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June 28, 2023
I’m on my way to an annual weekend getaway with the girls to celebrate the beginning of July and that means it’s officially summer! It’s no secret that I love summer, but every year the awakening of summer bugs dictates a bit more what I want to do outside. I love the outdoors so its time to explore options to keep me out there longer without the unpleasant interactions that can put a damper on the day.
Essential oils, derived from various plants, offer a safe and effective alternative to help us with pesky summer insects. Today, we will explore a selection of essential oils known for their bug-repelling properties, and discover why they are a popular choice for those seeking a natural and pleasant defense against bugs during the summer months.
Helpful Summer Essential Oils
1. Basil: Nature's Mosquito Deterrent
Two of the chemical components in basil essential oil are eugenol and linalool, which interfere with insects' sense receptors, creating an unpleasant environment for them to approach. This makes basil a great defense against mosquitoes, keeping them at bay during your outdoor activities.
2. Catnip: Nature's Bug Repellent
Catnip essential oil contains nepetalactone, a potent insect deterrent that repels bees, wasps, and mosquitoes. Embrace the power of catnip and keep those buzzing and biting bugs far away.
3. Cedarwood: An Unexpected Ally
While bugs are often prevalent in forested areas, cedarwood essential oil proves to be helpful against these pests. Its aroma, rich in cedrol and thujopsene, repels insects and provides effective protection against mosquitoes and ants.
4. Citronella: The Well-Known Bug Buster
Citronella is perhaps the most well-known essential oil used as a bug deterrent. It contains citronellal and geraniol, which mosquitoes strongly dislike. Adding citronella oil to your bug-repelling arsenal ensures a more pleasant experience during your summer outings.
5. Clove: Effective Against Mosquitoes, Bees, and Wasps
Recent testing has rated clove essential oil as one of the most effective repellents against mosquitoes. Additionally, it deters bees and wasps, making it a versatile option for keeping these buzzing insects at a safe distance.
6. Geranium: Citronellol and Geraniol Powerhouse
As its main components are citronellol and geraniol, geranium essential oil offers a strong herbaceous floral scent that may not appeal to everyone. However, when used in small amounts and blended with other oils, geranium proves to be an effective repellent against mosquitoes.
7. Lavender: Surprising and Gentle Protection
Lavender essential oil surprises us by making it onto our bug-repellent list. Its components, such as linalool and linalyl acetate, help repel ants, mosquitoes, and flies. Lavender not only provides a pleasant scent but also adds a gentle touch to products applied to the skin, making it an ideal choice for those with sensitive skin.
8. Lemongrass: A Popular Scent with Bug-Repelling Power
Lemongrass essential oil, with its key constituents neral and geraniol, is a favorite among customers seeking a natural bug repellent. It blends well with other oils and effectively deters mosquitoes, flies, and bees, allowing you to enjoy your summer activities without unwanted interruptions.
9. Palmarosa: Balancing Scent with Efficacy
Palmarosa essential oil is high in the chemical component geraniol. It offers a slightly sweet, herbaceous and floral aroma. It serves as a great addition to insect blends, helping to offset the lemony notes commonly found in bug repellents. Palmarosa's effectiveness against mosquitoes, flies, and bees makes it a valuable inclusion in your natural bug repellent concoctions.
10. Patchouli: Earthy Defense Against Insects
The deep, earthy scent of patchouli essential oil is highly disliked by mosquitoes, ants, and other summer insects. Embrace its unique aroma as a natural way to deter bugs and enjoy the outdoors more freely.
11. Peppermint: Refreshing Minty Defense
Peppermint essential oil contains menthol, which many summer flying pests find displeasing. It serves as a deterrent for insects, but remember to follow dilution guidelines to avoid skin irritation. Harness the refreshing power of peppermint to keep bugs at bay and maintain a cool and pleasant environment.
12. Tea Tree: Targeting Fruit Flies and Mosquitoes
So many people love tea tree essential oil that you'll be happy to know it is rich in terpinen-4-ol, which has proven to be effective in repelling fruit flies and mosquitoes. Incorporate this versatile oil into your bug-repellent blends to create a more comprehensive defense.
Summer Essential Oils by Scent Profile
Why use essential oils for bug defense
People need to have a bug repellent handy during warmer weather to protect them from bites, insect-borne illness, and stings. While some plants require insects to multiply and flourish, other plants need to have natural bug repellents in order to survive. Essential oils contain the make up of the plant that repels bugs, that's why they work. Essential oils are non-toxic. You may find that using a more natural ingredient will be beneficial for allergies. Plus, there is no denying that the scent is much more pleasant than toxic bug sprays.
Using natural products with kids
It can’t be said too often. Using natural products with kids can be dangerous. None of these recipes should be used with kids under 5. And please know your child’s allergies and intolerances before trying any of them. If you have questions, reach out to a certified aromatherapist for guidance. Like me! Just use my Contact Us form and send in your questions.
Many essential oils that repel insects can cause skin irritations when not well diluted so make sure that you are following dilution guidelines.
For the summer body mist, do not use on kids under 5. For kids between 5 – 10 years old use at half strength.
What can you make at home
It’s easy enough to make some bug repellent recipes at your home. Things like candles, a body spray or body oil, or even a diffuser for your closets and cupboards are all items that are fun activities and useful to have around.
Check out our amazing terra cotta essential oil diffusers!
Summer Essential Oil Diffuser Blend Stock Bottle #1Clove – 7 drops
Summer Essential Oil Diffuser Blend Stock Bottle #2
Lemongrass - 27 drops
Geranium - 20 drops
Tea Tree - 30 drops
Citronella – 5 drops
Basil - 7 drops
How to use your synergy blend:
Place 5-10 drops of your diffuser blend into your diffuser and use for up to, but not over, one hour at a time.
Closet and cupboard summer refresher
Use a cotton pad or one of our terra cotta essential oil diffusers. Place 3 drops of the summer essential oil diffuser blend onto your terra cotta diffuser and set it in the cupboard, drawer or closet.
Summer Skin Roll-on Oil
Use this essential oil roll-on on red, itchy skin summer skin.
In a 10ml glass roller bottle, combine the following ingredients. Replace the roller ball and lid and give it a shake. You can apply this directly to the affected skin.
9.5 ml carrier oil of choice (we suggest sesame oil for this recipe)
2 drops German chamomile essential oil
3 drops Peppermint essential oil
4 drops Lavender essential oil
Cottage Life Summer Body Mist
In a 60ml amber glass mister or PET bottle, combine the following ingredients. Add the mister and cap and give it a gentle shake. Apply to the body liberally making sure that you don’t miss exposed skin. Wash your hands after using and do not get the mixture into your eyes. Caution: This recipe uses oil as its base. It’s best to spray this while standing on a towel or outside on the grass so as to not create a slippery floor from oils that miss hitting the body directly and fall towards the ground.
60 ml Carrier oil of choice (we suggest fractionated coconut oil for this synergy)
Clove - 5 drops
Lemongrass - 7 drops
Cedarwood - 7 drops
Lavender – 15 drops
Peppermint - 10 drops
Patchouli - 5 drops
Nature provides us with an abundance of resources, including essential oils, which can help us out during the summer months. Embrace the power of nature and enjoy your summer more thoroughly, without compromising your health or the environment.
The information on our website is not intended to cure, diagnose or treat medical conditions, nor is it a substitute for medical advice. Please consult with a physician before beginning this or any other new health care program. The information contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be substituted for the advice provided by your doctor or other health care professional. If you rely upon any programs or techniques, or use any of the products and services made available by or through the use of our website for decision making, without obtaining the advice of a physician or other health care professional, you do so at your own risk. The views expressed on Standing Stone Wellness have not been evaluated or endorsed by any private or public entity. The information on our website is not legal advice. Please consult with a licensed legal professional for adherence to legal guidelines.
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