13 Natural Ways To Keep Mosquitoes Away-2

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I’m sure everyone reading this right now has experienced the redness, the swelling and the uncontrollable itching that comes with a mosquito bite. It’s enough to ruin any barbecue or picnic!

Many people turn to store bought insect repellents to keep mosquitoes away, but these insect repellents often contain a toxic pesticide that is dangerous to human health. This pesticide is known as DEET.

Heavy exposure to DEET has been linked to memory loss, headache, weakness, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, tremors and shortness of breath in humans and is particularly toxic to children.

Needless to say, this is a pesticide we do NOT want to be using – especially when there are so many more effective ways to keep mosquitoes away using natural remedies and ingredients.

This article will reveal 13 of the best ways to repel mosquitoes so you can enjoy a mosquito free summer!

Homemade Citronella Candles

Homemade Citronella CandlesCitronella essential oil is one of the most effective natural mosquito repellents in the world and one of the best ways to take advantage of this wonderful oil is in citronella candles. These candles are easy to make, all natural and will release an aroma that keeps mosquitoes away. Place a few candles around your patio or garden and create a mosquito proof barrier!

Find out how to make these citronella candles here at GardenTherapy.ca

A Few Drops Of Lavender

Lavender is loved by humans all over the world, but mosquitoes hate it! To keep mosquitoes out of your home, add a drop of lavender to ribbon and place around open windows. The mosquitoes will certainly think twice about entering!

Simple Lavender Body Oil

Add 30 drops of lavender essential oil to two tablespoons of vegetable oil – such as olive oil – and rub onto exposed skin. Not only will you smell beautiful, but it will stop mosquitoes from landing on you!

“Bug Off” Mosquito Repellent Spray

“Bug Off” Mosquito Repellent SprayStevie from GardenTherapy.ca has devised a fantastic “Bug Off” spray recipe that includes mosquito repelling essential oils such as citronella, lemongrass and eucalyptus. Spray this on your skin before heading outside.

Get the full tutorial for this “Bug Off” spray from here.

Bug Repellent Sunscreen

This sunscreen is multi-purpose – it protects from harmful UV sun rays like any good sunscreen, but it also repels bugs, including mosquitoes.

On top of that it’s all natural and contains none of the toxic chemicals found in many over-priced store-bought sunscreens.

Find out how to make this bug repellent sunscreen here.

Throw Rosemary On The Barbecue

Mosquitoes often strike while we are barbecuing, but this simple trick will turn your barbecue into a natural mosquito repellent, while also adding delicious flavour to your food!

Throw a few stalks of rosemary on the hot coals to give off a mosquito repelling aroma.

Plant Mosquito Repellent Plants

There are a number of plants that have mosquito repellent properties – for example feverfew, citronella, catnip and lavender are four of the most effective. Plant these in flower beds or containers placed around your garden and keep mosquitoes away.

Here is a great article revealing 11 of the best mosquito repelling plants.

Eat More Garlic

Note: While this may repel mosquitoes, it may also repel fellow humans!

After eating lots of garlic, garlic oil is gently released from your pores. This garlic oil acts almost like a barrier between your skin and the mosquitoes.

Apply Neem Oil

Neem oil is a vegetable extracted from the Neem tree native to the Indian sub-continent – it is sometimes referred to as “the tree of life”.

Neem oil is a natural insecticide used on plants to keep harmful insects away, and it works the same way on humans. Apply neem oil to the skin and keep mosquitoes away.

Neem oil is available to buy from this page on Amazon.

Mosquito Repellent Drink

I’ve read a number of anecdotes which suggest that drinking apple cider vinegar is an effective mosquito repellent. Add one or two tablespoons of ACV to 16oz of water and consume. Sweeten with one tablespoon of honey to counteract the bitterness if you wish.

Attract Bats

Bats can reportedly eat 1,000 mosquitoes per night. Attracting bats to your garden can help to significantly reduce the number of mosquitoes and reduce your chances of being bitten.

Here is a great article sharing some ideas to attract bats to your garden.

Eliminate Standing Water

Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water. Getting rid of standing water will cut down the number of mosquitoes in the immediate vicinity. Standing water can include bird baths, puddles and pet water bowls. Make sure gutters are draining well and empty any garden items that collect water.

Make A Mosquito Trap

A homemade mosquito trap is another way to reduce the number of mosquitoes in the area. This trap uses CO2 to attract mosquitoes into a soda bottle from which they can’t escape.

Find out how to make this mosquito trap and how it works here.

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There we have thirteen natural ways to keep mosquitoes away from your home, your garden, and from you this summer – and most importantly, we’ve done it without the use of any harmful chemicals!

How do you naturally repel mosquitoes?

13 Natural Ways To Keep Mosquitoes Away

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I hate mosquitoes – but what I hate even more are the chemical sprays that companies convince us that we need to use. Most of these chemical sprays contain a pesticide known as DEET which has a number of negative impacts on human health – especially in children.

DEET is not necessary – especially when there are so many natural ways to keep mosquitoes away. Today I want to share with you a fantastic article that reveals 13 natural mosquito repellents – including plants you can grow, foods you can eat, beverages to drink, candles to make, herbs to throw on the BBQ and more.

To discover all 13 natural mosquito repellents, visit NaturalLivingIdeas.com here…

Homemade Natural Bug Spray Recipes That Work!

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You might have seen my recent recipe forHomemade Healthy Sunscreen, which although it is natural and safe, I don’t recommend using often because it limits Vitamin D production. Depending on where you live, something that might be used much more often is a natural homemade bug spray.

At my house, we joke about mosquitoes being the size of birds, and they certainly do seem to come in flocks! Especially with small children who are prone to scratch mosquito bites, keeping them away is a priority.

Also a priority is avoiding chemicals like DEET, which are present in many commercial insect repellents. According to this site:

One of the most widely used ingredients in store-bought conventional bug sprays for personal use is N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide, or DEET, as it’s commonly known. DEET, which is designed to repel, rather than kill, insects. DEET is used by an estimated one-third of the US population each year. Although DEET is approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is a known eye irritant and can cause rashes, soreness, or blistering when applied to the skin. Additionally, DEET has been linked to neurological problems; according to the EPA, at least 18 different cases of children suffering adverse nuerological effects, as well as the deaths of two adults, have been associated with DEET. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found that DEET causes diffuse brain cell death and behavioral changes in rats.

DEET has been shown to have a negative impact on wildlife and water sources in production and during use. DEET is toxic to birds and aquatic life. DEET has been found in approximately 75 percent of U.S. water sources, including the Mississippi River.

As with practically every household item, natural bug spray can be made inexpensively and naturally at home. (I’m still working on perfecting recipes for shampoo and dishwasher detergent though! Any ideas?)

This recipe literally takes just seconds to mix up and can be varied based on what you have available. I’ve included several variations so you can try whichever one you have the ingredients for.

Wellness Mama Essential Oil Bug Spray

Wellness Mama Bug Spray Ingredients:

  • Essential oils: choose from Citronella, Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Cajeput, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Catnip, Lavender, Mint
  • Natural Witch Hazel
  • Distilled or boiled Water
  • Vegetable glycerin (optional)

How to Make Homemade Bug Spray:

  1. Fill spray bottle (I used 8 ounce) 1/2 full with distilled or boiled water
  2. Add witch hazel to fill almost to the top
  3. Add 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin if using
  4. Add 30-50 drops of essential oils to desired scent. The more oils you use, the stronger the spray will be. My personal favorite mix is: Rosemary, Clove, Cajeput, Lavender, Cinnamon and Eucalyptus… it works great and smells good too!

Make Bug Spray From Dried or Fresh Herbs

Fresh or Dried Herbs Bug Spray Ingredients:

  • Distilled water
  • Witch hazel or rubbing alcohol
  • Dried herbs: peppermint, spearmint, citronella, lemongrass, catnip, lavender, etc. I recommend using at least one herb from the mint family.

How to Make Bug Spray From Fresh or Dried Herbs:

  1. Boil 1 cup of water and add 3-4 TBSP of dried herbs total in any combination from the above. I use 1 TBSP each of peppermint, spearmint, catnip and lavender, and also throw in a couple of dried cloves.
  2. Mix well, cover and let cool (covering is important to keep the volatile oils in!)
  3. Strain herbs out and mix water with 1 cup of witch hazel or rubbing alcohol. Store in a spray bottle in a cool place (fridge is great because then its nice and cool!)
  4. Use as needed. Added bonus: it smells great and is very refreshing to the skin!

Super Strong Insect Repellent Recipe

Fair warning: this stuff stinks when it is wet, though the smell disappears as it dries. It works incredibly well though, and this is the one I use when I’m going to be in the woods or in tick infested areas. It is based on a recipe that was supposedly used by thieves during the Black Plague to keep from getting sick. They used it internally and externally to avoid catching the disease and to keep the flies and other pests away. According to legend, it worked and they survived… but it definitely makes a great insect repellent these days! Its also very inexpensive to make and you probably already have the ingredients in your kitchen!

Vinegar of the Four Thieves Insect Repellent Ingredients:

  • 1 32 ounce bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 TBSP each of dried Sage, Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme and Mint
  • At least quart size glass jar with airtight lid

How to Make the Vinegar of the Four Thieves Insect Repellent:

  1. Put the vinegar and dried herbs into large glass jar.
  2. Seal tightly and store on counter or place you will see it daily. Shake well each day for 2-3 weeks.
  3. After 2-3 weeks, strain the herbs out and store in spray bottles or tincture bottles, preferably in fridge.
  4. To use on skin, dilute to half with water in a spray bottle and use as needed.
  5. Use whenever you need serious bug control!

[Note: This mixture is very strong and has antiviral and antibacterial properties. It can also be used as a tincture for any illness. For adults, dose is 1 TBSP in water several times a day,for kids over 2, dose is 1 tsp in water several times a day. More on this in an upcoming post!]

Other Simple Insect Repelling Ideas:

  • Add vanilla extract to either of the above recipes, or just rub on the skin. You can also mix vanilla with witch hazel and water for a spray version.
  • Rub lavender flowers or lavender oil on your skin, especially on hot parts of body (neck, underarms, behind ears, etc) to repel insects.
  • Rub fresh or dried leaves of anything in the mint family all over skin to repel insects (peppermint, spearmint, catnip, pennyroyal, etc or citronella, lemongrass, etc) Basil is also said to repel mosquitoes and I’ve used fresh basil leaves in the garden with great success before!

Home Products That Smell Like Expensive Perfumes

My inner domestic goddess is REAL.

Put down the Pine Sol… There’s a better way.

Can I let you in on a secret? I love to clean. I was raised in a house with impeccable standards of cleanliness and I’m a firm believer in making the bed daily and scrubbing the tub often.

Though keeping a pet-friendly home spotless is a lot of work, I sort of love how my house sparkles after an intense cleaning spree. What I don’t love is the headache that follows. Maybe it’s because I’ve been around them since a very young age, but I’m super sensitive to standard cleaning supply scents.

The lemon/chemical death smell of most sprays is enough to put me in bed with a headache for an entire afternoon, and don’t even get me started on Pine Sol. Sometimes I make my own all-purpose cleaner, which is way less harsh and smells like lemon and lavender (yum!), and other times I splurge on luxury products that smell like all sorts of delicious things.

There are so many wonderful companies out there making beautiful, handcrafted, and delightfully perfumed home products, but these four in particular make regular appearances in my cabinets.

Chemical smells = never again!

Caldrea

CALDREA

I really can’t believe the smells that come out of these beautiful bottles. The ginger pomelo dryer sheets are so fresh and vibrant that I often stuff them in my drawers, and the rosewater driftwood counter spray makes my kitchen smell like a rosebush in a garden by the beach. My absolute favorite Caldrea product is the dish soap, which comes in seven scents, including mandarin vetiver and lavender pine.

The Laundress

The Laundress

I’ve always loved doing laundry above all other cleaning tasks. It’s so satisfying to pull your warm, clean clothing out of the dryer. The Laundress makes the process even more heavenly. I love the special formula for delicates, underthings, and some dry-clean-only items. It’s called “lady” and it’s scented with amber, bergamot, lavender, and musk. The classic scent, meanwhile, has lily of the valley, jasmine, sweet musk, sandalwood, and citrus. They also make cute little home cleaning products and special cleaning brushes. Also: The Laundress did a rose detergent collabo with Le Labo! Legit.

Ladurée Home

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If you want your humble abode to smell like a French palace, this is the home fragrance line for you. Though Ladurée Home doesn’t have any actual cleaning products–or a ton of selection–they certainly have style. I have a fancy little tradition: every time I go to New York City I bring home a Ladurée candle. My current favorite is the Tokyo candle, a pink wax dream that smells of tea and cherry blossoms. I’m also pretty addicted to the rose geranium home spray, which smells like a sweet summer breeze, and the rice powder scented ball. I use the latter to keep my bathroom smelling pleasant.

Meyer’s Clean Day

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Meyer’s was started by a woman who wanted to make heavy duty cleaning products that smelled like her mother’s (Mrs. Meyers’s) garden. You can watchthis cute little video to learn more. My favorite thing about this line is how well it cleans gross mold and scum while smelling like honeysuckle, bluebell, or, my personal favorite, peony. Everyone needs a toilet cleaner that smells like flowers.

The Good Home Co.

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The Good Home Co. is a New York-based company selling handmade products that are totally vegan and biodegradable. The line was created by a former fragrance designer, so the scents are both amazing and very original. I like that they make little luxuries like scented clothespins, vacuum beads, and non-toxic pet-specific products. My favorite scent so far is called “beach days,” with notes of wood and fresh linen, but you can also special order your own custom scented products.

What fancy home cleaning products have you tried and loved? Any brands/scents in particular that you recommend?

THIS IS THE MILLIONAIRE BEEKEEPER BEHIND BURT’S BEES-2

“I had no desire to be an upward mobilizing yuppie,” says Burt’s Bees co-founder Burt Shavitz, who once lived in a turkey coop.

Despite his net worth, Burt’s Bees co-founder Burt Shavitz lives without hot water or television in a modest (to say the least) Northern Maine home. Fun fact: he lived in an 8×8 converted turkey coop for decades.

But while Shavitz’s likeness and name fronts the famous natural product line, he didn’t build the business on his own. You can learn about Shavitz’s story, and the businesswoman behind the beekeeper, Burt’s Bees co-founder Roxanne Quimby, in a new documentary, Burt’s Buzz, debuting on iTunes and in select theaters this Friday.

The daughter of some wealthy folks from Massachusetts, Quimby arrived in Maine in the 1980s, after living in SanFrancisco. Instead of balking at hard labor and dismal weather, she dug in and fell in love with the North Woods.

Then she met Shavitz, a beekeeper who sold honey in pickle jars on the side of the road. Unable to resist a tall, weird, bearded man in overalls, Quimby became his business partner and quickly started marketing the honey. She repackaged it in cute containers, traveled farther out to sell it, and even used the extra beeswax to make candles, furniture polish, and finally, lip balm!

In 1992, at a time when lip balm sales were skyrocketing, the two launched Burt’s Bees Lip Balm. Within five years, the company was worth millions.

Directed by Jody Shapiro, Burt’s Buzz showcases Shavitz’s eccentric and simple lifestyle, because, even though Quimby’s savvy is what built the empire, it all started with Burt and his bees.

Shavitz is one of the reasons why I started keeping bees. He happened upon his first hive of bees serendipitously, and often tended them without a beekeeping suit. Since I couldn’t afford a suit when I first started out, I figured, if this weirdo from Maine can do it, I can, too!

ls, but for elbows and hands, too. The thick, greasy formula is perfect for right before bed.

And the Tomato Toner has such a unique herbal scent. It isn’t overly drying, but it clears pores and soothes skin. I like to stick it in the fridge during the summer months.

Everything in the Burt’s Bees makeup line is 99 percent natural. Counted among the ingredients are things like flower waxes, vegetable and seed oils, and mineral colorants. They also offer a wide variety of vegan items, and everything they sell is cruelty-free and made in the USA. All this, and you can pick up one of their most popular items, the Tinted Lip Balm, for just $7.

I could name about a dozen Burt’s Bees favorites, how about you? Which of old Burt’s products do you swear by? I can’t wait to watch the documentary!