the widespread use of DEET has had severely negative impacts on wildlife and water sources, and even toxic effects on birds and aquatic life.
DEET has become so widely used that studies have found that “75 percent of U.S. water sources, including the Mississippi River,” contain the environmentally toxic insect repellent.
While most people are worried about the time and hassle that goes into making your own bug spray, many fail to realize that most recipes can be concocted in mere minutes.
Three all-natural homemade bug spray recipes
To illustrate how easy it actually is, here are recipes for three homemade bug sprays you can create entirely from the comfort of your own home.
1. Vinegar of the four thieves insect repellent
All you need to make this completely natural bug spray is a 32 ounce bottle of apple cider vinegar, two tablespoons each of rosemary, thyme, lavender, dried sage and mint, and a quart-sized glass jar. Once you’re ready to get started, pour the apple cider vinegar into the glass jar and mix in all of the dried herbs listed above. Seal the jar with an airtight lid, and store it in a place you will see every day. Each day over the next two to three weeks, shake the contents of the jar once or twice a day. After two or three weeks have gone by, strain out the herbs, and transfer the remaining liquid into spray bottles, and store in the fridge. To use on your skin, dilute the mixture to half with water, and you’re good to go!
2. Dried/fresh herbs bug spray
Similar to the vinegar of the four thieves recipe, this dried/fresh herbs bug spray combines distilled water with a myriad of garden herbs. The only difference is that this recipe calls for rubbing alcohol instead of vinegar, and uses peppermint, spearmint, citronella, lemongrass, catnip and lavender. To get started, measure out one tablespoon of each of the herbs listed above, and throw them in one cup of boiled water. Stir the mixture well, and then cover it, and let it cool. Once cooled, strain out the herbs, and mix the remaining solution with one cup of rubbing alcohol. Transfer the finalized solution into a spray bottle, and store in the fridge. Use as frequently as needed.
3. Simple garlic spray
An extremely simple recipe, all this simple garlic bug spray calls for is one head of garlic, one cup of vegetable oil and a few drops of dishwashing soap. To create the mixture, run the head of garlic through a garlic press, and then combine it in a container with the vegetable oil. Place the concoction in the fridge for three days. After three days, strain out the oil, and mix it with three cups of water and a few drops of dishwashing soap, and you’re all set!
Author: Wes Maxwell