This year I have found the mosquitoes to be quite abundant and quite frankly very annoying. I’m one of those people they seem to love.
With that said let’s take a look at what works and what you would like to try naturally. By Naturally I mean plant based, essential oils.
I have tried many things, and each time I see a new recipe with different essential oils, I think to myself “This is it”. Well it’s not quite.
I have tried in many different essential oils at different proportions: Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica), Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), Eucalyptus Citriodora (Eucalyptus Citriodora), Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), Lavender (Lavandula x hybrid), Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) - the list can go on, but let’s get down to what I have found what really works, but first let’s see what’s out there so you can decide for yourself.
Synthetics made from plant material
Picaridin: The New Champion?
Created by Bayer in the 1980s, Picaridin (pronounced pih-CARE-a-den) is a synthetic compound developed from a plant extract from the genus Piper, the same plant genus that produces table pepper. Picaridin has been available since 1998 in Europe and Australia—where it is the best-selling insect repellent—but was approved for sale in the United States only in 2005. (You may see it listed as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, or icaridin.) As with DEET, the EPA has concluded that the normal use of Picaridin does not present a health concern.
Studies have shown Picaridin to be as effective as DEET in repelling mosquitoes. Unlike DEET, however, Picaridin is odorless, non-greasy, and does not dissolve plastics or other synthetics.
Permethrin is another up and coming synthetic insecticide and it can only be sprayed on clothing and never on the skin. Permethrin does kill mosquitoes and ticks and is highly effective
Plant Material to Essential oil
The ONLY E.O. I have tried with success repelling mosquitoes is Catnip (Nepeta cataria) a member of the same plant family as mint, and nepetalactone is a type of chemical known as a terpene.
Benefits of Catnip Oil
Using catnip oil is a good choice because of its many health benefits.
- Sedative: relaxes the mind to free it from insomnia, tension and anxiety
- Carminative: removes intestinal gases via a downward motion
- Diuretic: promotes nutrition
- Nervine: serves as a tonic for the nerves
- Diaphoretic: makes you sweat to reduce weight and blood pressure, remove salt and excess toxins in the body and keep your heart healthy
More importantly, catnip oil has been known to help alleviate fever, migraine, dyspepsia, colic, ulcers, spasmodic cholera and nervous system disorders. The oil can help ease muscular, intestinal, respiratory or menstrual cramps.
Catnip, or Nepeta cataria, is a member of the same plant family as mint, and nepetalactone is a type of chemical known as a terpene.
Nepetalactone was first reported in 1941 after it was isolated by steam distillation of catnip. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepetalactone#cite_note-2Nepetalactone is bicyclic monoterpenoid, i.e., it is a ten-carbon compound derived from isoprene with two fused rings: a cyclopentane and a lactone. It belongs to the class of iridoids. The structure and the effects of the compound are similar to those of valepotriates. A number of isomers of nepetalactone are known.
Catnip Essential oil has a green herbaceous-floral scent and blends well with Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica), Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), Eucalyptus Citriodora (Eucalyptus Citriodora), Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), Lavender (Lavandula x hybrid), Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), May chang (Litsea cubeba).
At first I had a hard time with the aroma of catnip so I mixed it with other E.O.’s that were appealing to me.
SO try this recipe I have made and been using now for some time with success. Also I have found that Catnip hydrosol is wonderful for children. You may need to apply the hydrosols more frequently on your child, but no worries. Hydrosols are a wonderful alternative use and safer than E.O.’s for children.
- (1) 2oz. spray bottle
- 20 drops Catnip (Nepeta cataria) E.O.
- 5 drops Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) E.O.
- 7 drops May chang (Litsea cubeba) E.O.
- 6 drops Eucalyptus Citriodora (Eucalyptus Citriodora) E.O.
- 6 drops Lavender (Lavandula x hybrid) E.O.
**NOTE** you can use any of your favorite E.O.’s but you must have 20-25 drops of Catnip E.O. in your blend. Sometimes I use Basil, Cedarwood, Rosemary. It’s all up to you. No batch is the same.
In your 2oz. bottle mix your E.O.’s then fill the rest of the bottle with witch hazel and water.
Shake before spraying.
WALLAH! Happy outdoors
Here’s another Great article supporting Catnip.
Catnip Repels Mosquitoes More Effectively Than DEET. Summary: ... CHICAGO, August 27 — Researchers report that nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip that gives the plant its characteristic odor, is about ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET — the compound used in most commercial insect repellents ...Aug 28, 2001 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010828075659.htm