In the middle of Summer, the biting bugs are out in full force, such as mosquitos, ticks, and fleas. We want to repel such pests, not just because of the resulting itch, but also to steer clear of the potential diseases such as Malaria and Lyme Disease that they may carry. There are many synthetic sprays on the market to deter insects and arthropods, but they can contain toxic chemicals with both environmental and health concerns such as skin irritations, headaches, nausea, difficulty concentrating, and more.
In recent years, the repelling potential of various essential oils and herbs has been significantly studied, with hopeful results. Further, it has been researched that combining certain essential oils together, or with other natural products such as vanillin or neem has shown a synergistic strength, being more effective that products made with just a single essential oil. Many essential oils, such as citronella, eucalyptus, peppermint, palmarosa, balm mint bush, and lemongrass have shown repellent action, but usually have a shorter repelling time than some of the chemicals like DEET that are more toxic to humans, animals, and the environment.
When using natural repellent sprays, keep in mind that they may have to be applied more often. Further, certain ingredients may be inappropriate for pets (especially cats), children, pregnant ladies, and those with other health concerns. Investigate the safety guidelines of the ingredients used in a natural spray. Always discontinue use if any irritation occurs.