With all of the flooding and warm weather around Oklahoma lately the mosquito population is out of control and now there are already reports of West Nile virus in the area. Slathering your family with chemical bug repellents like DEET might make you uneasy because it can act as an irritant, and has been reported to be the cause of seizures, insomnia, mood disturbances and impaired cognitive function. Luckily there are ways to make natural bug repellents that are safe for you, your kids, and your pets.
Here is a bug spray recipe that is safe for children over 2 years of age and a diluted version is safe for pregnant and nursing moms.
2oz of water
2oz of apple cider vinegar or witch hazel
15 drops of citronella essential oil
15 drops of cedarwood (atlas or virginia) oil
10 drops of geranium oil
Because essential oils don’t mix well with water, start by adding them to the apple cider vinegar or witch hazel first. Allow it to sit for a couple of minutes before giving the mixture a stir. This will disperse the essential oils in the liquid. Add the water and then pour the entire mixture into a spray bottle. Shake well before use. Spray on skin or clothes before going outside. Store in the fridge when not in use.
Here is a recipe that is gentle enough for babies under 2 years of age.
4oz witch hazel
4oz almond oil
15 drops geranium oil
15 drops citronella oil
7 drops eucalyptus oil
7 drops lavender oil
7 drops lemongrass oil
5 drops rosemary oil (optional)
5 drops peppermint oil (optional)
Mix the witch hazel and almond oil first, then add the other essential oils. Apply at least every 2-3 hours. If any of these smells are bothersome, experiment with your formula. This recipe can be mixed and matched based on what you have available and the scents that you and baby find tolerable. The general formula for a good homemade bug repellent for babies and children is roughly a 1:10 ratio of essential oils to carrier liquid, or roughly 30-50 drops per 8oz of ‘carrier’. Witch hazel is super-gentle for babies’ skin and to make this recipe all the easier, you can even buy it already infused with lavender. On babies, apply only a small amount to their skin at first to see if there is any sensitivity to the oils. If you’re concerned about irritation on sensitive skin, then this recipe can be altered with water instead of almond oil and then sprayed on your baby’s clothes before you dress them.
What about Fido? Various herbs that contain mosquito-repelling properties are safe to use topically on dogs. Mother Earth News recommends a mix of 2 1/2 teaspoons total of any combination of the following essential oils: basil, cedarwood, citronella, juniper, lemon, myrrh, palmarosa, pine, rose geranium and/or rosemary. Shake well and daub small amounts on your dog. To be safe, try to only apply the oils to your dog’s fur and keep it off their skin. Never put these oils near their eyes, ears or mouth.
At Emtec Pest Control, we are committed to safe and responsible pest control. We understand that your family’s safety is your number one priority, so we make it our priority, too. If you have any other questions about any of these pests or pest control for your home or business, contact your Oklahoma pest control experts at Emtec Pest Control by calling us or by filling out our online contact form. Our service areas in Northeast Oklahoma include Bixby, Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Owasso, Jenks, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Skiatook, Stillwater, Tulsa and the surrounding areas. In Central Oklahoma, we service Edmond, Moore, Oklahoma City, Yukon and the surrounding areas. You can also connect with us on social media for more helpful pest control tips and information. We are on Facebook.