Category Archives: Handy Tips

USING ESSENTIAL OILS AGAINST MOSQUITOES (and flies… gnats, etc.)!






First, before we even start… I want to tell you that I’ve been using the very affordable Equi-Spa products for years now – they are all natural, use essential oils and work wonders!

For example, the Peppermint Summer Protection Spray has catnip, lavender, neem and soy – exactly what the below article recommends!

I use The Balm on almost any cut or skin wound.  It healed up Bodhi’s massive wound with hardly a scar – and kept the flies away.  Worth it’s weight in gold.  I use it on everything.

I also use the Udder/Sheath cleaner (you don’t need to rinse!), Fairy Tails, Not So Sweet Itch Gel and the Lavender Cleanser (I even spray this in Norma’s grazing muzzle and she loves it!).

Anyway, I have no affiliation with Equi-Spa, I just love their products!  If are reading this blogpost today about essential oils against flies and mosquitoes, I think you will, too!

Original article linked here.

How To Use Essential Oils To Keep Mosquitoes Away

How To Use Essential Oils To Keep Mosquitoes Away

Mosquitoes are a perennial problem, but it becomes especially acute during the warm summer months. What an unfortunate coincidence that this happens just when everything else is perfect for outdoor life. The buzz and bite of mosquitoes can spoil an outdoor party and ruin a family gathering out in the garden or patio. Of late, they have become more than a nuisance, what with the diseases–some of them quite debilitating and deadly–spread by these pesky insects.

Vector-borne diseases transmitted by mosquitoes such as malaria and dengue have always been a scourge of the tropics, but they are frequently appearing in many parts of the United States. A more serious problem is the West Nile virus encephalitis that has attained a native status in the country with epidemics reported with increasing regularity. The Zika virus that has spread to many South and Central American countries, including Mexico, is the latest threat. Because of this, need to be vigilant than ever to avoid bitten by them.

Since insecticidal sprays and other mosquito eradication measures have been unsuccessful in getting rid of the mosquito menace, our best bet is to keep them away with mosquito repellents. Mosquitoes are thought to be attracted to us by certain substances in our sweat as well as the carbon dioxide released in our breath and through the skin. The olfactory sensors of the insect pick up these cues from far away and swarm to us for a free meal. The female mosquitoes need a dose of blood to be able to reproduce, so every time they get a drink of blood, it helps increase their population. That’s one more reason to avoid getting bitten.

The Dangers of DEET

Blocking the scent sensors of mosquitoes is one way to keep them away from us. Commercial products containing DEET do this more or less effectively. Although it may cause allergic reactions in some people, it is generally considered safe for use even on children. However, it is no secret that this chemical compound is toxic to us even when immediate reactions do not occur. It gets easily absorbed into the body, getting accumulated in tissues, doing long-term damage. A safer alternative would be essential oils that can have a similar effect on the smell sensors of mosquitoes.

Many aromatic essential oils have insect–repelling property, particularly those containing volatile substances like linalool, thujone, geraniol, citronellal, citronellol, limonene, pinene and eucalyptol. They have been found to be effective in keeping mosquitoes at bay for a short period of 2-4 hours because of their high volatility. Repeat applications may be necessary, but essential oils, especially the ones derived from culinary herbs, may be safer than other chemical deterrents. Mixing them with non-volatile agents like soybean oil or witch hazel extract can help extend their action.

8 Essential Oils with Mosquito Repellent Properties:

1. Lemon eucalyptus oil

This essential oil extracted from the leaves and bark of the lemon eucalyptus tree Corymbia citriodora consists of nearly 80% citronellal in addition to appreciable amounts of eucalyptol, linalool and limonene. Hanging branches of eucalyptus at doors and windows and burning the leaves and wood in the evenings were traditional ways to repel mosquitoes in many parts of the world. The commercial mosquito repellent p-menthane-3,8-diol, commonly known as (PMD), considered a safer alternative to DEET, is based on lemon eucalyptus oil.

2. Thyme essential oil

Extracted from the culinary herb Thymus vulgaris, it contains, in addition to Thymol, insect repellant agents Thujone, Pinene, and Linalool.

3. Geranium essential oil

The oil extracted from the aromatic leaves and stems of Pelargonium odoratissimum contains Linalool, Limonene, Citronellol and Alpha-pinene, apart from Geraniol which has proven mosquito repellent action.

4. Lavender essential oil

Obtained from lavender blooms, this sweet-smelling essential oil gives instant relief from mosquito bites on spot application, but it is also effective in warding off these insects. Since it is one of the most popular and safest of essential oils, the mosquito repellant property of this soothing oil can be put to good use at bedtime, especially for kids, this sweet-smelling essential oil gives instant relief from mosquito bites on spot application, but it is also effective in warding off these insects. Since it is one of the most popular and safest of essential oils, the mosquito repellant property of this soothing oil can be put to good use at bedtime, especially for kids.

5. Catnip essential oil

Of the different essential oils derived from aromatic mint family plants, catnip essential oil derived from Nepeta cataria has been found to be most effective against mosquitoes. Catnip has been historically used for the purpose by many tribal communities who just rubbed the leaves on the skin before hunting trips.

6. Citronella oil

It is extracted from several types of lemongrass Cymbopogon spp., and is commonly used in insect repellant candles and ointments. It is found to be particularly effective against Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that transmit yellow fever as well as Dengue and Zika viruses. Growing citronella around your garden is also a good way to repel mosquitoes. Here are 11 herbs and plants that help to keep mosquitoes away.

7. Cedar wood essential oil

Distilled from the wood of the cedar tree, this oil is used as an insect repellent. It has been found to be very effective against malarial mosquitoes.

8. Basil essential oil

The culinary herb basil is often cultivated close to homes to repel bloodsucking insects, including mosquitoes. The oil extracted from the leaves can be used in mosquito repellent ointments and sprays.

Note: All of these essential oils are available to purchase from Plant Therapy on Amazon here

Combine Essential Oils to Enhance Their Effect

It has been found that a combination of essential oils works better at repelling mosquitoes than individual oils. That could be because the different volatile agents work on the scent receptors of mosquitoes in different ways. Also, different types of mosquitoes may be sensitive to specific substances.

For instance, a combination of geranium oil and vanilla extract has been found to offer up to 7 hours of protection against the Aedes mosquitoes that transmit dengue. On the other hand, mint-family essential oils and thyme oil are better against Anopheles and Culex mosquitoes that spread malaria and filarial disease.

Mixing a non-volatile oil with the essential oil help prolong their insect-repellent effect. Soybean oil and coconut oil seem to have a certain amount of insect-repellant property of their own, so either one of them can be used as the carrier oils for the essential oil blend.

Candles – Mosquito repellant candles containing citronella or geraniol are widely used for repelling mosquitoes in outdoor settings.

Diffuser – Diffusers help distribute the volatile oils in the air at a steady rate. Use a combination of mosquito repellent essential oils in the diffuser for use in the patio or indoors. Here are ten reasons every home needs an essential oil diffuser, and here we review five of the most popular to help you work out which is best for you.

Mosquito repellant sprays – They come handy when you need protection from mosquitoes outdoors. You can mix a number of mosquito repellent essential oils in plain water, or in vodka, witch hazel water or lavender water for extra effect.

How To Make An Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent Spray:

Mix ¼ cup boiling water with ¼ cup vodka and let it cool. Pour it into a glass spritzing bottle and add 5 drops each of lemon eucalyptus oil, cedarwood oil, and catnip oil. Shake well before using the spray.

Skin ointments – Mosquito repellant skin ointments offer direct protection where it is most needed. It can keep you safe from mosquito bites as you step out of the house. You should make sure that you are not allergic to any constituent of the ointment before applying them.

How To Make A Mosquito Repellent Ointment:

Melt ¼ cup of beeswax pellets in a double boiler and add ¼ cup of coconut oil. Take off the heat and allow to cool until a film forms on top. Whip in 5 drops each of lavender, thyme, basil, and citronella oils until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Spread a thin coating on exposed skin to prevent mosquito bites.

Where To Buy Essential Oils

All of the essential oils mentioned in this article are available to purchase on Amazon. The most trusted suppliers of essential oils include Plant Therapy and Edens Garden. Visit their respective marketplaces here and here and add all the oils you need to your basket.

All Set For Mosquito Season

With these effective, all-natural repellent recipes you will be all set for an enjoyable summer season in your backyard without the fear of being interrupted by pesky mosquitoes. Here are a few more articles that will help you fight back this summer:


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SPRING IS HERE – TIME TO CLEAN YOUR HORSE’S SYSTEM: DO NATURAL DEWORMERS WORK?






Do natural de-wormers work?  For me, the short answer is YES!

–Every Spring, it has been my ritual to deworm my horses.

Ivermectin.

I’ve done this for years…  except the last few.

The last few years, I have started to switch over to natural (herbal) dewormers.

Why?

Well, the initial reason was because it sounded like a good idea for my horse.  I mean, would I ingest that nasty chemical paste?

Nope.

So, why am I giving pesticides to my horse?

Ugh. You know the drill. How much of this stuff ends up on your sleeve or pants?

Ugh. You know the drill. How much of this stuff ends up on your sleeve or pants?

HOW NATURAL DEWORMERS WORK

In my layman’s explanation, an herbal dewormer makes the equine gut inhospitable for parasites – in a natural way.

The herbs don’t kill the parasites, they make the environment of the gut slippery…   Parasites cannot grab hold – and they don’t really want to because nothing tastes or feels quite like it should.   So, they actually slide out.

Poof!

And the best part?  Parasites cannot build up an immunity to this method.  I guess it is kinda like garlic with vampires or kryptonite with Superman.  When the stuff is around, time to exit!

Parasites be gone! The natural way.

Parasites be gone! The natural way.

HORSEMANS LABORATORY MANURE TEST KIT.

Lately, I’ve been having the manure tested.  It is really easy and cheap.  I just go to the Horsemens’ Lab and order the kits.

Have you used the Horseman’s Lab Manure Test kit?  (no affiliation)

The system is really efficient.  You go to the website and order the number of kits you need.  The kits arrive very quickly.  The procedure is simple and self-explanatory.  Once completed, you mail the test back in the self addressed stamped enclosed envelope and that’s it!

In a few days, Horsemens’ Lab emails the results!

Fast!

HUNTING AND GATHERING

The ‘procedure’ is really easy and not gross at all.

All you do is take the Baskin and Robbins little spoon they provide (I may never look at an ice cream sample spoon the same way again…) and hunt around for a fresh stack of processed hay.

Once found, grab the tiny cosmetic sample container (I may never look at a cosmetic sample the same way again…) and put your contents into the little white container and snap it shut.

Then put the little container in the little plastic bag that they provide and then top that off by stuffing the small piece of cotton (also provided) into the plastic bag to absorb moisture.

Seal the plastic zip lock.

Put it in the already addressed and ready to go already stamped envelope.  Seal.  Mail.

Easy.

Today, I did that with 4 of my horses who live in four different pastures.

I started the deworming protocol with the natural dewormer (Para-X).  And then, in three weeks, I will sample the horses’ processed hay again.

 

The Horsemens' Lab wormer kit. Easy peasy.

My Horsemens’ Lab wormer kit. Easy peasy.

WHAT I USE TO DEWORM MY HORSES – Omega Alpha’s Para-X (no affiliation)

I use Omega Alpha’s Para-X (no affiliation).

Every time I use it, my horses’ manure tests come back clean.

All I do is pour it on their pellets for 5 days.  Wait 5 days.  Then do it again.

Done.

No chemicals.  No bad taste.  No fight.

Every few months, you do it again.  No need to rotate.  Just do it again.

Easypeasy.

newrule2

ISN’T HE HANDSOME?!  THIS IS OUR MARCH BUCKET FUND HORSE, SWAYZE, WHO NEEDS SURGERY TO SURVIVE.  His Drop in the Bucket Fund (story here) only needs $1170 to give him his lifesaving surgery!  Just a few drops will add up!  Do you have Starbucks money to donate to this very handsome gelding?  He has fought so hard to live!  Thank you!!  Make a 100% tax deductible donation here!

 

 

 


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