Natural Pest Repellent


Before I got married, before I met my husband even, I went to Karakoram with nothing but my trusty carry-on bag. Everyone slathered themselves in so much neem oil, my olfactory receptors stopped responding to sulphuric, rotting garlic smells and all proximate thiol and thioether groups altogether. A few drops in carrier oil is all you'll need for DEET-strength mosquito repellent (there’s no evidence to suggest DEET harms humans but anyway)- the mild insecticide contains azadirachtin, which reduces insect feeding and interferes with insect hormone systems. For non-toxic, broad spectrum bug spray, try the lemon eucalyptus or apple cider vinegar recipes below.

Neem Oil Insect Repellent

1 mL neem oil (glass bottle refilled at Buly 1803)
50 mL carrier oil (sweet almond or jojoba from Buly)
15-30 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil, optional

Mix in a clean, dark glass bottle. Suitable for sprayers or droppers.

Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent

25 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
5 mL vanilla extract
10 mL witch hazel or ethanol
60 mL coconut oil
5 drops catnip essential oil (optional)
5 drops lavender essential oil (optional)

Mix all ingredients in coconut oil. Use as spray or oil. Safe for children.

Apple Cider Vinegar Insect Repellent

1L apple cider vinegar
25 grams each sage, rosemary, thyme, ginger, and mint
25 grams catnip (optional)

Soak herbs in apple cider vinegar, sealing tightly in an airtight glass jar. Shake every day. After three weeks, strain herbs and store in a dark glass bottle. Apply using one part ACV repellent and one part water in a spray bottle.

The above recipes may be poured into diffusers for household use. Alternately, place citrus peels, cloves, cinnamon sticks, baking soda and vinegar strategically to deter pests. Alum provides effective snake control, and boric acid / borax with sugar and water makes potent insecticide (keep away from children and household pets). Mix four eggs with four tablespoons hot sauce to repel deer- in my experience, mint plants don't keep them away AT ALL. One time a buck almost charged my mom before our cat Jasper sent it away with claw marks across its legs and neck.
Paris to Go

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