Flowers, shrubs, fruits and trees all make full use of essential oils, both to attract insects and to repel them. This is achieved by the pheromones they contain. Fortunately, these essential oils can also protect we humans as well! And this without the need to use any chemical substances. The better-known insect-repelling products often contain components that can be harmful both to us and to the insects. This is something that we would no doubt all like to avoid. And what if you are bitten or stung? In that case, essential oils can offer you an extra bonus, since they have the ability to soothe insect bites and stings. In short, two solutions for the price of one!
Which essential oils keep insects at bay?
Citronella grass , eucalyptus and lavender are all fragrances that insects such as mosquitos, ticks and wasps do not like. This is because these oils contain volatile elements that the insects prefer to avoid. In particular, citronellal, linalool and 1,8-cineole are highly effective in this respect.
It is possible to spray a mix of essential oils with a special diffuser. Used indoors, this will help to keep your house insect-free, but you can also use it outdoors during warm summer evenings in your garden.
What’s more, you can also apply essential oils directly to the skin. This is useful during outdoor walks and bike rides. However, you do need to dilute the essential oil in a vegetable oil before rubbing it into the skin.
Bitten or stung?
If insects managed to get past your defences, so that you are bitten or stung, the same essential oils can also help to soothe away the discomfort that this can cause. The oils take the heat out of the sting or bite and reduce itchiness. In this way, annoying skin irritations are kept to a minimum. Dilute a few drops of the essential oil in some vegetable oil and dab it on to the affected area. Repeat this process if the irritation continues or returns.
Alternatively, use the roll-on stick with 13 essential oils: also ideal for reducing itchiness and skin irritation.
Tips against insects
Here are a few tips and tricks to keep insects at bay:
- Keep your tables (indoors and outdoors) clean, with no scraps of food or dirty dishes.
- Insects are attracted by the warmth of your house, your smell and light.
- Try to turn off the lights in rooms where the windows are open.
- Use an insect screen when you open windows.
- Use a ventilator: insects do not likes draughts and currents of air.
- Keep rubbish bins firmly closed and empty them regularly.
And if you do get bitten or stung, you may find the following advice useful:
- Do not scratch insect bites (to avoid scarring).
- Cool the bite with some ice to reduce any swelling and itching.
Eucalyptus globulus oil has been used for centuries to soothe the respiratory tracts and to help you breathe more freely. It is also utilized in massages for its warming effect on the muscles and joints. The scent acts as an insect repellent.
True lavender oil is one of the most widely used of all essential oils, not in the least because of its pleasing scent. True lavender oil has relaxing qualities. It soothes and calms the skin after insect bites.
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