Winter may be upon us but there are always pesky insects around to annoy us! I am a personal magnet for mosquitoes and unfortunately they LOVE my ears! BUT, never fear – we have found some fabulous natural insect repellents for you (oh, and for me too!)

Mosquito Mist

The Goods:

  • 1 cup of grain alcohol (organic if available), vodka (ditto) or witch hazel
  • 30 drops (in total) essential oil blend (select from: lavender, citronella, rosemary, rose geranium, lemon, or tea tree oil)**You can also use just one single essential oil, or a combination of just two or so, if you have a preference for a particular aroma)

The Deal:

  • Place all ingredients into a spray mister bottle.
  • Shake well.
  • Spray liberally over any exposed skin before venturing outdoors.
  • Reapply if you get wet or are sweating heavily.

Another quick and easy deterrent to mosquitoes is to simply dab an oil directly onto your skin. I wouldn’t suggest this for young children or babies, but adults can easily place a bit of lavender essential oil or vanilla extract behind their ears, on their wrists, and at the back on the knees. This will keep the bugs away, and might just make you the person on the patio that everyone is inexplicably drawn towards!

Preparation and precautions for outdoor forays are important, but what about creatures who make themselves at home indoors when the mercury rises? I’m talking specifically here about ants and sawtoothed grain beetles or weevils. The arrival of ants and other pantry creatures seems to parallel the move to warmer weather. If you find a busy trail of ants, happily making their way in and out of your pantry (and your sugar jar), or sawtoothed grain beetles (or weevils) when opening up a cereal package or canister of rice or lentils, try these easy tricks for bidding the multi-legged beasties adios without resorting to toxic chemicals.

Happy Trails Ant Remover

The Goods:

  • Bottle of peppermint essential oil

The Deal:

  • Find where the ants seem to be entering and exiting.
  • Drop single beads of essential oil every two-three inches along their parade route.
  • Make sure you’ve covered the entire path.
  • They don’t care for the odor and will move along quickly.

Bug Off Beetle Deterrent

The Goods:

  • Dried Bay leaves

The Deal:

  • Nest a bay leaf or two (be sure they’re dry!) inside all of your pantry goods.
  • Store all of the items in securely lidded containers in a dry, room temperature location.
  • The bay leaf deters beetles and weevils while not affecting the flavor or aroma of your pantry staples.

Muchos Gracias to Design*Sponge for these brilliant recipes!

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