July comes in with a bang...and a flash of light! The skies got so
dark before the storm hit that it seemed like night had fallen early.
Once again, Mother Nature shows us that she is the best when it comes
to light shows!
At 10:18 pm, EST, we welcomed a dark moon in Cancer. When this moon
becomes full on July 18th at 3:59 am, EST, I will be enjoying the beauty
of Michigan's U.P. My sister, a friend, and I will be dancing naked
around a bonfire under the stars in the Keweenaw Peninsula, weather
permitting, of course. (actually we won't be naked, but that got your
Anyway, part of my prepping for a vacation is making up a new batch
of my insect repellent. I don't like using the chemical commercial products
so I make my own with essential oils.
Oils that won't bug you
There are many oils that keep bugs from bugging you. Of course citronella,
and many know the benefits of lemongrass for keeping those pesky mosquitoes
away. Some are surprised to hear that lavender actually keeps bugs at
bay. If you get a good quality cedarwood oil that too will work great.
Two of my favorite oils, peppermint and patchouli, keep those annoying
no-see-ems out of sight. All of the above oils also keep biting flies
And speaking of the U.P., there are a couple of oils that are supposed
to keep ticks away too. They are lavender and rose geranium (some sources
just say geranium). I have been putting lavender in my blend for two
years now and have not seen a tick even after gathering firewood in
the woods. I have not tried geranium in the blend yet but might this
year. I have also heard that rosemary keeps ticks away but haven't tried
it so I can't confirm.
My bug repellent is a work in progress. As I find more information
and acquire new oils, I'm bound to experiment. Below is my first blend
which I had much success with. The next year I added citronella and
reduced the lemongrass. They smell so much alike and do the same thing
basically, so I would recommend using whichever you have or prefer.
Bug Away Blend
Here is the first bug spray I created for a trip up north. We went
Memorial Day Weekend and on this trip we went to the Pictured Rocks.
Anyone who has been to the Lake Superior shoreline knows about the black
flies, they are nasty and there seems to be hundreds of them. My friend
and I used my spray before we got to the area that was known for black
flies. When we got there, the flies did land on us, but they didn't
stay long and neither one of us got bit. My sister hadn't put on the
spray, but she did once she saw the results!
16 drops lemongrass
8 drops each: lavender, peppermint, tea tree
6 drops patchouli
Add the oils to 4 ounces of either witch hazel or rubbing alcohol in
a spray bottle. Shake well before spraying. If you can, use a dark spray
bottle (brown, blue, green). Also, the oils can react with plastic so
if you use a plastic spray bottle, don't store for a long period of
time in it.
Have an enjoyable and pest-free July!