Natural Bug Repellant Options 

~found on http://eartheasy.com/

Fleas

Fleas usually gain entry to your home on your pet or visitors’ pets. For every flea on your pet, there may be as many as 30 more in the pet’s environment. Before reaching for pesticides, try these safer choices:

  • Bathe and comb your pet regularly. Use mild soap, not insecticides. If fleas are found on the comb, dip the comb in a glass of soapy water.
  • Citrus is a natural flea deterrent. Pour a cup of boiling water over a sliced lemon. Include the lemon skin, scored to release more citrus oil. Let this mixture soak overnight, and sponge on your dog to kill fleas instantly.
  • Add brewer’s yeast and garlic, or apple cider vinegar, to your pets’ food. However, it is not advisable to use raw garlic as a food supplement for cats.
  • Cedar repels insects such as fleas – try using cedar shampoo; cedar oil and cedar-filled sleeping mats, which are commercially available.
  • Trap fleas in your home using a wide, shallow pan half-filled with soapy water. Place it on the floor and shine a lamp over the water. Fleas will jump to the heat of the lamp and land in the water. The detergent breaks the surface tension, preventing the flea from bouncing out.

Flies

  • Mint is one of nature’s best fly repellants, place small satchels of crushed mint in areas of your house that are prone to flies.
  • Open windows or doors can be the cause for flies entering your home. If you hang bay leaves, cloves and eucalyptus wrapped in small cheesecloth squares it will deter them from entering.
  • Also place an open container of cloves or bay leaves near any open food sources, such as pet food or fruit on the counter tops.

You can make your own flypaper with this simple recipe: Mix 1/4 cup syrup, 1 tbsp. granulated sugar and 1 tbsp. brown sugar in a small bowl. Cut strips of brown kraft paper and soak in this mixture. Let dry overnight. To hang, poke a small hole at the top of each strip and hang with string or thread.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are most active in the early morning and early evening. They seek areas of still air because breezes hamper them.

  • The most important measure you can take is to remove standing water sources where mosquitoes breed. Change birdbaths, wading pools and pet’s water bowl twice a week. Keep your gutters clean and well-draining. Remove yard items that collect water.
  • In a New England Journal of Medicine study, oil of eucalyptus at 30% concentration prevented mosquito bites for 120.1 minutes, while Bite Blocker with 2% soybean oil kept bites away for 96.4 minutes. (the eucalyptus oil must have a minimum of 70% cineole content, the active therapeutic ingredient.) Citronella, a common alternative to DEET, performed poorly, warding off bugs for only 20 minutes.
  • If you’re using the barbeque, throw a bit of sage or rosemary on the coals to repel mosquitoes.
  • For an effective natural bug repellent, mix one part garlic juice with 5 parts water in a small spray bottle. Shake well before using. Spray lightly on exposed body parts for an effective repelle lasting up to 5 – 6 hours. Strips of cotton cloth can also be dipped in this mixture and hung in areas, such as patios, as a localized deterrent.
  • Planting marigolds around your yard works as a natural bug repellent because the flowers give off a fragrance bugs and flying insects do not like.
  • Campers often report that the very best mosquito repellent is Avon Skin-So-Soft® bath oil mixed half and half with rubbing alcohol.
  • Safe, nontoxic pheromone-based mosquito traps are now commercially available.

Thai lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a natural and effective mosquito repellent. It contains the natural oil, citronella, which is safe and effective; in fact, lemon grass citronella is considered more effective than true citronella as an insect repellent. You can buy Thai lemon grass at garden centers and supermarkets, and it grows readily into a clump about 15″ across and about 2ft tall. To use as a mosquito repellent, break a stalk off from the clump, peel off the outer leaves, until you find the scallion-like stem at the base. Bend the stem between your fingers, loosening it, and then rub it vigorously between your palms – it will soon become a pulpy, juicy mass. Rub this over all exposed skin, covering thoroughly at least once. You can also make a tincture using alcohol, for spray applications. Plantings around the patio will also help repel mosquitoes.