Essential Summer Protection

Spring is in full bloom and beckoning us all outside — onto our bikes and into our hiking boots to enjoy this short period of not-too-hot-yet afternoons! The only drawback to getting outside right now are those pesky mosquitos, who are in full force after those nice soaking rains. You can protect yourself against them naturally with essential oils — the same oils plants use to ward off insects that would eat them. MBS recommends these natural alternatives to chemicals that can be absorbed into your bloodstream or pollute the environment.

Here are three oils that help keep the bugs away:

  1. Arborvitae: An effective bug repellant in its own right, Arborvitae has a grounding woody scent.
  2. Peppermint: Repels bugs naturally.
  3. Lemongrass: Rub into your skin right before hitting the trail to naturally repel insects.

And if you do get a bite, you can daub a little lavender to sooth that sting and itchiness!

Another fantastic, all-natural solution to mosquitos you can use in your yard is garlic spray! That’s right—garlic repels mosquitos AND vampires! To make a basic garlic spray, take 2 whole bulbs (not just 2 cloves) and puree them in a blender or food processor with a small amount of water. Let the mixture sit overnight, then strain it into a quart jar, adding 1 teaspoon of mild liquid soap (Dawn is great, don’t use one that contains bleach), and enough water to fill the jar. To use this homemade insect repellent, use 1 cup of mixture with 1 quart of water and spray liberally throughout your yard.

For an even more natural approach to keeping mosquitos away, plant plenty of basil, lavender, lemongrass, lemon thyme, mint, sage and rosemary throughout your yard, or in pots on your patio.