Natural insect repellents

Natural insect repellents

Insects whether in the house, the garden or just buzzing around the patio can be a nuisance, an irritant and can cause serious damage to property, plants and persons alike. There are a number of natural herbal remedies for all kinds of pests and situations,

A pest we all get in our houses from time to time, are ants. Whilst there are any number of chemical products you can buy, ants hate mint! It interferes with their smelling capabilities. I have effectively used fresh leaves around the base of my coriander plants, to stop the ants stealing my coriander seed! I also put a line of Mint essential oil across my front door, to stop them entering the house. Cinnamon sticks are also a useful deterrent. As with all natural remedies, re-application is necessary.

Nothing spoils a summer evening on the terrace more than the annoying whine, followed by the inevitable bite of mosquitoes. Several of the commercial products contain chemicals that can cause unpleasant side effects, some such as DEET are believed to cause nuerological damage. Some of the most effective herbal remedies are Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), Lavender (Lavandula spp) and Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora). A Body spray can be made mixing together 100ml of Lavender Water with 20 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil and 15 drops of Citronella Oil. Always spray a test patch first to ensure you don’t react to the spray. Shake first to mix the Lavender water and oils, then reapply every couple of hours. The spray will keep for up to 6 months. The same combination of oils can be used in an oil burner to keep mosquitoes away from your evening terrace enjoyment.

Flies are always a nuisance and whilst there are natural remedies to keep flies away, such as basil, lavender and rosemary, I have found few to be truly effective. Another solution is to attract the flies away from the house or terrace, with a sweet irresistible concoction. Heat 400ml of milk, add 110g of raw sugar (this is not brown sugar, and will have to be bought from a health food shop or online) and 60 g of white pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour into bowls and place around the house or patio, flies will flock to the sticky mixture and drown!

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