With Minnesota's long winters, the rain comes and seems like it doesn't stop! This spring is a bit wet and it can be hard to get your garden ready, summer projects started, and of course, get rid of mosquitoes.
So what's your first line of defense for blood sucking invaders? Do you go for the common "Deep Woods" DEET Spray, or a more natural option without all the harmful chemicals?
There are so many healthier options out there now and you can find items safe for you, your family, and pets. I want to share with you a recipe that I make, as well as some other products I like.
First, lets talk about DEET. DEET is N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide- a chemical used in many commercial bug repellant products. Most Insect repellents are regulated as pesticides in the United States because their active ingredients are pesticides, which includes DEET.
What Negative Health Effects Does DEET Cause?
DEET is a neurotoxin, it can cause headaches, stiffness in joints, irritate skin, cause blisters, shortness of breath, and memory loss. If you look on https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/deet, it says right on their website that one should wash their clothes after wearing them again and wash their skin after coming inside. If something is that strong that you have to wash it off, it's probably not good for you. Remember your skin absorbs 60-70% of what you put on your skin. Your skin is soaking that DEET right up.
Other negative effects include kidney & liver damage, birth & developmental defects, and it has been detected in ground water. When your body soaks something up like a commercial repellant, your liver and kidneys have to clean out the toxins, and this is hard on them. Why make them work harder when you don't have to?
In Minnesota, there are mosquitoes galore. However, if you want safety for your children and family, choose something natural before you reach for the DEET filled repellant.
Sometimes when using more natural products, you have to reapply more often, but quite frankly, I remember in the past reapplying DEET many times. The bugs just seemed to become resistant to it! From personal experience, certain natural products work a lot better then DEET.
DEET is not the only harmful chemical so become a label reader, know what ingredients are in your products! There is anything now from lotions, sprays, balms, shampoos, candles, wicks, ointments, etc. You just have to choose what's right for you!
If you are on the more DIY side, here is my recipe that I personally use and love!
It's simple to make and also healthy for your skin.
Glass Spray Bottle preferably amber color or blue -(2oz)
Apple Cider Vinegar
Essential Oil Options of: Citronella, Peppermint, Lemon, Purification, Lavender, Cedarwood, Lemongrass, Eucalyptus, and Thieves.
1tsp vegetable glycerin-Optional. Will help the essential oils to mix in better.
1. First take your glass bottle and fill half way with distilled water.
2. Add your choice of essential oils into the bottle. Make sure they are good quality, therapeutic grade essential oils. I love adding lavender, lemon, citronella, cedarwood, peppermint, and tea tree. If I have purification on hand, that's also a great one! You will add 10 drops of each oil into your bottle.
3. Now add in .5oz of witch hazel & .5oz apple cider vinegar. Add in glycerin if you choose. This will help the essential oils to disperse better.
4. Mix it up and enjoy! It can seem strong at first, but i actually love the smell of it and bugs don't:) Make sure to label it! This bug spray will work for ticks, mosquitoes, flies, and more.
Other Natural Options
If you don't have the time or you aren't a DIY person, there are lots of great options out there! Here are some other things I recommend. I also am a fan of young living's products and they have some great options too.
For Use on skin & Outdoors:
You can even try making your own candles with soy or beeswax! Melt and mix in your essential oils and you are good to go!
Conqueror The Outdoors
You can be protected and feel good while being in the outdoors. Look for something that fits you and your family or pets needs. Know what's in your products and feel good about what you put onto your skin. Now go out there and enjoy the outdoors!