Years ago I wrote a column for a little newspaper in Hope and one of my topics was the question “Why did God make mosquitoes?”

It seemed a valid question at the time, and I still ponder it now and then.  Certainly in the huger scheme of things, mosquitoes are a minor pesky irritation, bringing discomfort and generally stealing the peace of enjoying the outdoors.  Which most of us love at this time of year, particularly after a cold spring.

Complaining aside, I’ve been doing a lot of research into Essential Oils and alternative methods as to what I might put on my skin.  Most young moms I know are deeply concerned about exposing children to Deet, and I certainly don’t want it on my body either.

So it was fun to get together with my daughter and a few others last night, and create some practical things we could use and try, including bug repellent and after-bug spray!

I don’t believe there is any perfect method, bugs and ticks seem to prefer some body types to others, and there are the rumors that what you eat can also attract or repel creatures.  Some swear by home-made recipes, others say they don’t work.

In the war against bugs, I think anything is worth a try.  I’ve been teased I’m a “hippie”, and truly I don’t mind… I honestly believe that God has provided most things we need in creation, we just need to be creative and learn.  And so I’ve started experimenting with Essential Oils and find myself loving them, and on a huge learning curve.  Not only are they good for repelling bugs, but for cleaning and many health remedies.

And this is no sales pitch, everyone needs to find what works for them.  What is important to me though is that what I put on my skin or in my home is as pure as it can be and I avoid chemicals or imitations as much as I can.  It is critical to do the research or learn from someone who has done so.

So, a few simple recipes today, a result of some creations we made yesterday!

In a 6- 8 oz. spray bottle (coloured is best), put 2 T. sweet almond oil (you can also use grape seed oil or fractionized coconut oil),  Add:  1-2 drops lavender oil, 1 drop grapefruit oil, 1-2 drops Eucalyptus oil, 1-2 drops lemongrass oil.  And if you have it 1 drop of Geranium.  Fill the rest with water.  Shake well before each use.  You might also want to experiment with citronella oil.

Here was another bug recipe put out by Young Living (where you can purchase essential oils).  In a small bottle, put 10 drops purification oil, 5 drops peppermint oil, 1 tsp. salt and fill the rest with water.

And if you’ve been bitten, try 5 drops peppermint and 5 drops of lavender into a small roller bottle or spray bottle.  If you are using the roller bottle, add a couple of tsp.of carrier oil (almond or coconut), and if you are using the spray bottle, fill with water and shake well before spraying.   I’d be inclined to add a little aloe vera too!  This cooling spray or roll-on will likely help the itching.

Please note!!  I am no herbalist, just learning what works and what doesn’t.  If you have time to research, Dr. Eric Z has some amazing information on line, and there are other sites as well with a lot of information.  So research before you try – that is my disclaimer!  

Sharing our world with bugs is part of living.  Keeping them away from our personal space can be a little bit more challenging.

One final note… life can be hard enough.  You just have to watch the news, or walk through your local hospital.  Being outside is a healing and wonderful thing.  Creating with natural resources and plants can be therapeutic and besides, it usually smells good!  Here’s to enjoying the beautiful summer that is upon us, bugs and all.

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