If you’ve been spending time out at the lake this summer or perhaps doing some camping in the mountains, you’ve probably had more than a few run-ins with mosquitos. As soon as the temperature drops during the evening, these buzzing blood-suckers can come out in swarms and easily ruin an otherwise enjoyable day. While DEET-based mosquito repellants can be quite effective, many people are uneasy about spraying chemicals onto their skin, no matter how safe the label says it is. If you’re apprehensive about chemical sprays, essential oils might be your new source of relief.
Essential oils are strongly scented plant extracts with a variety of therapeutic uses. For insect repellant purposes though, you want smells that will drive mosquitoes as far away from you as possible. Luckily, what smells bad to an insect usually smells pretty good to us. Oils extracted from lemongrass, thyme, eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint are the “stay away” smells of the mosquito world. To mix your own repellant, take about ten drops of the oil of your choice and mix it with 30mL of regular, unscented, liquid hand soap. Be careful not to add too much oil, as large quantities can cause skin irritation. Once your mixture is complete, simply rub a bit of it onto any area of exposed skin. Complete coverage isn’t necessary; you just need the smell to be noticeable by the bugs. Once applied, you’ll be free to enjoy an evening out in nature unbothered by mosquitos. And you’ll smell pretty good doing it.