Mosquitoes and bites and itches OH MY!
Ah SUMMER!! Tis the season! OH how I enjoy that phrase so much more in reference to a holiday instead of BUGS! Alas we are here, and so are they. I could go into a long winded story of some trip we took to some far off country that introduced me to the world largest mosquitoes and how we all fought to cope with them, but I'm pretty sure they are here in Connecticut eating me alive, and either way, we all know what they are and "I love mosquitoes" said no one ever. It seems easy to grab a repellent off the shelves at your local drug store and call it a day, but those things are far more toxic than people want to admit, and there are SO MANY natural ways to handle those buggers naturally that I cant imagine ever buying chemical repellent again, and I haven't in years.
Quick run down of why NOT to use chemical based mosquito repellent:
-The chemicals inside have been enough to put many small children/elderly in hospitals with poisoning, simply from USING it... along with neurological damage, skin tissue damage etc across the age gap, and the beat goes on...enough said.
So I have gathered numerous formulas for not only repelling those nasty dudes, but also some itch relief balms/treatments you can use on any bites you receive. As much as I stand by my plant allies, they will GET YOU ANYWAY at some point, maybe not today, or tomorrow, but probably in August LOL...
DON'T FORGET the 6 things bugs love most: Moisture/standing water, warmth, exposed food, rotten wood, sticky floors and the aroma of sweat and human exhalation. Well ya can't stop breathing... but we can do something about the rest!
So Let start off with my main go to. Its not only effective but it happens to be a simple formula made with ingredients anyone can get, because lets face it, nothing is more annoying that some "cure all" blogger with the most obscure difficult to obtain ingredients! So here's at least one everyone can get their hands into!!
Mama Cass' "BUG OFF BRO" bug spray
-2 cups witch hazel (Amazon, or whole foods/trader joes)
-1 tsp vegetable Glycerin (I find this optional, Aloe Vera juice is a lovely replacement for this as well)
-20 drop Citronella essential oil
-20 drop Lemongrass essential oil (KEY...it boosts the citronella power like you would NOT believe! Mosquitoes HATE IT!)
*Good for all skin types except EXTREMELY sensitive. Store in a cool place away from heat and light, use as needed, shake that spray bottle before each use, use within one year! BOOM BABY!!
Citronella/Lemongrass Candles, an obvious choice for outdoor meals and gathering!
"FEND OFF" herbal insect repellent (Organic Body Care by Stephanie Tourles)
-1/2 cup soybean base oil (note: this oil has natural bug repelling properties)
-15 drops each of the following E.O.s:
-10 drop Basil or Eucalyptus radiata E.O.
Mix and let synergize for 1 hour
*For all skin types except very oily as this is a massage-into-skin based repellent. Shake bottle before each use, store away from light and use with 6mo.
Herbal Insect-deterrent Potpourri bags (for a bug free home!)
-Simply fill small bowls, mesh/muslin bags with the following dried herbs; Rosemary, Thyme, Lavender buds, Cedar Chips, Lemongrass, Peppermint, and tansy (or any variation of) and place under beds, closets, by open windows etc for a big free home!
ALSO: Dried bunches of tomato leaves in each room of the house is said to help keep bugs out!
Oil of Sassafras
To make: put 1 cup of Sassafras into a jar and cover it with vodka. Put in the sun for a whole day or on low heat overnight (I put mine in a jar on my radiator heater in the winter)
To use: Rub into skin before venturing out!
-put 2 tablespoons Pennyroyal in 2 cups of vodka. Shake well and apply to skin before going outdoors. I like to gibe mine an hour or so to infuse but its not noted as necessary in my studies, just habit I suppose!
OKAY, so I'm covered in bites because I forgot my repellent and now I'm miserable...now what!? Go ya covered!
Some quick old school helpers I still use regularly:
-Apply a simple baking soda and water paste
-Add 1/2 to 1 cup baking soda to bath for a 15-20min anti itch soak.
-Apply Lavender or Tea Tree essential oil directly to each bite to reduce inflammation and help prevent infection
-Create a solution of 1 part apple cider vinegar to parts water, and rinse irritated area several times a day until intensity subsides.
-Apply a drop of Neem base oil to each bite. It is a natural cooling oil with antibacterial properties and works for many types of skin irritations.
-Spray or dab pure aloe vera (out of the plant is always best) juice directly on bites.
-Chew Plantain leaf to pulp and apply poultice to bites for relief
Anti itch cream (I use and make this one regularly)
-3tbs shea butter
-1tbs coconut oil
-1tbs beeswax (or vegan alternative, I like Candelilla wax myself)
-2tbs baking soda
-2tbs bentonite clay
-2tbs witch hazel
-10 drops peppermint E.O.
-5 drops TeaTree E.O.
* In a double broiler, melt the coconut oil. Add the dried calendula. Place a lid over the top of the double broiler. Over medium heat, infuse the herbs in the oil for 30 minutes. Strain out herbs and throw in your compost heap.
*Return the infused oil to the double broiler. Bring the heat back up, Add the shea butter and beeswax to the oil, and stir until melted.
*Remove the pan bowl from the heat. Add the baking soda and benonite clay to the liquid, and stir until the mixture resemble mud (oh yes you heard me right it looks like mud texture.
*Add the witch hazel and essential oils, stirring to combine. Pour the cream into a jar (this recipe will make enough to fill a 4-ounce jar). Within minutes the cream will solidify into a spreadable lotion.
Being an avid outdoors woman, I truly hope these help bring you relief and encourage you to still venture outdoors regardless of the bugs. Thank you for reading and please do let me know if you try these and how they work for you!!!! Happy Adventures All!!!!!!!!