Worried About Harmful Chemicals in Your Bug Spray?

Make your own natural bug spray — save money and be worry free

What’s the big deal about using commercial bug spray? Plenty.

If bug spray kills bugs, there’s a good chance it can hurt you too.

Recent bug spray studies link chemicals in bug sprays to Parkinson’s Disease. The Environmental Protection Agency has discovered chemicals that kill bugs can lead to infertility (1), birth defects, miscarriages (2), stillbirths (3), learning disorders (4), aggressive behavior (5), cancer of the breast (6), prostate (7) and lymphatic system (8).

Solution to commercial bug spray

The obvious solution to commercial bug spray is making your own using natural ingredients. The most common insecticide in store-bought bug spray is DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). This powerful insecticide is in over 400 repellents. It can peel paint, damage rayon and spandex, and melt plastic. Doesn’t sound like a good thing to spray on your body. Does it?

To take the worry out of bug sprays, try making your own. Here are a few recipes for you to try. Remember, as with all natural remedies, what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for the next. Try one of these until you find one you’re comfortable with.

Bug spray recipes

Recipe #1

— 1 part garlic juice

— 5 parts water

Mix in small spray bottle and use like regular bug repellent

Recipe #2

This recipe comes from herbalist Debra Nuzzi-St. Claire. She suggests combining the following essential oils to make a natural insect repellent:

— 1/2 ounce citronella oil

— 1/4 ounce lavender oil

— 1/8 ounce pennyroyal oil

— 1/8 ounce tea tree oil

— 1/8 ounce jojoba oil

Do not use this concentrate on your skin without diluting. First, dilute it by adding 16 ounces of jojoba or almond oil. Blend. For a spray, add 16 ounces of alcohol, pour into a spray bottle and shake before applying.

Recipe #3

This next recipe isn’t really a recipe at all — just a tip. All you need to do is rub rubbing alcohol on your body. Allow it to dry and no mosquitoes will bother you. It’s not necessary to rub down your entire body — just a few spots will do.

Recipe #4

This recipe is another one using essential oils — just a different combination. If you don’t like Recipe #2 that’s made with oils, you might like the smell of this one better. Or, it may work better for you.

— 20 drops eucalyptus oil

— 20 drops cedarwood oil

— 10 drops tea tree oil

— 10 drops geranium oil

— 2 oz. carrier oil (such as Jojoba)

Mix in a 4 oz. container. Apply to skin as needed avoiding the eye area. Keep out of reach of children. Test on a small area of skin for sensitivities.

Recipe #5

Another non-recipe tip… simply take clear, real vanilla and dab on a few drops. This repels both mosquitoes and ticks and smells nice!

Important: Don’t use the regular vanilla you find in the baking aisle in your grocery store. It needs to be pure vanilla. You may be able to find it in the Mexican section of your grocery store or in your local health food store. If you can’t find it in either of those places, do a search online for ‘pure, natural vanilla.’

This summer and spring when the bugs come out, instead of putting poisonous bug spray on yourself and family, spray bugs away with one of these natural mixtures. All of these recipes are less expensive than commercial bug spray and you can relax knowing you aren’t putting your family at risk.

(1) The Lancet August 7, 1999;354:484-485
(2) Epidemiology March 2001;22:148-156
(3) Occupational and Environmental Medicine (1997;54:511-518)
(4) The Lancet September 9, 2000;356:912-913
(5) Rachel’s Environment & Health Weekly #648 — April 29, 1999 www.Rachel.org
(6) The Lancet 1998;352;1816-1820
(7) Reuter’s Health May 1, 2003
(8) Rachel’s Environment & Health News, June 7, 2001