It’s that time of year again when the critters are coming out in full force. Ants, bees, mosquitos, mites, ticks, and spiders – all those lovely creatures we wish would remain elsewhere. That’s why essential oils that repel bugs are right on my top shelf, and ready for application!
Essential oils that can repel bugs are a fantastic option, particularly since most conventional insect repellents on the market in the U.S. today contain DEET. In my opinion, you should avoid DEET like you would the plague, because it may be just as harmful. DEET is a member of the toluene family, which are basically chemical solvents used in cements and paint removers. When applied topically, it is absorbed through the skin and into the blood stream. Due to its health risks to the public, DEET in high concentrations has been banned in Canada. Of course, it is still widely available here, since the good old U.S. of A. has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938. So if you need to remove any paint from your liver, just give yourself a good spray of DEET and you’ll be all set.
Even the EPA has a long list of warnings on its site about DEET, including the recommendation to use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin, avoid over-application, and wash treated skin with soap and water after returning indoors. That sounds like a trustworthy product, doesn’t it?
Want to repel those critters without DEET? These essential oils repel bugs without doing harm to your body:
Essential Oils that Repel Bugs
So here’s the deal. While many essential oils have been studied regarding the possibility of maybe potentially repelling bugs, the only one I’m allowed by FDA rules to tell you about is Citronella. You see, over the past couple of years, the FDA has gotten heavily involved in who is allowed to say what about natural products like essential oils. Keep in mind, however, that these are the same folks who are telling you that DEET is safe for use.
Citronella essential oil (which smells incredibly refreshing) is commonly used as an ingredient in plant-based mosquito repellents. Citronella essential oil is ideal for diffusing indoors to refresh the air. It has been used for over fifty years both as an insect repellent.
Essential Oils that Have Been Studied
The following essential oils have been studied to see whether they may also support the body in a similar manner, but as I said, I’m not allowed to tell you any more than that. So, I’ll just share which oils may potentially, possibly be ones that you might want to learn more about. Feel free to click on the links if you do. You never know what information you might find if you look for it.
Just in case you lovely folks from the FDA are reading this, let me be clear. I AM NOT MAKING ANY CLAIMS THAT THE FOLLOWING OILS DO, IN FACT, REPEL BUGS. These are oils that have been STUDIED or mentioned by some people, somewhere, in some way.
Basil essential oil has a fresh, herbaceous aroma that can be calming and refreshing.
Bergamot is one of my favorite oils to use for making fragrances. Bergamot is phototoxic, so you do not want to apply it to your skin before heading out into the sunlight. Bergamot has a light citrusy scent, which can be both uplifting and relaxing when diffused. You can diffuse bergamot outdoors, as long as it is away from your skin.
Cinnamon oil can be used for its warm, inviting tones.
Geranium has an aroma that encourages peaceful, spiritual feelings.
Grapefruit has a wonderfully uplifting citrus aroma. Grapefruit oil is photosensitive, so be cautious about applying it to your skin before heading outdoors.
Idaho Tansy oil is quite often in essential oil blends designed for pets.
Lavender keeps is used often in sachets for linen drawers. Lavender essential oil has a scent that’s a wonderful blend of fresh, floral, clean, and calm. Lavender essential oil isn’t just a favorite because of its classic scent—it’s also highly versatile. From skin care products to relaxing routines, this oil can infuse many areas of your life.
Lemon Balm has a grassy lemon scent that is pleasant, uplifting, and encouraging.
Lemongrass essential oil can be worn alone or mixed with other complementary oils to help awaken the senses.
Orange oil contains D-limonene. Orange oil offers a sweet, peaceful aroma that can fill a room with a sense of peace, harmony, and creativity. Like Grapefruit oil, Orange oil is photosensitive, so be cautious about applying it to your skin before heading outdoors. It sure can be diffused though!
Palo Santo has an inspiring fragrance and can be diffused for a cleansing and refreshing atmosphere.
Pine oil will keep you smelling fresh during any campfire, cookout or barbecue! Pine essential oil has an empowering and calming aroma.
Sage essential oil emits a strong, spicy, clarifying, and uplifting aroma when diffused.
Tea Tree oil (also known as Melaleuca alternifolia) is often used in skin care for its cleansing properties.
This year, repel those critters without DEET, and without doing harm to your body.
Disclaimer: If you are pregnant, nursing, or have a newborn baby, you should always read the labels before use no matter what brand of oils you choose. This article is for informational purposes, and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. You should always consult with your primary care physician or a wellness professional before making changes to your health and wellness routine.
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