Easy To Make At Home Insect/Bug Repellent!

I read somewhere a long time ago that whatever ailments there are on our earth the cures for them are also here. Now I might be taking that statement out of context but as far as I'm concerned flying Sherman-tank sized mosquitoes, ticks and the rest of their biting, pinching and stinging compatriots are near the top of my list of ailments... (well the wounds they leave behind at any rate)

With other words there are natural deterrents and cures available. To combat those pesky monsters we really do not need to use the dangerous chemicals that are so widely available on the market.

When the live and let live code just does not work... we need to prepare a war plan <==>(insect repellent) for this we must find the right plants. Plants that contain the helpful aromatic oils needed, the right strength of each and figure out which scent or oil helps ward off which pest. The functions of these oils are to thwart or repel damaging insects. Naturally these repellents are to go along with not instead of the use of the bloodthirsty flyswatters, mosquito zappers or the non-technical rolled up newspapers which all can work in some cases...

As always there is a history lesson:

There are records of anti-bug-oil recipes going back to the time of the ancient Egyptians. (you just gotta admire those ancient Egyptians, they were a smart bunch). Naturally only the rich and famous were allowed (or could afford) to protect themselves against the blood thirsty mini vampires in a nice way. (I do not consider covering my whole body in a mud concoction a nice remedy)

It's only been roughly 100 years or so that it's been known that insects (especially the mosquitos) can cause more then just itchy discomfort. (i.e. the human casualties during the construction of the Panama Canal circa1875 to 1912)

For the past few decades the toxic, based on petro-chemicals, insect repellent have and are still being sold commercially. For example the 'N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide' (that's what I call a mouthful) or Deet for short, which was developed and put to use for the military in WWII and to the civilian world in the late 1950s. Since then even though Deet is suspected of being the cause of quite a few health risks, beginning with skin rashes and respiratory problems, it is still widely used.

some products based on Deet!
some products based on Deet!

Deet:

If you must use Deet containing chemicals here are a few important facts that you should know:

  • The higher the DEET concentration of the repellent formula, the longer it will provide protection.
  • This protection is true against both mosquitoes and ticks, but the time frame of protection is longer for mosquitoes than ticks.
  • When looking for protection against ticks (if you're going to be in the country, near forests and under-bush) look for products that specify for ticks and use it on your clothing as well as your exposed skin. (you need to brush against the vegetation for ticks to get onto you as those little monsters are not capable of jumping onto you)

Health Canada regulations allow the following concentrations for different age groups:

  • For adults and children over 12 years of age use a product with up to 30% concentration of DEET . Each application should be effective for six hours against mosquitoes.
  • For children aged two to 12 use products that have no more than a 10% concentration. These can be applied three times daily. Each application will be be effective for up to three hours against mosquitoes.
  • For children aged six months to two years you can use a product with an up to 10% concentration but should not be applied more than once daily. It offers a three hours protection against mosquitoes. Do not apply on face and hands.

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*******Do NOT use personal insect repellents containing DEET on infants under six months. Use a mosquito net when baby or child is in a crib, playpen or stroller outdoors.*******

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Remember to check labels when combining sunscreen and insect repellents. Most of them are okay to be combined... Follow the instructions on the package for proper applications of each product. Apply the sunscreen first, followed by insect repellent. ( Use sunscreen with no scents added...sweet scents are an invitation telling the bugs "come and get-it... here are some of your favourite tasty and delicious morsels" )


Natural Insecticides!

There are a number of plants reputed to repel bugs, these include basil, fennel, garlic, lemon eucalyptus, lavender, spearmint, peppermint, catnip, cedar, juniper, penny-royal and many more.

How well they all do... really depends on the type of insects, the location, the time of year etc. Many swear that one, or a combination of some work well for them. However a mix of herbals that works really well here in southern Ontario for me might not do anything for a person in the humid and hot environment of the Amazon rain-forest or in the hot Nevada desert. I have tried and tested and use all of the following recipes. Which I use, at what time of ...day ...year ... depends on the circumstances of where I'm going to be spending my time.

I can't be shy about it and should confess that I'm very popular with the bug population. They all love me... one and all really, really love me and fight over who can to get closer to me first, just so they can have a pint or two of my blood or a hunk of my flesh. Then within the next day or two I get reminded of who was present by their calling cards. The mosquito leaves me with a red hard bump the size of a plum. The never to be outdone black flies (depending on how many I have of them, in my collection at a time) other than the big enormous lumps, make my eyes swell shut and give me something resembling hives for 24 hours. And as I have absolutely no self control when it comes to 'itchy' I become a bloody mess all within a couple of hours. With other words those xxxxxxx flying blood suckers pick me out of a crowd for their gourmet meal.

Having said that I can honestly say that I probably have tried just about every repellent and anti-bug concoction there has ever been (years ago I even tried the commercial crap, I'm ashamed to admit). Out of those hundreds of samples here are the recipes that work for me and I sincerely hope that they will come in handy to you also.


Citronella:

Yes, the scents and oils of the citronella plant work against mosquitoes, but other biting bugs don't worry too much about the scents and are turned off only once they have already bitten you.

Registered products containing citronella protect people against mosquito bites from 30 minutes to two hours.

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*********These products CAN NOT be used on infants and toddlers.**********

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Certain products containing citronella have a limit on the number of applications allowed per day. Make sure you read the product label before using.

Citronella bug-repellent cream recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) borax
  • 5 teaspoons (25ml) boiling water
  • 4 tablespoons (60ml) beeswax
  • 6 tablespoons (90ml) olive oil ~
  • 5 drops citronella essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil



Methodology:

  • Add borax into the boiling water, stir until borax is totally dissolved (use glass or stainless steel)
  • Melt beeswax in double-boiler on low heat, add olive oil and stir until smooth
  • Add water-borax mixture and remove from heat
  • Add both essential oils, continue to stir until the mixture becomes thick, too thick to keep stirring.
  • Scoop into a small jar or decorative tin with tight fitting lid
  • Shelf life is 9-12 months if kept out of direct sunlight.

This cream is a good mosquito repellent for people with sensitive skin or the ones that have foolishly worked in the garden in the sun too long and have a bit of a sunburn.

Catnip:

Catnip is an herb that is most commonly used to stuff cat toys with for their enjoyment. However, the oil from this plant called nepetalactone has actually been found to be more than ten times better at repelling mosquitoes than DEET. Planting this plant near your patio will help repel mosquitoes. (I have quite a few catnip bunches planted around the back patio and the kitties love to do their acrobatics in them too.)

Caution: Catnip is a perennial and is almost as invasive as mint.

Catnip essential oil is very expensive, but because of its efficacy, even a 1 percent concentration will repel most biting bugs. For a stronger solutions use an up to 10 % mix

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup carrier oil (I like to use jojoba oil)
  • 1 cup of isopropyl alcohol or vodka (I prefer to use the rubbing alcohol for my outsides and save the vodka for my insides with a twist of lemon on the rocks)
  • 1 cup of distilled water
  • 1/2 cup witch hazel (I use the one with lemon)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons catnip essential oil

Methodology:

For use in a spray bottle mix all ingredients and shake well and then spray lightly over clothing, arms, and legs, remember to avoid eyes or open cuts. Double check because some people might have a sensitivity to catnip oil.

This is the spray I use when it's a really muggy and humid day out and those little monsters are out for blood in large hordes.

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************Do NOT use on the skin of babies and small children.*************

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For a cheaper blend (not as effective as the one above, but better than most other sprays)

Make your own Catnip Concoction

1) Fill a quart jar with fresh catnip (or an herb from the mint family like spearmint, peppermint, penny-royal etc. or a combination of them)

2) Cover with a good quality apple cider vinegar.

3) Shake twice a day for 10 days to 2 weeks.

4) Strain and either rub on or spray on. (naturally avoiding eyes)

I have quite a few large bunches of catnip and the rest of the mint gang growing around the yard and once the herbs start getting their leaves I start a new jar every week. This spray will stay active, on me, for about 2-3 hours.

This is the repellent I use around the house daily.

Multi-bug repellent!

Here is an essential oil recipe that work well in my neck of the woods, on most biting bugs.

  • 1/2 cup glycerin (available at drug stores) as a base
  • 1/2 cup witch-hazel to thin it out (available at drug stores I like to use the one with lemon)
  • 3 ozs jojoba oil
  • 20 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
  • 20 drops of Cedar-wood essential oil
  • 10 drops each of these essential oils: citronella, tea tree, penny-royal and catnip
  • 5 drops Geranium essential oil



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********Notes: Penny-royal should NOT be used on pregnant women********

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Combine the works in a 12 ozs fine misting bottle and shake well before using. Avoid eyes. It stays active on me for about 4-5 hours. If swimming the oils will melt away in about 1 1/2hours you will then have to re-apply. As essential oils are volatile I make up a fresh batch every time I head up north RVing.

Apply to skin as needed avoiding the eye area. Keep out of reach of children. Test on a small area of skin for sensitivities . Experiment with different percentages of essential oil.

This concoction doesn't smell too bad and the whole idea behind it is to smell like a tree and not like a blood-donor. I find that on me it especially works well against black flies.

For the children's version I dilute the blend by adding an extra 2 ozs jojoba oil. We've been using this spray on my granddaughters since they were 3, they are now nine and five and we found that it worked well on them too, without hurting their precious tender skin.




To ward off ticks!

Being an avid hiker I quite often end up in areas where ticks like to roam and frolic. Remember ticks will transfer onto you when you brush against the vegetation, they can't jump.

I swear this truly is the best way to keep ticks off you. This method has worked well for me whenever I ventured into the thick woods or in the under-bush areas. Tuck your pant legs into your socks and if you're planning on being in tick territory for long use duct tape to seal off your socks (maybe not the fashion statement of the century but...) and sprinkle powdered sulphur onto your shoes and pants. (Sulphur is available from most farm supply stores).

When returning from tick central check your clothes and your body for ticks. Remember it's important to check pets regularly as well. Ticks are really quite gross when they're all engorged with blood.

If you find a tick latched on to yourself (they take a bit of time to do so) or your pet make sure every part of it gets removed from under the skin.  Duct tape works quite well in removing ticks. Or pull out slowly and gently with tweezers. Do not squeeze too hard as you don't want to back-flush the ticks 'innards' into your bloodstream or pull of the body without the bored in head part.

If you have to be daring (and not really smart) and want to head into 'tick territory' in shorts and Tshirt rub your legs and arms with Vick's Vaporub. Mind you it's debatable as far as I'm concerned which would be easier to tolerate the strong smell of the vaporub or the ticks.



Here is an essential oil recipe that work well in my neck of the woods, on most biting bugs.

  • 1/2 cup glycerin (available at drug stores) as a base
  • 1/2 cup witch-hazel to thin it out (available at drug stores I like to use the one with lemon)
  • 3 ozs jojoba oil
  • 20 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
  • 20 drops of Cedar-wood essential oil (also available in spray-on bottles at your local pet store)
  • 10 drops each of these essential oils: citronella, tea tree, penny-royal and catnip
  • 5 drops Geranium essential oil

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********Notes: penny-royal should NOT be used on pregnant women********

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Combine the works in a 12 ozs fine misting bottle and shake well before using. Avoid eyes. It stays active on me for about 4-5 hours. If swimming the oils will melt away in about 1 1/2hours you will then have to re-apply. As essential oils are volatile I make up a fresh batch every time I head up north RVing.

Apply to skin as needed avoiding the eye area. Keep out of reach of children. Test on a small area of skin for sensitivities . Experiment with different percentages of essential oil.

This concoction doesn't smell too bad and the whole idea behind it is to smell like a tree and not like a blood-donor. I find that on me it especially works well against black flies.

For the children's version I dilute the blend by adding an extra 2 ozs jojoba oil. We've been using this spray on my granddaughters since they were 3, they are now nine and five and we found that it worked well on them too, without hurting their precious tender skin.




Make yourself Mint Oil!

Each herb of the mint family deter insects by masking the people smell that attract the stinging bugs. Plant spearmint, penny-royal, catnip etc around the home and play areas. Then you can harvest the leaves to make an oil rub.

How to make Mint Oil:

  • Place mint leaves into freezer for several hours
  • Once they're unthawed pack into a large jar with tight fitting lid (pickle jars work really well)
  • Cover with jojoba, olive, walnut, sunflower or safflower oil
  • Sit on a sunny windowsill for 5-6 weeks
  • Shake daily
  • Strain out leaf matter and add equal amount of witch hazel, rubbing alcohol or vodka to oil

Use as a skin rub. This was my Dads secret weapon against all those stinging bugs that tried to prevent him from catching those 3 foot long pikes. Even with the witch hazel or alcohol this feels quite oily... but it's a really heavy duty bug repellent that really works well.

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***********Notes: Do NOT use on babies or young children.***********

********Notes: Penny-royal should NOT be used on pregnant women********

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Soybean Oil

Soybean oil 2 % blocker repellent is another mosquito repellent, providing protection for 3.5 hours. Although this product is registered for use in Canada it is not currently marketed widely in this country

P-menthane 3,8-diol

A product containing this active ingredient was recently registered in Canada. It provides up to two hours of protection against biting insects but should not be used on children under three years of age. It can be applied up to two times per day.

Minimizing Your Risk!

Besides using an insect repellent, It makes sense to reduce your risk by taking the following steps.

  • Avoid being outdoors at dawn or dusk when mosquitoes are most active
  • Wear full length pants, long-sleeved shirts and enclosed shoes if you are outdoors when mosquitoes are active, especially in tick territory
  • Again in ticks domain remember to tuck your shirt into your pants and pull socks up over your pant legs
  • Wear light-colored clothing which will help reduce your overall attractiveness to stinging bugs.
  • If you're planning a trip to tropical areas see your doctor or visit a travel clinic several weeks before you leave. Serious mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria are common in the tropics
  • Around the home its important to remove standing water from pool covers, wading pools, under flower pot saucers, pet bowls, wheel barrows, old tires etc. Mosquitoes develop in standing pools of water, so don't forget to clean bird baths at least once a week and also clean out eaves-troughs. Rain-barrels should have fine mesh net coverings
  • Compost all dead and decaying leaves (grow mint or catnip around the composter)
  • Keep grass around the home and play areas cut short
  • Swallows, toads, dragonflies and even bats help in keeping the mosquito population down. (in my mind the census is still out about which might be better mosquitoes or bats)
  • Invest in bug zappers for the deck (2-3 smaller ones are better then just one large one)
  • Grow lots and lots of marigold of all kinds around your patio and play areas. These flowers have a particular scent that many insects find objectionable

First aid!!!!

~When you've been a chew toy for the mosquitoes at the camp site make a paste of baking soda and apple cider vinegar and spread it on the bite marks. It will give a bit of relief from the itching. Same for bee, wasp or yellow jacket stings.

Comments 97 comments

frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 3 years ago from Central United States of America

Informative and varied information here that is really useful! I need to link your hub to my aloe/essential oil repellent one. OK?


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Vespawoolf, glad you dropped in for a visit. How are you? Sorry for not replying earlier, I was away, with almost no internet reception. It's that time of the year again when I need tomake large vats of the bug juice, thats for sure. The last camp site I was at had mosquitoes large enough to fly off with a Volkswagon convertible. Thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

Wow, this is a wealth of information. You really must be popular with the insect population! I have a nice collection of essential oils so I plan to try one of your recipes, probably the multi bug repellant. I wish I'd had it this weekend when we were near the coast and the blood-thirsty gnats were eating us alive!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

migueluistordesillas, so glad you had a chance to stop by. Thanks for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


migueluistordesillas 5 years ago

the information is good


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Kevin, you're right... it's very important not to use Penny-Royal when expecting.

thanks for reading and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


kevin 5 years ago

VERY IMPORTANT:

penny-royal taken as a tea is used for abortions,

so listen to the advice and don't use penny-royal when pregnant,


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Loveslove OOZE clear stuff??? Doesn't sound like bug bites to me. Are you sure you didn't get exposed to Poison Ivy? Calamine lotion, a whole bottle of it or an oatmeal paste will take some of the itch away.

feel better

regards Zsuzsy


Loveslove profile image

Loveslove 5 years ago from England

As I sit here scratching my million and one insect bites ..lol !! Thanks for an informative HUB..boy oh boy did I need to read it..Im not at all sure what's bitten me but my legs and arms are covered in huge itchy spots ..they look like flea bites but they ooze clear stuff when I scratch them...yuk!! Just arrived since spending a day relaxing in our caravan garden !! Hey Ho im sure one of your remedies will help ! Thanks for allthe useful information


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you for taking a look and for commenting A.Creative Thinker. I've yet to figure out the uses of mosquitoes other than to hunt me down at every opportunity possible... I know, I know, bats, birds etc feed on them... I'm sure they could be persuade them to feed on non-biting bugs the same. Here I'm in the midst of trying to change the whole food chain. However I'm not sure how to take myself off of the food chain list.

happy gardening

regards Zsuzsy


A.CreativeThinker 5 years ago

This is a great hub Zsuzsy Bee. Being a gardener myself, I am quite familiar with bugs and their bites!! I prefer to use natural products as well but I didn't know about catnip as a repellent. Thanks for sharing. :)

Regards,

A.CreativeThinker


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Cosh Koppy, sorry, I have no ideas about repellants for bedbugs. Thank you for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


Cosh Koppy 5 years ago

Are there any natural repellants for bed bugs. Here in Toronto, they are runny rampant. we are throwing out all our furniture and cannot afforfd to replace them.

I have heard of Lavender but am not sure that it will work


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Miss Paula hop[e some of my recipes will work for you in your neck of the woods too.

regards Zsuzsy


Miss Paula profile image

Miss Paula 5 years ago

Thanks lots of information, we do a lot of camping this information will go to good use.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

ibnu, thank you for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


ibnu 5 years ago

wow, I have got new knowledge


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Persy0308, thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

As for shelf life... most years I have a bottle or two left and it works but I'm almost tempted to say that it's not as effective as the fresh new batch.

I'm forever experimenting... last fall I filled a quart jars with each catnip, mint and pennyroyal and put it into the freezer. I'll pull it out early May and get the recipe process going (concoctions). This year as soon as the spring will hit with it's first warm spell I'm going to be ready...

I'll post the results here...

regards Zsuzsy


Persy0308 profile image

Persy0308 5 years ago

Great information, on all of your hubs. I have a huge shopping list for tomorrow after reading your hubs today. Even in the winter here in Michigan, mosquitoes are a scary thought. I was wondering if your catnip concoction has a shelf life? I will definitely be planting some catnip and mint all around the house this spring.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Marie-Renee thanks for taking a look and for commenting. Hope some of these recipes will work for you too.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Marie-Renee profile image

Marie-Renee 6 years ago

Zsuzsy Bee - thanks for the recipe or the instructions on how to make these homemade insect repellent...now all i have to do is try either the citronella or the multi-bug..will let you know if it works out for me..thanks again for the great hub.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

midnightbliss, thank you for taking a look and for commenting. Hope some of these recipes and tips will work for you too.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


midnightbliss profile image

midnightbliss 6 years ago from Hermosa Beach

thanks for the home made insect repellents. i don't use over the counter chemical repellents because its so sticky and makes the skin on my hands to peel off.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hi Lisa, I'm not sure about chiggers but if those are those little small vicious biting monsters then I'm confident that the mint would ward them off too. We went camping a couple of weeks ago and the site that we stayed at was covered with willows and aspen. Within minutes we had bites but once the spray came out we were fine. If you try it against the chiggers in your neck of the woods let me know how it works and I will add it onto the hub...

thanks for dropping in

kindest regards Zsuzsy


lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 6 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

you really know your stuff. I had heard of these herbs as repellents individually but not in the combinations of your recipes. I just moved to a somewhat country area which is quite beautiful, however my grandkids are ate up with what we callchiggers. I was reading a few hubs and this seems to be a common problem amongst those living in the country with tall grasses. I am going back to those hubs and refer them to this site. Do you think some of your recipes would work on chiggers? Thank you so much.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

reddog1027, thank for taking a look and for commenting. Hope some of these work for you in your neck of the woods too.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


reddog1027 6 years ago

I have just become a fan. Can't wait to try these on my grandson. He is a mosquito magnant.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you for taking a look SilverGenes and for commenting. I found a tick on one of the barn cats last week. That disgusting thing was just getting ready to latch on. It won't try that again that's for sure(because it's disassembled)

kindest regards Zsuzsy


SilverGenes 6 years ago

Thanks very much for posting all the recipes! I will be making the one for ticks for sure - I am often in wooded areas in summer, hiking for photo ops :-) I accidentally found that Neem oil lotions (with lots of Neem) seem to keep the mosquitoes from landing. I tested this last summer at dusk in a marsh and it worked!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

lxxy, you're very welcome. Hope you will be able to use the recipes.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Cassidella glad you dropped in for a visit. Hope the tips will work for you too.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


lxxy profile image

lxxy 6 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

This is considerably in depth, easy to follow, and well thought out. Thank you.


Cassidella profile image

Cassidella 6 years ago

Hi Zsuzsy Bee,

Glad to have these tips for insect repellents. We are beginning to enjoy the outdoor season again and these natural safe methods will come in handy!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

So sorry, Monda786, I somehow missed your comment. Thanks for taking a look.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Habee, always glad when you drop in for a visit. Hope some of these will work in your neck of the woods too.

hope you and the family are well

kindest regards Zsuzsy


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Great info and perfect timing! The "skeeters" are really cranking up down here.


monda786 6 years ago

good article and nice recipes


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

upgrayyed, thank for taking a look and for commenting.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


upgrayyed 6 years ago

Thank you for posting this, I'll be doing some camping this summer and I wasn't aware that there are so many natural bug repellents that I can use. I'll most likely be giving the catnip repellent a try.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

True Blue Tips, the summer hopefully being in our near future made me think of getting this hub published.

Hope the tips work for you too.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


True Blue Tips profile image

True Blue Tips 6 years ago

Great hub. Thanks for all the information. With summer around the corner I plan on using some of your tips.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Sherri, always glad when you drop in for a visit. I'm on the 'eat-first-list' of every type of bug there has ever been. I don't care about the invasivness of the mint and catnip anymore, it's a small price to pay for the help these plants offer.

Hope the catnip brew works against those "no-see-ums" too.

hope you're well

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

What a SUPER Hub!

I have a last remaining stand of catnip in the garden, a hardy beast that survives despite bindweed and thistle invasions, and even stray cat invasions.

As you know, catnip produces young plants all over the place, and the roots go deep. I think I'll take a progeny or two from the main garden and plant them around the patio.

And I'll try the catnip concoction. We don't have mosquitoes here, but we do have "no-see-ums", little biting monsters that are impossible to see, because they wreak their havoc after dusk.

The catnip brew has got to help those of us who are the preferred food source for insect biters. Put me in the company of five human friends, and I will be the one to draw the mosquitoes and no-see-ums.

Catnip brew is on my list, way ahead of citronella candles.

Thanks, Zsuzsy.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Winsome, before I commit I need to know where we would be going in June? and we will have to discuss my decoy fees too.

You gave me a good laugh. I love you for that thanks, I was having a totally crappy day.

Hope you're having a great day

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Zsuzsy you have done a great job here--natural is best. For me it seems there is an even more natural preventative--I'll just take you along as a decoy--is this June good for you? =:)


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Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Susan, thank you for taking a look and for commenting. Hope that some of these tips that I have been using for quite a few years work for you too.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


susansisk profile image

susansisk 6 years ago from Georgia, USA

Good ideas. I love to read your natural recipes.


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Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Nell we have nettle here too but it's not spread all over the way it is in Europe. We have other great things around here things like poison Ivy...poison oak...poison sumac etc


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Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, just had to say that I didn't realise that nettles weren't universal. I learn something new everyday! At least out there, I wouldn't keep getting stung by the stupid things! lol thanks again nell


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Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

fits4life, thank you for taking a look and for commenting. Hope some of these recipes and tips will work for you too.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


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Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Kaie, always glad when you come by for a visit. Mint, even though quite invasive in a garden has so many uses.

I remember years ago we lived next door to an empty lot that was one enormous mint field. A few of neighborhood cats just loved to play in there and then the fresh mint scent would be wafting all around us. Yum...every time I have peppermint tea I think of that place.

hope you're well

kindest regards Zsuzsy


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Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

James, thank you for taking a look and for commenting. Isn't it amazing that we have all these fabulous cures at our finger tips and most of us don't use them. Hope you try and that some of these recipes will work for you too.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hiya Nell, how are you? Unlike in Europe, nettle is not that easy to find here in Ontario. Since we're here in Canada(1969)I think I might have walked into it twice. My Granma used to make the 'nettle soup' (that's what she called it) for us kids whenever when we came is covered in itchy mosquito bites (which was often for me, as I was a bug magnet then already). Odd enough she used it on us too for nettle burn blisters . (I might be wrong but I seem to remember our neighbor in Belgium making edible nettle soup. haven't thought about her in decades.)

Always glad when you come by for a visit.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Ashley, thank you for taking a look and for commenting. Hope some of these recipes will work for you too.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


fits4life profile image

fits4life 6 years ago from Richmond

This is good information and useful to everyone. Your content is wonderful. Thank you for sharing.


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago

I like the idea of making mint oil............. I have a lot of mint out in the back, but I never realized beyond the smell (I love it), it might actually be of other uses! Thank you

Kaie


James L profile image

James L 6 years ago from Canada

Thanks for the recipes and info! I actually have catnip and mint growing in a hobby herb garden of mine. I had no idea they could be used in this way.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, Zsuzsy, thanks for the info. I am also a breakfast, dinner and evening meal for the little darlin's! I found that when I went abroad, I smothered myself in vinegar to stop the itching, in fact it was better that the expensive creams my friends used! they had to smother it on every couple of hours, I just stole the vinegar from the cafe table we were eating at! I must have smelled a treat! but hey it worked! lol Also, if you boil stinging nettles, and strain of the juice, stick it in the fridge to cool, then it is great for bites and sunburn. Evidently the sting is caused by to much histamine, and by boiling it, it converts to anti histamine. So I do this most summers. Thanks nell


Ashley 6 years ago

Thanks for all the useful information. I will have to try some of those recipes.

I refuse to spray DEET on myself and my children so I am always looking for more natural products. I did some research and learned that Oil of lemon Eucalyptus (OLE) is the only plant based active ingredient approved for insect repellents. It is proven to work as well as DEET but with out all the harmful side effects! Cutter and Repel both make an OLE product which I have tried and they work great. If you want more information on Oil of lemon eucalyptus check out this site: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/Repellent...


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Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

stricktlydating, thank you for taking a look and for commenting. Hope some of these will work for you too.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


stricktlydating profile image

stricktlydating 6 years ago from Australia

Great info, I'd prefer to use a natural product over insecticide any day! I look forward to trying some of these natural products to repel bugs!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

lctodd1947, ticks are awful I found one in my puppy-dogs ear a couple of years back fully engorged. It took the vet quite a bit to pull that monster out. Since then I double check the dogs really well right after we come back from our hike.

thanks for taking a look and for commenting

kindest regards Zsuzsy


lctodd1947 profile image

lctodd1947 6 years ago from USA

This is a lot of useful information. Tick are bad here and my husband had one recently. He still has a place on him where it was digging in. I have not thought about making my own repellent. Thank you for sharing.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Tammy, love the new avatar. How are you my dear? Always glad when you have a chance to stop in for a visit.

Hope these tips will work for you in you neck of the woods too.

Kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hiya Pamela so glad you dropped in for a visit. We had a warm spell a couple of weeks ago and there they were those little blood suckers and I wasn't ready for them...

Hope some of them will work for you in Florida too.

hope you're well

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

CaribeM, the only remedy for after the mosquito attacks that I found and really works is your hand hopefully with long nails and scratch....

Thanks for taking a look and for commenting

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

definitely one to bookmark...I hate the smell and feel of store repellents. These recipes will be a great homeschool project for us. Thanks for sharing and this is a really well put together hub. HUGS Tammy


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Zuzzy Bee, this is the perfect hub for this time of year, particularly here in FL and the bugs show up early in the season. Thanks for the information.


CaribeM profile image

CaribeM 6 years ago

Wow! A very detailed and helpful Hub. Thanks for all the effort you invested in research and for sharing with us. I wish I could have read it before last week, I was heavily attacked by mosquitoes while enjoying two days on the beach. Still have a rash :{ Next time I will try your recipe for the citronella cream.

Maybe you can make a follow up with remedies after a mosquito attack ;)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

mquee, Thank you for taking a look and for commenting.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hello green tea-cher, yeah smoke does work but it smells so-so-so-so smokey. A few years ago in my desperation I did try a concoction to which I added liquid smoke (available at the grocery stores or BBQ shops and is used by adding a tiny drop to homemade sausages for that smokey flavor)

After using it I needed 6 showers to get rid of the smell of my skin. (I think the smell imprinted itself into my nose and for weeks I smelled smoke on everything) The best part was though that even having been at a fish fry in the middle of a humid summer night I didn't get one bite.

hope you're well

kindest regards

Zsuzsy


mquee profile image

mquee 6 years ago from Columbia, SC

Lot of good info for the outdoor types. Thanks, I will try some these out.


green tea-cher profile image

green tea-cher 6 years ago

great hub recipes to help us enjoy our Canadian outdoors. Thanks for the tip on masking our people smells. We once came upon a group of men on ATV's on a mountain trail. When we stopped to talk to them we were plagued with black flies and they weren't so much as touched by one. We asked them what their secret was and they said they built a smudge and basically "smoked" themselves and their clothing to cover their human scent before they went out on the trail. Well we witnessed it first hand, it worked. Thanks for sharing so much information.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hiya breakfastpop I know what you mean about being a magnet. I can be in an area where there are 100 people and it's me that they find first and for-most.

Maybe these tips work for you too.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Thanks for the great tips. I am a bug magnet and I am always looking for ways to protect myself.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

katiem2, thanks for coming by. Once it gets to be springtime I want to spend all my time outside. The tips that I have here in this hub make it possible for me to do just that.

hope you're well

and peace to you too

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Support Med nice of you to drop in. I've been trying and testing these repellent recipes over quite a few years. Finally I got the right mix for me and my gang about 6-7 years ago.

hope you're well

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hiya DG always glad when you drop in for a visit. Maybe one of these repellents will work for you too.

hope you're well

kindest regards Zsuzsy


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

Great Hub, I love it and really appreciate all the magnificent natural cures and repellents for summertime pest, insects and the dreaded bugs we all want to avoid... Thanks and Peace :)


Support Med. profile image

Support Med. 6 years ago from Michigan

Zsuzsy Bee: You really did your research and tried your own medicine on this one. Thoroughly explained and informative. I'll keep these recipes on hand, Thanks.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Mosquitoes have been the curse of my life... Lived with those tablets which emit a smell when plugged in on a suitable contraption. Now I have lung problems ... But I would do it again :-)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Varenya, how are you? Glad you stopped in for a visit. Thank you for taking a look and for commenting.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hello Bob, so glad you stopped in. Here too the warm spell we had a couple of weeks ago woke up the mosquitoes. Those little monsters saved up all their venom just for me. I got a bite on my arm and it swelled up like a walnut...and itchy... Soon it will be time to make up gallons of my not so secret weapons again.

Hope you and your wife are well

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Shalini always glad when you drop by. It really worries me when I think of all the chemicals that our systems have to tolerate daily. It's coming at us whether we want it or not. It's not surprising that cancers and respiratory problems etc are running rampant worldwide.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Sandyspider, how are you? Glad you came for a visit. Thank you for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

creativelycc, thanks for stopping by and checking out the hub. I got my first mosquito bite of the year two weeks ago. The temps have cooled down again so we might be safe for a few weeks here in my neck of the woods. but then after that its back to spraying on the concoctions.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hiya G, how are you? You know me by now, chemicals are out and Natural are definitely in all the way.

hope you and your gang are good

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

drbj, so glad you had a chance to stop by. Thanks for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


Varenya profile image

Varenya 6 years ago

Zsuzsy Bee, thanks for all these informations! The recipes seem to be very easy to make, and surely are not harmful toward the living organisms (our own body included!), on the contrary some herbs have also a benefic effect on the skin and are often used in aromatherapy. Great hub as usual!


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

The mosquito season began about two weeks early here in NB, thanks for this most useful information.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

Zsuzsy Bee - thank you! There's a wealth of information there and they all sound quite easy to make up - and like the other comments up there, I have to say I am wary of chemical repellents too!


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

I will have to try this. I hate insect repellent.


creativelycc profile image

creativelycc 6 years ago from Maine

Thank you very much, I will be trying some of these this summer. I was always afraid of the commercial brand repellents! Great hub!


GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 6 years ago from California

Z!!! THIS IS AMAZING! Really informative and I'm ready to go to battle!!!!! ha

Interesting about the history of it with the ancient Egyptians....well THANKS for sharing all of this great information! I MUST protect my Zen Garden in a natural and safe way! ha

G


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

ZB - this is the most comprehensive article I have ever read on the subject of insect repellents and how to manufacture your own effective repellent weapons. Thanks for all the research and sharing your findings.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you Voice for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


thevoice profile image

thevoice 6 years ago from carthage ill

high quality detailed hub thanks

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