Enjoy an Insect Bite-Free Summer, Naturally

By ecoRI News staff

Summer brings with it many pleasant things, but some of the most unpleasant things also have a sharp uptick in summer months. We're talking about biting insects. In addition to the general unpleasantness of a bug bite, some biting insects carry diseases such as equine encephalitis and Lyme disease.

In order to dissuade these bugs from alighting on our bodies and biting, some folks use harsh petrochemical repellents like those containing DEET and picaridin, but there is a super low-cost DIY solution to the misting of chemicals on human skin to prevent insect bites.

Here is a recipe for an all natural insect repellent that works on ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, blackflies and head lice.

  • 1 2/3 cup of apple cider vinegar.

  • 1 2/3 cup witch hazel, rubbing alcohol or cheap vodka.

  • 5 drops each of the following essential oils: rose geranium (for ticks), citronella or eucalyptus (for mosquitoes), sassafras or lavender (for blackflies), tea tree or rosemary (for head lice) and orange oil (for fleas).

  • half-cup jojoba oil or fresh aloe gel.

Combine all of the ingredients in a spray bottle, shake, spray and rub. You will have to reapply this mixture more frequently than its store-bought counterparts, and though you may have to lay out some dough for the oils initially, you’ll save money in the long run because a little oil goes a long way, and the other ingredients are inexpensive. You can also customize this liquid to be more effective against certain bibbitts, and it works as effectively on your pets as it does on your kids.