Two summers back, I received a phone call asking for permission to spray my backyard for mosquitoes. I politely declined, much to the caller’s bewilderment. As I kept thinking about the issue, I realized that my neighbors might have succumbed to that call. It seemed likely that the whole neighborhood, except for our house, would be sprayed within the next 2 weeks. That means all the mosquitoes would flock to our yard. This would not have been safe for our kids who play in the yard, or for us as we work in our organic garden.
Time to do something. But it had to be a natural, organic measure. The first thing we did was to make sure there was no standing water (please don’t do this if there are a lot of frogs in your area – this isn’t the case for us). Then as I researched natural remedies for the problem, I came across essential oils. I researched all the plants that could be used as a repellent, and decided to give these a try. Since I was already into making my own moisturizers, I had some of the necessary oils on hand. I made a blend of the repellent oils and added it to coconut oil, and I applied this mixture to all exposed areas of the body. This worked very well for us. My kids could now play in any part of the yard without the fear of being bitten by mosquitoes.
In a warmer climates many of these plants can be grown around the home. While this isn’t completely impossible here in zone 6, it’s not really practical for me. So, essential oils were the best way to go for me and my family. I used eucalyptus, citronella, lemongrass, geranium and lavender. I mixed those in to about 6oz of coconut oil. You will know how effective this combination is when you slather your body but miss a particular area! Don’t ask me how I know this.
I’m usually covered up with clothing from shoulder to mid-calf. Even when I’m pressed for time, I am careful to cover certain areas like the temples and forehead, around the ear and neck, upper arms, and around the ankles. I no longer need those expensive candles and I’m no longer trying to grow all these repellent plants around my yard. I am a walking repellent!
It is no longer we who fear the mosquitoes, but they fear us! And what if one of them happens to bite me? Well, my remedy still works. As soon as I can get to it, i.e. before the wound closes naturally, I apply the same mixture of essential oils. This prevents any swelling and itching when it is applied often. If I am too late and the bite has already closed up, I just squeeze the bite to open the wound and apply the oil mixture.
So, now that I am armed, I can spend some quality time growing organic food for my family. I hope this works for you too!
Thanks to Shirley for participating in the [Grow] Network Writing Contest. We have over $1,500 in prizes lined up for the current writing contest, with more to come. Here is a list of the current pot of prizes:
– A 21.5 quart pressure canner from All American, a $380 value
– A Survival Still emergency water purification still, a $279 value
– 1 year of free membership in the [Grow] Network Core Community, a $240 value
– A copy of The Summer of Survival Complete Collection from Life Changes Be Ready, a $127 value
– 2 copies of the complete Home Grown Food Summit, valued at $67 each
– 3 free 3 month memberships in the [Grow] Network Core Community, valued at $60 each
– The complete 2014 Grow Your Own Food Summit interview series, a $47 value
– 4 copies of the Grow Your Own Groceries DVD video set, valued at $42 each
– A Bug Out Seed Kit from the Sustainable Seed Company, a $40 value
– 4 copies of the Alternatives To Dentists DVD video, valued at $32 each