Bugs are big right now. Or should I say – bedbugs are big. The little bloodsuckers are all over the news more than a bad dress at the Oscars. And it’s getting worse. The latest infestation to hit the news waves? Google’s Manhattan office has “˜em, causing some to speculate if the bugs will next leap through the Internet to infect new homes.
But there’s more to life than the pesky red/brown bugs. Because there are other bugs on the planet besides bed bugs! (Pshaw, did you think I was going to go with “inner peace?”) I grew up on the east coast, where summers are about humidity and proving that you can actually wring out your hair if hot enough. And if you want to spend some time out in the season? You are usually dodging mosquito bites the second you step a toe outside. And bugs certainly aren’t about summer. All over the country, we have “ant season,” “beetle season,” and the oh-so-dreaded “spider season.”
But we don’t have to live in fear of our fellow bug! Sure, every being on earth is entitled to a happy existence. And that does include people who don’t want flies buzzing in their ears or ants crawling up their legs. Here are some natural tips to repel the creepy crawlies we don’t necessarily want crawling up our legs.
First, pick up a natural bug repellent. California Baby offers a repellent that puts off fleas, mosquitoes, ticks and biting flies. It is a pure essential oils mix of citronella, lemongrass and cedar. Skeptical that it’s non-toxic? Skin Deep gives it a rating of zero.
Next, think about more homemade repellents. Catnip and eucalyptus are known to be great insect repellents – and who doesn’t enjoy the antics of a cat getting into the good stuff? Citronella, alias lemongrass, is one of the most effective bug repellents. According to the EPA, it poses minimal to no hazards to people or animals, calling it a “biopesticide with a nontoxic mode of action.” Gardeners suggest planting citronella in your backyard. Others suggest rubbing citronella leaves on your skin, as the effect can last for hours.
Finally, want to make your own bug spray? Check out this recipe for Green Chai Mosquito Guard, courtesy of Julie Gabriel’s The Green Beauty Guide.
Ingredients: Two cups grain alcohol, 20 drops eucalyptus essential oil, three drops of citronella essential oil, 10 drops thyme essential oil, 10 drops catnip essential oil.
Preparation: Blend all the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray on exposed skin and clothing frequently, avoiding the eye area. If you substitute the alcohol for one ounce of grape seed or any other oil, you can also use this blend in aroma lamps and burners.