During these summer months, while you’re out swimming or camping or picnicking, there’s good chance you’ll have some unwelcome guests.
Whether those guests are in the form of mosquitoes, houseflies, or ticks, chances are you’ll want some kind of protection from them, so that your summer fun isn’t ruined. And ideally, you’ll want a natural insect repellent to help with that.
Details on DEET
Any discussion around insect repellent inevitably leads to the topic of DEET. Developed as a pesticide by the U.S. Army, it appeared to be highly effective in protecting humans from mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and other biting insects.
You’ll find a large number of insect repellents on store shelves contain DEET — but they come with some pretty serious warnings.
DEET has been found to be toxic, and is a known skin irritant. Manufacturers recommend NOT using DEET under clothing or on damaged skin, and that once you don’t need a repellent, you should wash off the application.
Oh yeah, and DEET is a solvent. It can actually DISSOLVE materials like plastics, rayon, and synthetic materials.
But luckily there are safe, non-toxic options available that won’t dissolve plastics. Check out these natural insect repellents below!
Basil is effective in repelling house flies and mosquitoes — and it tastes great in salads and a number of dishes!
You can use basil by placing containers near doors (where bugs like to sneak in), or you can apply a solution of basil-infused water and vodka to your skin to prevent bites. Yes, vodka.
We love rosemary for all kinds of reasons (you can check out our previous blogs on the rosemary plant here), and, of course, it’s just as helpful as a natural insect repellent. You can make a simple repellent spray by boiling dried rosemary in water and pouring in a small squirt bottle.
Another one of our favorites! Any member of the mint plant family (peppermint, spearmint, catnip, etc.) can be used to help ward off insects.
Citronella oil is obtained from a species of lemongrass plant, and you’ll recognize the smell in some candles used to repel mosquitoes (especially during summer cookouts).
What about you? How do you prevent bug bites and pests when it’s warm out?