Natural Essential Oils to Keep the Bugs Away
The summertime is fast approaching and with it comes warmer weather, sunshine, and unfortunately...bugs. No one likes dealing with pesky mosquitoes or flies buzzing around their head, but thankfully there are natural essential oils to help keep the bugs away.
In this blog post, we will explore how natural solutions can be used as a repellent for insects (and why they're better than chemicals). Read on to learn more about these helpful oils and how you can use them to enjoy a bug-free summer!
What Are the Drawbacks of Traditional Insect Repellants?
Essential oils (EO) have many benefits, and one of those is to repel bugs. But first, let's talk about why traditional insect repellants aren’t always the best choice.
Bug sprays primarily work by:
- Emitting smells that repel insects
- Providing coatings that form a barrier on the skin
- Killing insects on contact
- Making it difficult for insects to detect people
DEET is an example of a bug spray ingredient that makes it hard for insects to find people. DEET stands for N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide and is a synthetic chemical. It was developed in the 1940s and is the most common active ingredient in insect repellents. It's mainly used to repel biting bugs like mosquitos and ticks.
While it does work to repel insects, DEET also has a number of risks associated with its use:
- It can be toxic if ingested
- It can cause skin irritation, rashes, and even burns
- It can impair cognitive function
- It can also be flammable
In fact, researchers are actively investigating the use of EOs as a safer and more ecologically friendly bug repellent option. Yellow fever, West Nile and Zika are all viruses that can be transmitted via mosquito bites, so finding an effective natural mosquito repellent is more than a comfort factor – it’s a public health concern.
What Are the Benefits of Using Essential Oils as Bug Repellent?
Essential oils are a natural alternative to harmful chemicals. They have been used for centuries for a variety of purposes, including repelling or killing insects.
Some, like peppermint oil, have a strong smell that drives bugs away. Others, like lemon eucalyptus oil, contain chemicals that kill insects on contact.
The best part about using essential oils as an insect repellent is that they come with numerous benefits: they're non-toxic, safe to use on skin (although it's always best to do a patch test first), and affordable.
In addition, oils have benefits beyond repelling pesky buzzing intruders. Oils have multiple health and wellness benefits and are often used for aromatherapy.
What Essential Oils Keep Bugs Away?
Here are some of the best essential oils for repelling bugs. Whether you use them alone or in tandem, they naturally improve your environment.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil is a natural insect repellent that works by emitting a strong smell that bugs don't like. Placing peppermint oil around your house can be effective pest control against ants, beetles, fleas, flies, moths, roaches, spiders, ticks, and more.
Cedarwood Essential Oil
Cedar oil comes from the cedar tree, specifically the needles, leaves, bark, and berries. According to Healthline, the proposed wellness benefits of cedarwood oil include antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, improving hair growth, helping with skin conditions, and reducing stress.
In addition, cedarwood essential oil has been shown to help repel fleas, ticks, and moths. This is especially important if you're planning to spend time in the woods.
Citronella Essential Oil
Citronella oil is one of the most common ingredients in insect repellents and citronella candles. It comes from the lemongrass plant's leaves and stems and has a strong citrus smell that masks humans (essentially hiding you from the bugs).
Citronella is effective against flying insects such as mosquitos.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil is a versatile essential oil that has many uses. It's known for its calming and relaxing properties, which can be helpful if you're using it topically.
In addition, lavender oil can also repel bugs. It's effective against mosquitos, gnats, and other flying insects. Consider leaving a lavender sachet or making a DIY spray recipe to keep pesky bugs away.
Geranium Essential Oil
Geranium oil is made from the geranium plant and has a sweet, floral smell. It's often used in skincare products due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Geranium oil can also help to repel mosquitos, flies, and ticks. In fact, gardening gurus encourage planting geranium flowers to keep these pests at bay and serve as a natural pesticide around your home and yard.
Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca)
Finally, another oil to consider is tea tree oil. Not only does it serve to suppress the growth of parasites such as fleas, lice, and ticks, but it’s also an excellent home remedy for taking the itch and sting out of bug bites.
How to Use Essential Oils as an Insect Repellent
There are several ways to use essential oils as a repellent. Here are a few ideas:
- Burning candles: You can add a few drops of essential oil to a candle and let it burn, releasing the scent into the air. This is a great way to repel insects in a small area.
- Diffusing: Add a few drops of essential oil to a diffuser and let it run. This will release the scent of the oil into the air, repelling insects in a larger area.
- Topically: You can apply essential oils directly to your skin, although it's always best to do a test first. You can also make a homemade insect repellent spray by adding a few drops of essential oil to water in a spray bottle.
When using essential oils topically, it's important to remember that they can be irritating to the skin. You should always dilute them with a carrier oil such as jojoba oil, almond oil, or coconut oil before applying them to your skin and test in a small area to ensure there's no reaction.
Una's Natural Insect Repellent
Essential oils are a great way to keep bugs away naturally. They're safe to use, have multiple benefits, and are affordable. You can avoid bug bites and inconvenience with the right repellent. If you're looking for the perfect natural bug solution, check out Una's Natural Insect Repellent.
Made with our potent blend of essential oils, Una’s insect repellant targets mosquitos, gnats, flies, fleas, no-see-ums, and ticks. The light body feel and amazing aroma of peppermint, cedar and lavender ensures this is your new fave!
Available in two sizes - 4oz and 2oz travel size for on the go.