Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mosquito Repellent

Though there a lot of things I love about the summer, mosquitoes are not one of them. Last night I counted four bites on one foot. Four. I don't just taste good, I'm downright delicious.

The biggest problem with mosquitoes, aside from the annoying itchy bites, is that they can carry dangerous diseases. The threat of West Nile is high here, especially since we live fairly close to standing water in nearby ponds and lakes.

Ashley is allergic to the bites. When she is bitten, she doesn't just get your typical itchy spots. She gets huge areas of swelling. Last summer, her eye swelled completely shut. The itching drives her crazy and she can't sleep. She is on round the clock antihistamines, and needs benadryl more than just occasionally.

Unfortunately, there is little that you can do in terms of prevention. Sure, you could never ever go outside. You could always wear long sleeves and pants in the middle of the hottest time of year. You could slather yourself with chemical sprays constantly. You could.

Keeping Ashley indoors just isn't an option, and wearing long sleeves and pants when the thermometer is flirting with triple digits isn't either. I am more than a little leery of the chemical based insect repellents. I mean, really, the labels all say to wash it off before you go to bed, not to reapply more often than every so many hours, to make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before eating, remove and wash all clothing sprayed. Then, they try to get you to believe it's safe to squirt on every square inch of your exposed skin. Not so sure on that.

I've spent a lot of time trying to find natural repellents. Things without 27 letter in their names and warning labels in bold print. This particular concoction is one I started using last year, and it seems to work pretty well. You do have to reapply it periodically and it stinks. But it's not scary. The ingredients are fairly easy to find at natural food stores.

Homemade Mosquito Repellent
- clean squirt bottle
- eucalyptus oil
- lemon oil

Fill bottle with water, add about a tsp of eucalyptus oil and a few drops of lemon oil. Shake vigorously before each use. Avoid spraying in face, as the oils will irritate eyes, nose and mouth.


  1. Thank You! I went for a bike ride, stopped w/ Charlotte to feed some horses, and came away with six bites on my arms....not fun at all. I was like, "get in the trailer, get in the trailer, Mom's being eat'n alive."

  2. It's not perfect, but it works pretty well. There are commercially available sprays derived from the same ingredients as well, but I prefer this. It's cheaper, and I know exactly what is in it.


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