What’s wrong with the spray off the shelves?
Insect repellents are designed to confuse, discourage, and even kill bugs so that they don’t find us or bite us. The most commonly found active ingredient in commercial insect repellents is deet (chemical names: N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide or N.N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide). I remember my first encounter with deet was when I was preparing for a trip to the Amazon Jungle in Peru and I was told to buy the cream with the highest percentage concentration of deet. I dutifully did. At the time I was really into nail polish and I quickly learnt that I couldn’t have nail polish on while I was rubbing in my insect repellent cream because the cream would literally dissolve my hard nail polish. I think back on this as a sign that this is not anything I want near my skin anymore or that of my children. But what exactly is so bad about it?
The Deets on Deet
Scientists conducting a study and found that, in rodents, deet blocked cholinesterase, an enzyme that is responsible for transmitting messages from brain to muscle.
When deet is sprayed on your skin, it is absorbed and eventually enters your bloodstream, where it is pumped through your nervous system, potentially causing neurological damage. Heavy exposure to deet can result in memory loss, headache, pain, and shortness of breath. According to the EPA, At least 14 seizures and four deaths have been attributed to deet toxicity, although considering how many people are exposed to deet each year, the odds of such an event are of course exceedingly low.
In any event, the more you learn about deet, the more you want to search for an alternative.
Is there a better way?
Of course there is! And as usual nature has provided it for us.
There are many different oils that you can use to naturally protect your body and your house from bugs and insects. There are areas of our lives we don’t want these creatures to inhabit, including inside our house and on our skin (I’m talking mosquitoes and sandflies) when we’re enjoying the outdoors. There are so many plants in nature than can naturally deter these insects and bugs from our living space – they won’t hurt them or us – win win!
Citronella essential oil has a crisp, fresh aroma. With powerful pest repellent benefits, Citronella oil keeps creepy-crawlers out of the house and off your skin and clothing. Oil components include citronellal and geraniol, which are good for cleaning surfaces in and outside the home. When inhaled, Citronella promotes happy, positive feelings. Applied topically, it can be soothing to the skin and scalp. Get some here now.
This oil is known for its refreshing aroma that helps create an invigorating environment. Lemon Eucalyptus is high in cleansing citronellal and citronellol, making this essential oil ideal for surface and skin cleansing. In addition to its topical cleansing benefits, Lemon Eucalyptus can be used to clear and refresh the air. Keep Lemon Eucalyptus on hand when in need of a revitalizing boost. Get some here now.
TerraArmour Outdoor Blend contains powerful essential oils and other plant oils known for their use in the outdoors, a natural way to enjoy the environment. This newly updated formula contains a select blend of essential oils including Ylang Ylang, Cedarwood, Catnip, Lemon Eucalyptus, Litsea, Arborvitae, Nootka, and Vanilla Bean Absolute—all of which possess specific chemical compounds known for their use in the outdoors. Get some here now.
The peppermint plant is a hybrid of watermint and spearmint and was first described by Carl Linneaus in 1753. A high menthol content—like that found in the dōTERRA Peppermint essential oil—distinguishes the best quality Peppermint from other products. Get some here now.
In addition to its unique flavour, Lemongrass essential oil promotes an overall sense of emotional and spiritual wellbeing. It’s also clarifying and toning when applied to the skin, and is frequently used in skin care products for these benefits. Lemongrass is an ideal oil to use in massage therapy. Lemongrass has a pungent, herbaceous aroma that gives you a sense of heightened awareness and positivity. Get some here now.
The main chemical components of Eucalyptus Radiata are eucalyptol and alpha-terpineol, making it an ideal oil to diffuse or apply topically for that distinct fresh, clean and calming scent of Eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus has cleansing properties that can be beneficial for the skin and for cleansing surfaces and the air. Eucalyptus is effective in promoting a sense of calmness and balance. Get some here now.
Easily recognised for its rich, musky-sweet fragrance, Patchouli is regularly used in the perfume industry as well as in scented products such as laundry detergents and air fresheners. Patchouli is beneficial to the skin in many ways. It is often used topically to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, blemishes, and minor skin imperfections and to promote a smooth, glowing looking complexion. The fragrance of Patchouli provides a grounding, balancing effect on emotions. Get some here now.
Cinnamon oil’s stimulating qualities enable that get up and go feeling and is warming and supportive in the Winter months. Cinnamon has a long history of culinary uses, adding spice to desserts, entrées, and hot drinks. Get some here now.
Thyme was given to knights and warriors before they went into battle by ladies of the Middle Ages. During this same period, Thyme was often placed beneath pillows to help promote a peaceful sleep and to ward off nightmares. The ancient Greeks used Thyme in their baths and burned it as an incense in their temples while the Egyptians used it in their traditional ceremonies. Today, Thyme is commonly used as a seasoning, but it also produces a potent essential oil that has cleansing and purifying effects for the skin. Get some here now.
Tea Tree essential oil has over 92 different compounds and limitless applications. The leaves of the Tea Tree tree were used by the Indigenous Australians for centuries. They would apply crushed leaves directly to the skin for a cooling effect. Tea Tree is best known for its cleansing properties. It can be used to cleanse and clarify the skin and nails and to support a healthy looking complexion. Diffusing Tea Tree will help freshen the scent of the air. Get some here now.
Application methods for these oils
Topical application: add your choice of oils to a roller bottle or a water spray bottle and apply directly to the skin as required.
Aromatic use: add about 6-10 drops of your choice of essential oil (or blend or combination of oils) and place the diffuser in the area you want to be rid of insects – a verandah during lunch or near the back door when there is lots of kids playing in and out of the house.
Make your own Insect Repellent Spray
*take care of your skin while providing protection against mosquitoes, sandflies and midgies
*do you want something economical and suitable for the whole family to use
*you can simply refill this bottle whenever it runs out (I provide easy-to-follow instructions)
*rest assured it contains only natural raw ingredients and pure essential oils