My husband and I hike in the forest behind our house everyday. The forest borders a river and is surrounded by man-made lakes. There are tons of mosquitoes, horseflies, ticks and these flying bugs of dubious identity that latch on and crawl around our arms and backs. It is a true testament to how much we love nature that we venture into this madness daily.
We usually use a very strong commercial repellent that feels heavy and very chemically on my skin. The smell of this repellent makes me wonder what on earth we are spraying on our bodies. I really detest putting this stuff on my skin, yet the idea of 1,000 bites or not going into the forest at all are not good options either.
This summer I have been field testing a natural insect repellent. It has gone through a few iterations until I have a formula that I am satisfied with. I will continue to experiment with this and inform of any updates or improvements.
This repellent is good for your skin, feels amazing, smells wonderful and does a very decent job keeping the bugs off. It needs to be applied quite liberally and carefully.
Leave Me Alone! Insect Repellent
Decoct 1 oz each Catnip and Neem leaves. Simmer leaves in a covered pot for 15 minutes, take off the heat and then leave covered in the pot for 1 hour.
When the decoction is cooled, add the essential oils.
Decant into the spray bottle.
Shake very well before each use.
Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge.
I would love to hear your experiences with natural repellents. I am currently field testing a different formula that includes geranium and citronella. I will keep you posted.