Once this cold snap has ended, and warmer days appear, so will the bugs. Hungry and ready to bite. Fend them off with all natural herbal remedies. I’ll post several and this will give you an idea of what you’d like to keep on hand during the sultry days of summer.
Big Daddy’s Bug Spray:
Boil 3 cups of water. Slowly add 1 tablespoon each of dried peppermint, spearmint, catnip, lavender and the rind of an orange to the boiling water. Turn off the heat and cover the mixture. Very important to cover the “bug brew.” Allow the mixture to cool, and strain out the herbs using a fine mesh strainer or panty hose. Anything that will allow the water to drain through. Add this herb infused water to a spray bottle, and add one cup of white vinegar. Spray arms, legs, socks and shoes before going outside. Safe to use on children. Re-apply when necessary.
Big Mama’s Bug Spray
1 cup of brown Listerine [ it must be the brown kind ]
1 cup apple cider vinegar
10 drops of tea tree oil.
Mix well in a spray bottle. If the mixture is too strong, add a cup of water. Don’t use this on the skin. Instead, spray the play area, porch, around the swing set, in the yard, etc. You can make up a big batch of this in a clean and rinsed out gallon milk jug. Store it in a cool area. You can also pour small amounts in bottle caps and set the caps around picnic tables to ward off flies and ants.
Herbal Bath for Dogs
2 cups of fresh peppermint, or you can use a combination of fresh catnip and peppermint. Toss the herbs in a large stock pot and add 4 quarts of water. Bring the water to a boil, remove from heat and cover. Don’t strain out the herbs. Allow the water to cool and add it to the dog’s bath. Saturate the animal’s fur with the solution. Rub it in well, but don’t rinse. Use this weekly to cut down the flea population. The oils from the herbs will help repel fleas and give the dog’s coat a nice shine.
All Around Insect Repellent for Camping, Traveling, etc.
This one is a little more complicated, but it works. I make up several of these and give them to friends who are going on vacation.
! cup of red cedar shavings
1/2 cup each, lavender, pennyroyal, mint, rosemary and bay leaves.
5 drops of peppermint oil or you can use Eucalyptus oil.
Add all the ingredients to a zip lock bag. Close the bag and shake it well. Allow the herbal blend to set for a few days.
Cut some scraps of fabric, or you can use dryer sheets or bandana’s. On each piece of material, place about 1/4 cup of the mix. Pull up the corners of the material forming a bundle. Tie with string or ribbon. Place the bundles in suitcases, tote bags, shoes. Hang them up in the motel room or in the tent at a campground. They’ll chase away buzzing and biting gnats and other little creepy crawlers.
This is easy to make, smells great, and the bugs don’t like it.
2 cups of shredded bar soap, use an old metal grater for this. Ivory is good, and so is Irish Spring. I prefer the Ivory soap.
1/2 cup of water
2 tablespoons of dried peppermint, lavender and sage.
5 drops of tea tree oil
In a old sauce pan that you maybe found at a thrift store or one you won’t be using for cooking- add the herbs, the water and tea tree oil. Simmer for about 30 minutes, and then add the shredded soap. Mix well. Allow to cool. Using your hands, form the soap into 1 inch balls. Lay the soap balls on wax paper and allow them to air dry for several days. They smell wonderful and help repel biting insects and also will disinfect hands and nails if used during camping. Rinse skin well after using.
~ Meadow Walker