For one reason or another, you may not want to use commercial bug spray. Some people are uncomfortable with the hard-to-pronounce chemicals, some find them irritating to the skin, and some hate the smell! Whatever the reason, you don’t need to be stuck with over-the-counter bug spray solutions. There are tons of alternative methods for keeping mosquitoes, ticks, and flies away from you. We’ve put our top four choices down below!
1. Burning Sage
Burning sage has long been used by the superstitious to ward off evil spirits; even the most unbelieving people can use burning sage to ward off unwanted bugs. Next time you’re having a campfire or have the fire pit going, toss in a sprig or two of sage. The resulting scented smoke is pleasant to humans but awful to bugs. They won’t be hurt, but they won’t want to stick around either. The only downsides to burning sage as an alternative to bug spray are: there isn’t a guarantee it will work, and the smell will stick in your clothing.
2. Diatomaceous Earth
While not a bug spray, diatomaceous earth could be your new best friend! Hard-to-kill bugs such as ants, roaches, and scorpions all fall prey to diatomaceous earth. It’s made up of finely ground plankton fossils and looks like a white powder. The powder is perfectly safe for mammals to eat, so you don’t need to worry if you have house pets. Small bugs with exoskeletons, however, suffer when faced with diatomaceous earth. The powder clings to them and slowly sucks the fat and oil from their bodies, effectively killing them. You can use diatomaceous earth anywhere you’d want bugs to stay away from, such as around the foundation of your home.
3. Essential Oils
Bugs have very sensitive noses and find many strong odors offensive. What smells fresh to us doesn’t necessarily do it for them. You can use essential oils to create your own DIY bug spray alternative. Pleasant scents like lavender or eucalyptus are particularly offensive to bugs like mosquitoes and flies. Mix a few drops of essential oil in distilled water or witch hazel. Shake it well in a spray bottle and spritz the air. Be careful not to soak your skin in it; certain essential oils can be hazardous to human skin when exposed for long periods.
4. Homemade Herb Repellent
Just like with burning sage, you can also boil herbs to make a bug spray alternative. This alternative is entirely safe for kids and pets alike, so feel free to use this spray around the house. To make your herb-based bug repellent spray, crush a few handfuls of your favorite herbs and drop them into boiling water. We like mint or catnip (be careful, your cats will go crazy!). Once it’s cooled, strain out the solids and spray the mixture anywhere you want to ward off pests.
For more common pest and other related pest tips, please contact Dr. Death Pest Control.