Summer months in the meadows and forests of Santaquin Canyon will forever hold a nostalgic magic for me. After the rains have passed, the meadows sprawl wide with bright, sunflower-yellow blossoms of Arrowleaf Balsamroot; tall, verdant green stalks of Skunk Cabbage whose leaves are large and resemble a cow’s folded ear; and reeds, sedges, and rushes that define the small trickle of streams that run throughout the meadows.
In my youth every summer I looked forward to spending a week at Camp Koholowo, where I could take in flora and fauna, scenic vistas, and the scents of various earthy delights to my heart’s content. And as an adult I yearn for long horse rides in these same gorgeous mountain plains astride a my trusty beast of a friend, Cheyenne. Along with all this natural loveliness, though, there are a few necessary evils; the most offensive of which is the noxious flavor and fume of bug repellent. I am not a fan, but I require its protection regularly, lest I offer myself like a sacrificial maiden to the teeny vultures of the sky… the mosquitos. ::shudder::
Some might suggest staying away from the places mosquitoes and other itty-bitty vermin frequent, but this would mean saying no to a favorite pastime of mine that brought me inordinate amounts of glee in my youth. This is unacceptable. No, I will have my glee, even if that means dealing with noxious fumes.
A prime example… Where the skunk cabbages were tall and thick my friends and I would begin to make our way through them a short distance from each other, meandering and talking like we hadn’t a care in the world. Suddenly, with an expression of shock and terror, one of our number would disappear under the camouflage of cabbages, held captive by some unseen force as the green stalks thrashed wildly. Blood pumping through our veins propelled us forward as swiftly as leg and limb could carry as, now alerted to the danger, we breathtakingly fled lest we, too, fell prey.
Despite the increased capability of adrenaline-infused limbs, we were each dragged below the sea of green by unseen forces, until everyone had met an untimely end and all was still in the meadow…
Then laughter and adulation would erupt as every member of our party arose from their hidden places and giggled and guffawed at each other’s most recent performance of “When Velociraptors Attack.” Our epic game of make-believe would come to a close as we congratulated each other on the most recent installment of Homosapien vs. Jurassic Beast.
These thrilling, glee-filled games, so enjoyable and vital to my childhood, always took place in the thick of the mosquitos’ primary habitat, so unless we actually wanted to be eaten alive, bug spray was a must. I wish I had known then what I do now about the effectiveness of using something natural and non-toxic to achieve the deterrent of tiny pesky devils. But, I’m happy and relieved that as a mom, I now have a safer alternative for my child and myself to ward off these unwelcome critters.
Without further ado, I present to you…
Homemade Bug Spray
Kid safe for 2 and up!
18 drops Bergamot FCF
12 drops Lemongrass
10 drops Citronella
5 drops Lavender Bulgaria
2 drops Ylang Ylang Extra
2 oz Witch Hazel
2 oz Distilled water
- In spray bottle add drops of Bergamot, Lemongrass, Citronella, Lavender, and Ylang Ylang.
- Place funnel in spray bottle, add witch hazel and distilled water.
Shake up before each use and spray over your skin and clothing as often as needed and enjoy the refreshing lemony scent of this natural non-toxic method to ward off pesky sky critters from you and your kids.
Note: I would not advise spraying this directly on the face as it could cause irritation to the eyes. Spray some in the palm of your hand and pat it on the face.
If you have children under the age of 2 you could place some of the spray on an object such as sock or towel and keep it near the child for a safer alternative to those little ones younger than 2.
What questions do you have? I’m super passionate about learning about the benefits of essential oils and other products that have made a difference in my life. I would love to help you with any questions you may have!