Bug Off Please
With the blessings of warmer weather comes the annoyance of bugs. Am I right? No matter where you live, there are likely insects that you need to live harmoniously with. Or, not so harmonious. I’ve certainly been known to swat and kill my share of flies and mosquitoes! Other than carrying a rolled up newspaper, or fly swatter around, how DO YOU keep mosquitoes, flies, ticks, fleas, spiders, gnats and the like from biting or taking up residence on you or your beloved dog? (Yes, oils can safely be used on your furry friend too. I'll cover that in my next post.)
Spoiler alert: It's not with any products containing deet. Let me explain.
What Is Deet?
There are four commonly recommended bug repellent ingredients. Deet is the most well-known, so I'll zero in on that one. (FYI: The other three are picardin, IR 3535 and oil of lemon eucalyptus.)
DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), first used by the U.S. Army, has been sold to consumers since the 1950s. It can cause allergic skin reactions (particularly at concentrations of 50 percent and above) and eye irritation. It is a registered pesticide. It’s a member of the toluene chemical family. Toluene is an organic solvent used in rubber, plastic cements, and paint removers. A 2013 analysis of about 4,000 DEET-related calls to poison control centers found that 450 people needed medical treatment after applying DEET, and two were fatal. Most cases of seizures, slurred speech, coma, and other serious side effects have occurred in people who ingested DEET or applied it for three or more days in a row or used products with 95 percent DEET or more.
Need I say more? Does that sound like something you want on your skin? Even just a little? Not only on your skin, but in your bloodstream? Your skin is your biggest organ and everything that you put on it matters. There are so many environmental toxins that you and I can't control. That's why it's important to choose carefully the things we CAN control. Outdoor summer protection is one of them.
If not deet, then what?
Good question. I have two suggestions. Take PRECAUTIONS and use YOUNG LIVING ESSENTAIL OILS. Together they will set you up for success.
●Avoid tight clothes (which mosquitoes can penetrate), dark clothes (where ticks can hide) and strong scents, like synthetic perfumes, soaps and lotions (which attract mosquitoes).
●Stay inside as much as possible when mosquitoes are out: sunrise, sunset and early evening.
●When you’re sitting on a deck or patio, plug in a fan to blow away mosquitoes.
●When heading out to woody or grassy areas, tuck pants into socks, wear boots and tuck hair into a hat. When you get home, check for ticks, shower and toss clothes into a dryer.
●If you need a repellent, first try plant-based products. If you must opt for DEET, use products with low concentrations (15 percent).
●Apply repellents outdoors and use them only on clothing or exposed skin (not under clothes), and wash clothes before wearing them again.
Use Essential Oils
I'm a big fan of DIY bug protection. Especially ones made with Young Living Essential Oils.
Here's WHY. Essential Oils are called what they are because they are essential for the survival of the plants they come from. Plant oils were designed to protect. Just as insects are created with certain odors and protective defenses to use against predators, so God gave plants their own protective measures against their "predators."
Take this example:
Are you familiar with the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee? The Smoky Mountains are smoky because the dense forest of trees and other vegetation exhale a mist of healthy volatile organic compounds (essential oils) that rise into the air and create a bluish, smoky look. The purpose of the mist of oils is to attract pollinators, to defend against pests and to communicate. That's WHY essential oils are effective protection. That's part of their job description.
The WHY of Young Living is because they are the only company that has a seed to seal promise of purity and perfection.
The Science of essential oil perfection
For nearly 30 years, we have set the industry standard for delivering the highest quality essential oils on earth. Young Living Founder D. Gary Young developed our five-step Seed to Seal® sourcing standards, insisting on premium quality at every stage. We audit every supplier to make sure they comply with our rigorous criteria and maintain our exacting methods throughout every stage of the process.
I have been relying on essential oils on myself and my dogs for bug protection for years with great success. They are my go-to for everything and I’d like to make it easy for you to use essential oils as well. I’ve put together a list of what oils to use for what bugs. I can send it to your inbox. Would you like to see it?
Additional fact to consider when deciding what you will be using to protect yourself this summer:
The concentration of a bug repellent is related only to how long the protection will last, not how effective it is at keeping bugs off your skin. So, I’m taking that to mean, the higher the concentration of oils to water in my homemade essential oils spray, the longer the protection will be.