Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be eaten up by mosquitos. All these years I thought I was one of those lucky individuals that had sour blood or something. Mosquitos only rarely bit and when then did, it was no big deal.
I don’t know if the mosquitos here in Arizona are super tough or whether I have just been lucky. Whatever the reason, my arms and legs have become a checkerboard of scabs reflecting where I scratched a little and then some more to relieve the itch. Ouch.
Not wanting to apply chemicals to my skin, I took to my essential oil laboratory, okay my kitchen, to see if I could come up with a blend to repel those nasty little blood suckers. After a bit of trial and error, today I share my “Bye Bye Bites” essential oil blend that so far, seems to be working.
DIY Insect Repellent
Here is the basic recipe for Bye Bye Bites Insect Repellent Blend. You will note that I say “insect blend” rather than “mosquito blend” because it is also preventing those tiny but annoying ants from crawling up my legs.
Basic Bye Bye Bites Blend
4 drops Thyme essential oil
8 drops Lemongrass essential oil
4 drops Lavender essential oil
4 drops Peppermint essential oil
2 drops Melaleuca (Tea Tree) essential oil
Blend the essential oils together, preferably in a glass bottle. I use an old, but empty, EO bottle for this purpose.
Before heading outside add a few drops to your favorite lotion, salve, or carrier oil and slather on the exposed parts of the body. For me, that is mostly my arms and legs.
My suggestion is that you make up a batch of the basic blend, to begin with. Once you verify that it is working for you, double or triple the ingredients so you have a big batch ready to go.
Bye Bye Bites Spray
Better yet, add 6 drops of the blend to 1 ounce of alcohol-free witch hazel. Spray liberally on your skin before heading outdoors. I tend to spray it on my clothing as well but that’s just me. A little goes a long way when used in this manner.
Credit Where Credit is Due
I experiment a lot with essential oils. What I have found, and no disrespect intended, is that many of the recipes you find on Pinterest simply do not work. They are put out there to attract eyeballs and my guess is the authors must spend hours creating those beautiful graphics! Me? I was never very good at that.
I tend to use more credible sources as a starting point. In this case, the blend and its proportions came from Valerie Ann Worwood’s book, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. I played around with the blend using various carriers and settled on the witch hazel formula myself.
If you are new to essential oils and want to learn a lot, pick up a copy of Valerie’s book. Your library probably has a copy of the original version, published in 1991 which is how I learned about essential oils. You can’t go wrong. You can also read an interview I had with Valerie over on the Backdoor Survival site.
Bonus Points Using Peppermint Oil
Getting a handle on mosquito bites was, for me, just part of the picture. Part two was to eliminate them from my home. Your mileage may vary but I have had very good luck diffusing peppermint essential oil both in the living/great room during the day, and the bedroom at night. Normally less is more, but in this case, I have gone overboard diffusing up to 8 drops at a time.
Thankfully, diffusers have come down in price over the last year which means I can now have one in every room. My current favorite is this one from Archeer.
A Word About Essential Oils
I prefer essential oils from Spark Naturals, an online company based in Utah. They are not the cheapest nor are they the most expensive plus they have fantastic sales. You can also find them on Amazon.com where they have their own branded store.
Another brand of essential oils I have used is NOW Foods. This bargain brand works great in DIY cleaners as well as aromatically in diffusers. Feel free to experiment and always let your nose guide you. If your essential oil smells like paint thinner, return it. Good oils smell nice.
Note: For direct purchases, Strategic Living readers get a 10% discount using this link and discount code “gayelevy” at checkout.
Adjusting to the nuances of a new geographical area and climate can either be a chore or an adventure. I choose the later.
Here in the Arizona Rim Country, the trees are different, the animals are different (huge jackrabbits and an elk named “Moose”), and there are bugs of all sorts. Every evening as I sit out on a lounge chair, admiring the peace, quiet, and clean mountain air, I refuse to let those pesky mosquitos get the best of me.
This Bye Bye Bug Bite Blend, and especially the spray, has literally saved the day.