Monday, June 5, 2017


Thought I'd take a break from my broccoli soup to give you a recipe for all natural insect repellent. The webs are full of these, I know. All I can tell you is that, having tried many out there, this recipe I developed is the one that works for us, and our dog. We live in rural south-central Kentucky, near a beautiful lake and wooded area, but with lots of ticks, gnats, and mosquitoes that can carry you off. Nonetheless, we love the outdoors, and this spray has made it all the more enjoyable.

Here's what you need for a super effective (especially against ticks!) insect repellent that is all natural and non toxic:

Witch hazel
Citronella Oil
Peppermint Oil
Orange Oil
Geranium Oil

Clove Oil
Cinnamon Leaf Oil
LemonGrass Oil
Dropper; 6 oz. spray bottle

The initial cost of buying the essential oils and other needed items to begin making your own insect repellant is about $65.  This will last you a long time. I am not terribly particular about which essential oil brands I use.  I don't have a lot of choice where I live, so I get what I get.  Most of my oils are NOW brand, and I buy them at a local store.

We get a lot of ticks in this part of Kentucky, especially Lone Star Ticks, which tend to be Bravecto resistant, putting the dog at risk. So, we needed a spray that would help our Davey, too.

It is well known that Citronella oil is very effective against Mosquitoes, and strong anecdotal evidence exists that Peppermint oil is effective in killing many types of ticks.  Geranium oil was recognized in a 2013 study by the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry as greater than 90% effective as a tick repellent, especially Lone Star Ticks. View the study here. 

Clove and Cinnamon oils are also effective against ticks, and lemongrass and orange essential oils are mosquito repellent.  This combination is also effective against other biting insects and pests.

Here is the recipe that I have found works, and it has been tested repeatedly in the deep woods with wonderful success:

Fill a 6 oz spray bottle about 3/4 full of Witch Hazel. 
Add two large droppersful (or about 30 drops) of each: Citronella, Peppermint, and Geranium oils.
Add one dropperful (15 drops) of Orange oil.
Add 5 drops each of clove, lemongrass, and cinnamon oil.

Shake it up and it's ready to go!  I spray it on everything, including my hair.  I wet my hands with it, and rub it on my face.  Don't get it in your eyes.   Repeat every few hours. Safe for pets and children. I don't worry so much about washing it off, because it smells great and makes my skin feel fresh, and not many insect repellents can boast that.

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