green leaf with water drops

The only things I dislike more than mosquitos are the toxic commercial products used to repel them. The bug sprays make me choke and those ghastly things you plug into the wall which emit timed puffs of chemicals don’t seem right. So I am always on the lookout for saner methods to keep the little blood suckers at bay. I found a recipe that was all over the internet involving sugar, yeast, water and an empty soda bottle. It was supposed to give off carbon dioxide to attract a zillion little critters that would dive in, drown and die. Yay!

I immediately whipped it up and waited in anticipation. What did I get? Nothing – zip, zero, nada. Back to the drawing board. Then I found a recipe using, you guessed it, Marvel Oils.

What you need:

  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol (or witch hazel)
  • +/- 4 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 50 ml oil – Castor Oil is a good choice because it is a natural insect deterrent all on its own. Alternatives are Almond, Jojoba and Lavender Oils.

Marinate the cloves in the alcohol for a few days, giving it a good swirl twice a day. After about 4 days, it should be ready, so add the oil and mix. Apply a small quantity to your extremities – mozzies seem to love those – and rub it in gently. This mixture also makes you inhospitable to fleas.

While we are on the subject of creepy crawlies – did you know that spiders can’t stand the smell of Peppermint Oil? If you fancy a safe, easy deterrent without wanting to actually kill the things, just add about 10 drops to a spray bottle filled with water and get squirting in all the nooks and crannies.