Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Make Your Own: Bug Spray

Woo Wee! Summertime in coastal South Carolina means feasting season for mosquitoes. Did you know that  mosquitoes can be more attracted to certain people over others? No really. If my family decides to have dinner outside (on one of the rare summer evenings when it is not sweltering), my husband and my two last children rarely get a bug bite. My oldest son and I? Covered. Absolutely covered in bug bites. I actually did some research on it, and a few factors can point to this reason. This blog post, "Why are Mosquitoes are attracted to some people more than others," is probably one of the best I've seen that explains it all.  Basically, my oldest son and I release a TON more heat than my husband and my other two children. That is a fact! I am hot when it is 70 degrees, and if you are near me when I'm hot, you can actually feel the heat come off my body. My oldest son is the same way. So....this means spending anytime outside means we are setting ourselves up for an attack. 

When I started this Make Your Own Series, I was really excited to try making my own bug spray. Why did I wait until August 1st to make it? Well, I wanted to do a ton of research. I don't like the idea of placing chemicals on my body or my children's bodies, and I didn't want to make something that could be harmful to my family or something that wouldn't work. This morning I had my children do a sort of science experience. I found a few recipes, made some bug spray, and then had my kids try out the spray. I'm actually pretty pleased with the outcome! Check it out: 
I have been saving this Ketchup bottle for a long time. This has a perfect spout for me to squirt the  bug spray . 
Make Your Own: Bug Spray

  • 1 cup witch hazel (LOVE this stuff, AND I had some from when I made a Scented Room Spray)  
  • 8 drops of citronella or lemongrass or some other kind of citrus scented essential oils 
  • 5 drop of lavender essential oils
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 
  • A funnel 
  • A mason jar with a lid
  • Some kind of container for the final product, with either a spray or squirt spout
  1. Most mason jars have a little measuring line on the side, so I poured (and measured) the witch hazel in the jar. 
  2. Add the essential oils. NOTE: Please make sure you are using essential oils. This will go on your skin. Don't use the kind for candles. 
  3. Add the olive oil. Put on the lid and shake. 
  4. Pour the liquid into your bug spray container, using the funnel. 
  5. When ready to use, put a little of the bug spray in your hands and rub on your exposed skin. NOTE: this lasts only about 30 minutes, so you will have to reapply. 
So the science experiment? 

I had my sons go outside, without bug spray, for 5 minutes. Remember, one boy is like me, and gets bitten often, and the other is like my husband, and doesn't get attacked nearly as much. They could play, sit, whatever, but they had to keep track of any mosquito bites. It has been raining here, and it is really humid, so the bugs are OUT! After 5 minutes, I had them come inside, we recorded how many bug bites (they averaged 6 bites), and applied the bug spray. I then sent them back outside for 5 minutes. When they came back inside, we recorded the bites...NO BITES!!! 
Here are the boys (and the dog) hanging out while they wait for the 5 minutes to be up. 
So far so good! 

1 comment:

  1. I used an excellent recipe when I lived in East Timor. NOTHING will bite you: 3 items needed in equal parts are: Dettol antiseptic, baby oil and isopropyl alcohol. Mix in a small bottle then spread on skin. Good protection for the whole day. Further details on my blog www.vespapower.blogspot.com