Bugs Be Gone…

As a long-time outdoors enthusiast and former resident of the Illinois River bottoms, I know that mosquitoes can sometimes prevent the enjoyment of outdoor activities. When I was growing up, we seldom planned activities outside after dusk as the mosquito numbers increased and were ‘big enough to carry you away.’ Today, I reside in the bottoms of a fairly large creek and frequently have the same problem. In addition, mosquitoes seem to be especially attracted to me for some reason. (Maybe as I tell my husband, it is because I am so sweet. Ha!) Fortunately, herbs and essential oils can help. The following recipe contains essential oils that have insect and mosquito-repellant properties. It also contains sweet almond oil–which is great for your skin and does not leave your skin greasy– and witch hazel. That’s it. Just all natural ingredients with a clean lemony aroma. Use a clean recycled spray bottle (old hairspray bottles work great) to mix it in, shake and spray yourself liberally prior to going outdoors. Reapply about every 20 minutes or so or whenever the mosquitoes start buzzing around again.

The Bugs Be Gone Recipe

1 teaspoon sweet almond oil       2 c. witch hazel      20 drops citronella essential oil    20 drops lemongrass essential oil

  1,16-ounce or 2, 8-ounce clean/recycled spray bottle(s)     

Combine all ingredients in the recycled spray bottle(s). Shake vigorously to blend.  Label spray bottle with the name of spray and date. Spray liberally to skin as needed. Does not need refrigeration. Use within a year for maximum effectiveness. May stain light-colored clothing. Do not spray directly into eyes, nose or mouth.

Many herbs contain oils that can help to repel mosquitoes and other pesky insects. These herbs can be planted around your outdoor patio areas to help make your summer activities more enjoyable. Some of these herbs include;

* Lemon-scented geraniums (Citronella plant), * Lemon Balm, * Lemon Basil (repels mosquitoes and flies),

*Tansy (repels ant), Lemongrass

The above tips can help you to take advantage of some of Life’s Simple Pleasures outdoors this holiday weekend. So, get outside and enjoy yourself.

Happy Fourth of July!


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