Natural Solutions to Insect Repellent

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Natural Solutions to Insect Repellent

Everyone loves Summer. Warm weather, sunshine, vacations, what’s not to love? But with the warm weather comes unwanted attention from insects. We’ve all been pestered by annoying flies, pesky mosquitos, and other unpleasant creatures, and we’ve all wondered if there’s a good solution, but what can you do about it? 

There are plenty of commercial insect repellent products on the market, and you may have already tried some of them. Although they can somewhat effective, they come with some inherent health risk. DEET, an ingredient commonly found in such products, can cause damage to the environment and your health. It’s recommended that you use DEET products only if you are travelling to a place where mosquitoes carry disease. 

If you’re just going for a hike, or hanging out with friends around the grill, or are just  going to be spending a lot of time outside in the Summer, natural insect repellent are your best options. This is especially the case for children, who are particularly sensitive.  Let’s take a look at some of the best options for natural insect repellent, starting with the most common. 


Lemon Eucalyptus Oil 

One of the natural insect repellents you may be familiar with is the commonly used lemon eucalyptus oil, which has been used since 1940s. It’s been recognised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an effective ingredient in mosquito repellent. A recent study showed that lemon eucalyptus oil used at a mixture of 32 percent provided effective protection against mosquitoes for 3 hours. It’s possible to make your own with a mixture of 1 part lemon eucalyptus oil to 10 parts sunflower oil. This can be an effective solution, but it’s recommended that you don’t use this on children under the age of 3. 



Another commonly used natural insect repellent, you may already be aware of the citronella plant’s repelling properties. It’s a well-known fact that mosquitoes in particular hate the scent of citrus (especially lemons). Citronella is a plant that is similar to lemongrass, which is why it can be an excellent solution to your mosquito problem. It often comes in the candle form, allowing you to spread it around your house or garden and deter insects whilst also appreciating its pleasant aroma. It can also be bought in plant extracts and essential oils, so you can apply it to your clothing or skin, or around your house, if you so wish. 



Lavender is a simple and elegant solution to the problem of pesky mosquitoes. Crushed lavender flowers produce an oil and a fragrance that repels mosquitoes. Simply planting a lavender plant in your garden and crushing up the leaves can be an excellent way to keep them out of your garden. Alternatively, you could simply crush the leaves up and apply the oil to your skin, particularly to sensitive areas like the ankles, arms, the back of the neck and legs. Applying some lavender oil to a cloth and rubbing it on your skin also works. Lavender provides an effective solution that also provides a pleasant-smelling aroma. Wonderful! 


Bay Leaf 

You may not be familiar with bay leaves. They have been used for a long time in international cuisine and the traditional medical field, but it’s also an effective insect repellent. Placing these leaves in containers of rice, flour, or other dry foods, or simply taping them on the insides of cupboards or shelves, can be an excellent way to deter the likes of moths, roaches, mosquitoes, earwigs, and more. This herb may be somewhat uncommon in some parts of the world, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to get hold of. 


Cinnamon Oil 

More than just a great topper of desserts and puddings, cinnamon oil has been proven to be an effective insect repellent, too. A study conducted in Taiwan found that cinnamon oil can kill off mosquito eggs. It has also been shown to be an effective repellent against adult mosquitoes. To create your own homemade diluted spray, simply mix one quarter teaspoon (24 drops) of oil for every 4 ounces of water. This should make a one percent solution, which will be effective at repelling mosquitoes. Spray this on your clothes, on plants, or around your home and you should be good to go. Be careful when spraying on your skin, however, as a concentrated dose can irritate the skin. 



You may not have expected to hear this, but catnip is actually an excellent insect repellent. Yes, the same stuff that makes cats go crazy. It’s free of DEET and other toxic chemicals, and can effectively repel all sorts of insects, from roaches to mosquitoes. Simply crush the plant up and gently apply it your skin. The strong scent will keep unwanted insects away with ease. 


Thyme oil 

Thyme oil, often used in cooking, aromatherapy, and more, is another excellent natural insect repellent, and one that shouldn’t be difficult to find. In one study, 5 percent strength thyme oil was applied to hairless mice and provided 85 percent protection for between 60 and 90 minutes. Research has shown that thyme leaves are particularly effective when burnt. If you’re camping in the Summer and want to avoid insect pests, try throwing some thyme leaves into your campfire. This is a highly effective and efficient way to keep the insects away, especially ones that may be drawn to the light and heat of the fire. 



These are just some of the many natural remedies you can use to keep pesky insects of all kinds away. All of these have been tried and tested, and some have even been studied in rigorous scientific settings.  Although it may seem easy to reach for the shelf and buy the first  insect spray you see, but the DEET and other toxic chemicals used in these sprays can be highly detrimental to your health and the environment. When there are so many simple and effective natural solutions, why settle with the potentially hazardous option?



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Dr. Jenny P. Wilkins, NMD, CRA  

Dr. Jenny is a Naturopathic Doctor and clinical research associate. She is a successful entrepreneur as the CEO/Proprietor of AgeVital Pharmacies in Sarasota, Florida. She is a charismatic media personality and television producer with regular appearances on ABC, NBC, TBN, CBS, the CW and Lifetime. As a health and wellness expert and educator, Dr. Jenny lectures all around the world at various conferences about the endocannabinoid system and functional integrative healthcare and how natural solutions work to treat a multitude of diseases and illnesses. She authors books for healthcare practitioners and consumers and educates the healthcare community and individuals using her extensive research and findings about the endocannabinoid system.  

She is the President and Chairman of The American Academy of the Endocannabinoid System (AAECS) and sits on the Executive Board of Directors for the American Board of Medical Marijuana Physicians (ABMMP). Her expansive credentials include a Board Certification at The American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners – (ABAAHP), a Diplomate of the AAIM College of Nutrition and a Board Certification with the (AAIM) Board of Integrative Medicine. Dr. Jenny is also a member of the American Academy Of Anti-Aging Medicine, serves as a senior business and financial advisor for Nuvusio, Conference Advisory Board Medical Chair of the Florida Medical Cannabis Conference & Exhibition (FMCCE) and the medical director for Biom-Pharmaceuticals and Chief Scientific Officer And Medical Director for M3-Biodynamics and M3-Innovations.  

 *Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. The views and nutritional advice expressed by AgeVital Pharmacy are not intended to substitute for medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician or give us a call and schedule a consultation with one of our providers. 

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