I really, really do not like bugs. Black flies, mosquitoes, ticks, slugs. They disgust me really. When we first got here the black flies were particularly bad and they totally ate up poor little Cecily. I used spray all over her so they bit her eyes and she looked like she had been in a boxing match. I felt horrible. Now the mosquitoes are really bad but the black flies are a bit better. I hate commercial sprays and then last summer Sadie and I decided to make spray and see how that worked. The mosquitoes were crazy in Alberta and while sometimes they just bit through anything, including the thickest clothing and the most chemically sprays, we found that our spray worked well as long as we applied it a little more often.
So I made up some more and thought that I would share the "recipe" with you. First, I sent Dan to the store for a large bottle of vodka; which in a tee-totaling household is a big deal(personal choice, no moral dilemma in case you are curious).
Then I gather up my essential oils. You can do a mix of different ones but these are what I use. *I am by no means an expert on essential oils, these are the ones that I have chosen to use but they all have suggestions for who should and shouldn't use them if you read about them*
Roughly the idea is 1 part essential oils to 10-20 parts of your carrier which in this case is vodka. Translated that means anywhere from 30-70 drops EO to around 100 mls of carrier. This isn't exact science for me, but I like mine potent. I just use more of the EO's that are fine to be used in larger quantities, such as lavendar and citronella.
[caption id="attachment_1074" align="alignleft" width="224" caption="Add another "carrier" which is oil that I find helps it cover and stay on the skin longer. I use jojoba because it is light and still sprays well. You can use just about anything though."][/caption]
20 drops Citronella, 20 drops Lavendar Population, 10 drops Rosemary , 5 drops White thyme (you really don't want to use a lot of this directly on skin), 5 ishdrops Cinnamon Leaf, 5ish drops of Bergamot(mostly for the scent because I really don't like the smell of citronella) and 5-10 drops of Peppermint.
[caption id="attachment_1076" align="alignleft" width="224" caption="Put the lid on and shake it all up: you will likely need to give it a quick shake before application as well. And you are ready to head out on an evening adventure!"][/caption]
The mosquitoes buzzed but our only bites were one on Dan's ear and a bite on my pant covered leg.
And since I had so much extra vodka, I decided to use up my last three vanilla beans to make vanilla!
[caption id="attachment_1081" align="alignleft" width="224" caption="Add one cup of vodka, push beans down, give a little shake, store in dark cool place (notice the very cool wall paper) for about six weeks."][/caption]
* I get my essential oils from New Directions and have been pleased with the quality and prices so far. My pretty blue glass spray bottle is from there as well, but the cheap plastic one that I used for pictures also works quite well and can be found a places like the dollar store.
* If you google it, you will find several pages on making bug spray including which Essential oils repell which bugs. I just read so many last year that I can't really accurately site any of them.