Friday, September 27, 2013

Kid-Approved Homemade Natural Bug Repellent Spray

Mosquitoes are extra hateful when they bite our precious kids! It seems so easy to just buy commercial insect repellent lotion, but think again. You can make your own homemade natural bug repellent spray in just three easy steps!

Before we begin, you have to understand why you must make your own repellent lotion or spray.

Do you have your insect repellent spray or lotion right now? Check its ingredients. What does it have? 

insect repellent commercial deet unsafe
For Kids, but "Keep out of reach of children"? 

Mine has N-diethyl-meta-toluamide 7.5%, or DEET. Studies are mixed on whether DEET is safe or toxic. One study, however, showed that deet can lead to "rashes, skin or mucous membrane irritation, transient numb or burning lips, dizziness, disorientation, and difficulty concentrating," while another study by Velri et al. (1994) stressed that: "Children were not more likely to develop side effects from DEET exposure when compared to an adult population."

Apart from these side effects, some researchers learned that DEET can "be toxic to the central nervous system." Researchers noted that additional studies must be done to verify the neurotoxicity of DEET to humans, "especially when deet-based repellents are used in combination with other neurotoxic insecticides."

DEET is potentially toxic to the central nervous system? And why are we even putting lotions with DEET on our children with their developing bodies?!

No wonder my insect repellent lotion also says: "Keep out of reach of children." It's crazy that it's made for kids, but it's also not entirely safe for kids! Of course I know that this warning means that this product is not safe to be eaten, but still...

So are you still going to use that DEET-based insect repellent stuff for your kids? 

I won't because I found this safe, natural, and homemade recipe for a bug repellent from Katie of Wellness Mama. She actually has several natural insect repellent recipes and they all sound so easy to make, but I'll just focus on the one I tried.

Natural Insect Repellent Spray Ingredients

  • Distilled or boiled water  

How to Make DIY Natural Insect Repellent Spray

  1. Fill spray bottle half-full with distilled or boiled water.
  2. Pour witch hazel to fill the rest of the bottle, but leave some space for your essential oils.
  3. Add 30 drops of essential oils. I mixed the following: Lavender, Lemongrass, and Eucalyptus, 10 drops each.
natural insect repellent homemade DIY natural deet-free
Homemade Natural Insect Repellent from Lavender, Lemongrass, and Eucalyptus Oils

Warning for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women

Not all essential oils are safe to handle for pregnant and breastfeeding women. I'm copying the text in italics below verbatim from this article.

Essential Oil Guide for Pregnancy

The following list is from Everything Essential as a guide for using essential oils for pregnancy. If you have any question about using essential oils, seek out the guidance of a holistic healthcare practitioner.
Oils that are generally okay: 
  • Bergamot
  • Coriander
  • Frankincense
  • Geranium
  • Grapefruit
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Sandalwood
  • Wild Orange
  • Ylang Ylang
Oils that for some would be better used diluted with a carrier oil (i.e. coconut oil): 
  • Clove
  • Cypress
  • Eucalyptus
  • Ginger
  • Helichrysum
  • Marjoram
  • Melaleuca
  • Myrrh
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Roman Chamomile
Consult with your healthcare practitioner before using these oils:  
  • Basil
  • Cassia
  • Cinnamon bark
  • Clary Sage
  • Lemongrass
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Vetiver
  • Wintergreen
  • White Fir

* Use peppermint essential oil sparingly near the end of your pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Mint is known to decrease milk production.

Expiration Date

I make a 60 ml natural insect repellent spray that gets consumed in a month, and so far, it's good enough to work and to not have any negative effect on my kids. If you think you won't be using too much, make your insect repellent spray in smaller batches (lesser essential oils needed), so you can have it fresh every week.

Your Natural Insect Repellent: Your Brand of Loving

There you go, your very own DEET-free, natural, homemade bug repellent. 

Now you can spray this on your kids without worrying of DEET. You'll love how it smells. 

Another great thing about this natural insect repellent spray is that it truly works. We have mosquito invaders every now and then, especially now that it's the rainy season, and after spraying this on my skin, I don't get any mosquito bite anymore!

Don't forget to shake well before every spraying because the oils float on top of the water after some time and to ensure that you dilute the oils well too. Also, you have to reapply if you have washed your skin or you have sweated a lot already.

Go ahead, try it and enjoy the scent of your DEET-free natural bug protection. 

Your skin will love you for it. 

Your kids will come running for it. 

But insects will hate you for being so vile to them with your natural insect repellent spray.

Have you tried any natural bug repellent product? What's your favorite combination of oils?