Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mosquito Magnet

I am a mosquito magnet. I always have been. I carry insect repellent with me everywhere. I have used “Deep Woods OFF” in the middle of the city with only minimal success. Lately, I’ve been using some of those commercial brands that smell better and come in a pump bottle, but I STILL end up getting eaten alive – and smelling like a walking chemical plant.

I don’t know why they go for me and not for others, but they do. This year has been particularly bad. In the last week, I’ve swallowed no fewer than four mosquitoes while having conversations at outdoor gatherings at dusk. I needed help – big time. So, I talked with a neighbor who has made her own insect repellent for years using essential oils. She let me spritz myself with it and I liked how it smelled!

So, I went to the co-op in search of essential oils that would repel insects. Lavender, apparently, is the best repellent for mosquitoes! I grow that – lots of it – in the gardens here. Peppermint is next and then Lemon or lemongrass, and scented geranium. I had several bottles in my hand when I saw one labeled, “insect repellent.” It’s sort of an all-in-one mix of the oils that repel mosquitoes and black flies. I went home and mixed it up – 20 drops per ounce of diluting solution. My friend uses water. I used rubbing alcohol for quicker evaporation.

I smelled a little bit like Lemon Pledge for about an hour, but it worked – even at night when we had dinner on the lawn! I can’t believe I went an entire day without one bite! I’m definitely sold on this solution.

Has anyone else used homemade insect repellent?!

3 comments:

Meredehuit ♥ said...

Your solution sounds good! I've heard that taking vitamin B works well, too.

Anonymous said...

I haven't made one but like the sound of the one you found at the co-op. Which co-op did you visit?

Auntie K said...

Meredehuit ♥: I read that yesterday, too! I had been taking vitamin B regularly, but have not done so recently. I will start again.

Anon: There are lots of co-ops in the Minneapolis area. I found the insect repellent essential oil at the Eastside Coop on Central Av. Whole Foods (in St Paul) had many essential oils, but not the "insect repellent" mixture. I didn't check the Wedge.

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