Finally A DEET Free Summer!
I love getting out and enjoying the outdoors but am terribly allergic to bug bites of any kind. They swell up like golf balls and take ages to heal. I’ve had to limit my hiking to cooler months and make sure to always wear long sleeves and pants. Although I always try to buy organic and limit my plastics and toxin exposure, when I head out in nature I coat myself in 25% DEET. It’s been an unfortunate but necessary evil. Despite the protection, I still sometimes get a bite here or there. I haven’t found a natural effective insect repellent, until now! I’m very excited to share that I’ve found a non-toxic home made alternative!
I jumped in and tested it on my first camping trip of the season and I’m happy to report that I only got three bites and they did not swell up in the usual fashion. Everyone’s body chemistry is different but I hope you find it helpful too. The main effective ingredient is Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil and the secret ingredient is vanilla extract. Apparently vanilla is a booster that enhances insect repellent effectiveness. There are a couple of variations. This is what I made based on ingredients that I had readily available.
DIY Insect Repellent
- 2 oz witch hazel
- 2 oz coconut oil
- 25 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- (optional 2-3 drops of lavender, peppermint, geranium, or rosemary)
- Mix the ingredients together in a small spray bottle that includes a cap to prevent accidental sprays or leaks.
- Shake well just before applying.
- Apply to clothes and exposed skin, being careful not to spray in eyes. To apply to the face spray into your hands and spread gently.
* As the temperature drops in the evening the coconut oil will solidify. Just warm between your hands to get it to liquify again.