Summer is great. Pool parties. Beach trips. Camping and cookouts. And mosquitoes! These days you have to worry about more than itchy, irritating bites. Mosquitoes can carry deadly diseases, such as malaria, yellow fever, and Zika. The best way to protect yourself is to always apply a good insect repellent before any outdoor activities. Mosquitos are present day and night, especially at dusk. If you wear long sleeves and pants you still need to wear some kind of repellent as mosquitos can bite anywhere, including elbows, feet, ankles, back of neck, hands, etc.
There are lots of good commercial products on the market. Most will contain DEET. If you’re allergic to DEET or have sensitive skin like me, or just don’t want to coat yourself in chemicals every time you go outside, there is a natural alternative. You can make your own bug spray and it is just as effective with no harmful side effects. The secret ingredient that is the key to its effectiveness is menthoglycol. This compound is present in lemon eucalyptus oil and repels mosquitoes as effectively as DEET, which is a chemical. Here’s what you need:
*33 drops of lemon eucalyptus oil
*4 oz of witch hazel
*1 tsp of vanilla extract (OPTIONAL)
These items can be found in most drugstores and in the natural foods section of most grocery stores. Put all ingredients into a spray bottle. Stir or shake well so that it is mixed good. Spray all over your body BEFORE going outside. This repellent lasts for six hours!
Note: You can use citronella oil or lemongrass oil instead of lemon eucalyptus oil but if you use these instead then the repellent must be re-applied every 30-40 minutes. You can use rubbing alcohol instead of witch hazel but this is more drying to your skin. Vanilla extract is not essential but seems to help combat bugs and smells good too!
This information is courtesy of www.tiphero.com.