Summer is my favorite time of year in the PNW. Unfortunately, mosquitoes and ticks can take away from the enjoyment of the season. The good news is that you can protect yourself from getting bit. In fact it would be a very good idea to protect yourself against them because these insects can carry diseases such as Lyme and West Nile Virus. Traditionally, DEET is used to prevent mosquitoes and ticks from biting. However, DEET can potentially promote cancer growth (1) and be toxic to the nervous system (2,3).
Well now what? Well I have a solution! You can make your own bug spray that is effective as DEET! According to the CDC Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE) essential oil can protect against mosquito and tick bites (4).
Here is the recipe I use to protect myself:
In an empty 4oz spray bottle mix:
30 drops Lavender essential oil (EO)
20 drops Peppermint EO
15 drops Lemongrass EO
15 drops Rose Geranium EO
30 drops Lemon Eucalyptus EO (this is not Lemon EO and Eucalyptus EO mixed this is its own EO or plant all together)
1 Tablespoon vinegar or witch hazel
Fill the rest of the bottle with cool water. Shake and spray every hour or so when you are in exposed areas.
*do not use this on children under age 5 and ask a physician if you are pregenat or breastfeeding*