Spending time outdoors during the summer is one of my favorite things to do. Every year I trek to the North Woods of Maine to visit with family and take a wilderness adventure in Baxter State Park.
Among others, we've made journeys to Russell Pond, Lobster Lake, and most recently, Baxter Peak. We have trekked in the rain, the fog, and the sun, but through all of our travels one thing has been constant–the steady hum of mosquitoes.
There are several Essential Oils that can help repel mosquitoes, no-see-ums, horse and deer flies, and other pesky biting creatures. Citronella Essential Oil is the most well known, but Basil, Catnip, Dill, Eucalyptus Citriadora, Geranium, Lemon Tea Tree, and Peppermint can also be quite effective when added to topical bug repellents. To make a simple, homemade repellent, simply dilute the Essential Oils in a stable Carrier Oil such as Fractionated Coconut Oil or Jojoba. Andiroba Oil also makes an excellent Carrier, as it possesses insect repellent properties of its own.
At home, Peppermint and Lavender Essential Oils can help to discourage pests from infesting the home. A simple spray from Witch Hazel, Peppermint Essential Oil, and Polysorbate 20 can be used to ward off unwanted house guests such as ants.
Even with the best bug repellents in use, a few lucky bugs are bound to get through your barrier, and leave you with some itchy bites. Apple Cider Vinegar is great for soothing bug bites. Soak a small piece of paper towel or a cotton ball in Apple Cider Vinegar and hold it over the bug bite for 10-15 minutes.