This is the first in a series of posts about my attempts to find an effective Essential Oil blend to keep mosquitoes off. You can read Part 2 here.
My boyfriend and I love to go camping, but trips during much of the year in Florida can be marred by mosquitoes. We usually have a campfire going, and have tried citronella candles and tiki lamps. These help some, but we want to find a more effective solution, and something we can use when we walk around the camp grounds and at home.
I’m on a mission to find Essential Oil blends that work for both of us. Since we have different body chemistries (we can be sitting beside each other, and he is bitten relentlessly while I’m not), it is likely that we’ll each have our own blend. He is also not completely on the EO bandwagon yet, so I’m looking for blends that work for me and will then see if they work for him.
There are many DIY blends on the internet; just search on Google or Pinterest. I’m starting with blends that use the EOs I already have, and as I purchase more, try new ones. Yes, this is going to be an on-going, long-term project!
So let’s begin. In July 2016 we went camping for two nights. I took along two DIY sprays to try. Here’s what I tried and what I experienced:
Spray Blend #1 –
In a spray bottle I combined:
Lavender – 5 drops
Purification – 10 drops
Distilled water to fill the bottle.
I used this one the first evening. Seemed to be fine (and smelled good!) until the mosquitoes really came out about sunset. Man, they were EVERYWHERE! They were flying around me so much I finally went inside.
I will note that some did land on me and I got a few bites but nothing bad. I noticed that they were finding areas where I had not sprayed. But the buzzing around my face and head finally got to be too much to handle.
I also got up about 1:00 am and went outside to watch the fire. (We also got to see the black bear that came to check out our campfire, but that is another story!) I took the spray out with me, and anytime I felt a mosquito biting me, I sprayed the area, and sprayed in the air around me.
I did notice that where I was bitten did not itch or otherwise bother me the next day. Lavender and Purification are both good for bites, and that may be what I use this spray for in future.
The next evening, I tried a different blend.
Spray Blend #2 –
Combine in a spray bottle:
Purification – 8 drops
Peppermint – 5 drops
Lemon – not sure how many drop. (I had an empty bottle of Lemon that I put the Purification drops in, swirled around, then put in the spray bottle.)
Distilled water to fill the bottle
*PLEASE NOTE – Lemon essential oil that is cold pressed is PHOTOSENSITIVE. This means if you put it on your skin and go in the sun, you may develop a reaction. Please allow at least 12 hours between applying it to skin and being in the sun.
I used this blend the second evening, making sure to use it after I was going to be out of the sun, and to allow plenty of time before being in the sun the next morning. There seemed to be far fewer mosquitoes around me, however, I may have gone inside before they had a chance to get bad.
I need to use the Spray Blend #2 again to further test it. While I won’t use it during the day, because of the photosensitivity of Lemon essential oil, it is worth trying again at night.
Additional Notes –
I mixed both blends in small, plastic spray bottles I bought for this purpose. I know many people don’t like to use plastic, and once I find blends that work well for us, I’ll switch over to glass spray bottles.
There are pros and cons to using plastic, and you need to research what you feel is best for you. Reasons why plastic may be an option for you: First, they are inexpensive and easily found. Second, because there is only a small amount of oil stored in them, they oils are less likely to break down the plastic. You don’t want to keep these for long term use, but for short-term they should be fine.
Know your personal comfort level and preferences and choose the type of spray bottle accordingly!
Now, it’s your turn. What have you found effective for keeping mosquitoes away? Please leave a comment and share, I’ll add it to my list to try!