Living in Florida is wonderful! I could make a list as thick as an encyclopedia of things I love about it. We do have a few things that would not be on that list. Number one would probably be mosquitoes! They are everywhere down here. In fact the county I live in used by called Mosquito County (I think Orange is much better, don’t you.. hehe). Using bug spray is just something you do, unless you want to get eaten alive. I’ve always been leery of bug sprays and repellents because of chemicals and toxins. I’ve found some wonderful essential oils that work wonders repelling mosquitoes and are safe to use on children, pets and of course adults, which I’ll be sharing with you! Today I’ll share my favorite bug repelling oils and a simple recipe for essential oil bug spray.
Florida’s (pretty grim) Mosquito Past
Thank goodness we live in the 21st century and have the benefit of scientific knowledge on our side. Just over a hundred years people didn’t know even know that mosquitoes carried disease! Here in Florida outbreaks of mosquito diseases occurred up until the early 20th. Hundreds often died; sometimes even wiping out entire towns and settlements.
Once such outbreak happened Jacksonville in 1888. Yellow Fever a.k.a. Yellow Jack or Yellow Plague was the cause. During the summer of 1888 Yellow Fever held the entire city captive. In the 19th century doctors and scientists thought unsanitary conditions caused Yellow Fever. When the outbreak happened city officials made efforts to clean up, by burning property of the sick and spreading disinfectant anywhere the sick had been.
These efforts were not working and the number of sick continued to grow. People were afraid. Citizens afraid for their lives fled Jacksonville by the hundreds. Sadly, almost all of them were forced to return, as most towns and cities turned them away in efforts to protect their own populations. When the fall came and temperatures began to drop, the outbreak mysteriously broke. 450 people died in the outbreak. In 1901 scientists finally made the connection between Yellow Fever and mosquitoes. Once they did mosquito control became widespread and a duty of civic governments. Yellow Fever outbreaks do still occur in the developing world, but thankfully a vaccine is now available to lessen the deadly effects of the disease.
Yellow Fever isn’t a threat to us anymore, but now we have Zika to worry about! Zika really freaks me out because it is so dangerous to pregnant/ possibly pregnant young woman. We know that it can cause serious birth effects. The sickness itself (apparently) it’s too terrible, consisting of a fever and muscle aches. Some people apparently don’t even feel the effects. As a community we have to do our best to prevent spread through mosquito control and our personal efforts.
Zika Virus and other Mosquito Issues
Besides Zika, there are other freaky mosquito diseases like West Nile. Also, a lot of children (mine included) are actually allergic to mosquito bites. For these kids bites can swell and become intensely painful. Then, there’s a chance mosquito bites can become infected with bacteria like staph and MRSA. Do your best to control mosquito population in your yard by emptying out any free standing water (like in the bottom of flower pots) that might be around. Mosquitoes breed in shallow water. Also, apply bug spray when going outside, especially in the morning and evening. Mosquitoes tend to bite the most at these times.
Choosing bug spray/repellent is important. DEET is the main ingredient in many bug sprays. DEET is a chemical KNOWN to be harmful to humans. It does an exceptional job of fending off mosquitoes; but it has a long list of dangers to humans. Its a known toxin to the nervous system. It can cause skin irritations, insomnia, and mood changes. When you’re buying bug spray make sure you get DEET free. There are a lot of DEET free sprays on the market, so this shouldn’t be a problem. But I have an even better solution! Make your own. Use your own all natural ingredients and give yourself piece of mind. Make essential oil bug spray, and provide your family with safe and natural bug spray solution.
Make Your Own Essential Oil Bug Spray
Here’s my list of essential oils that work great for bug spray:
Sandalwood, Wild Orange, White Fir, Eucalyptus, Rose, Citronella, Lavender, and Lemongrass
Many essential oil companies produce blends specific for bug repellent. Here is my favorite one: click here
Orange Tree’s Essential Oil Bug Spray
You will need:
4 oz glass spray bottle (I order mine from Amazon)
2.5 ml Citronella (Cymbopogan nardus) essential oil
2.5 ml Lavender (Lavendula augustifolia) essential oil
2.5 ml Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) essential oil
** You can substitute any of these oils for other bug repellent oils. Mix and match for your best combo. **
5 ml witch hazel or aloe vera to help the oils mix better within the water
Fill the bottle with filtered water, leaving room at the top (about 1/2 inch)
Add the oils and witch hazel/aloe vera.
Shake and spray! Always remember to give the bottle a good shake before spraying.
If you choose to use an pre-made essential oil blend substitute 7.5 ml of the essential oil blend for the essential oils.
** Disclaimer- these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease.**