Essential Oils and BUGS!

Essential Oils and BUGS!

It's the season again for mosquitos, bees, flies and fleas just to name a few. In the spring, many bugs come out of hibernation, come out of pupae and emerge as an adult bug, or hatch out of an egg case.  In the summer time, the bugs are adults and are looking to breed so they can make more bugs and the temperature is conducive for them to live and breed.  So, we got a lot of bug activity going on right now.  I decided to see what essential oils can do to help us with this problem and it turns out, quite a bit!

I've spent some time trying to suck up flys with the vacuum cleaner and I've splattered a couple of bees all over my wall, but there has to be a better way.  The first thing I wanted was a homemade bug spray.  I don't want to use chemicals that are not safe for my family.  Especially DEET which has been shown to be harmful and is used in many bug sprays.  I also like quick and easy and here is one I really like:

  • Use 20 drops or 2 TBSP of a carrier oil (carrier oil are oils that serve to dilute the essential oil before applying it to your skin. They act as the base for “carrying” the essential oil that is being mixed into it.  Examples are coconut oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil and argan oil) in a small container.
  • Add 15 drops of  ZAQ Lavender Oil and 5 drops of ZAQ Eucalyptus Oil to the above carrier oil
  • Shake or stir well to mix everything together and store it in a place that’s out of direct sunlight.
  • Pour a little onto your hands, rub together and rub on your child to keep bugs away.  Works like a charm and no harmful chemicals.

Also, a hiker friend swears by using rose geranium oil on her dog to keep ticks and other bugs away from him in the woods.  She adds a couple drops at the base of his tail and between his shoulder blades as well as dabbing some on her wrists and behind her ears. She has never had a problem with mosquitos for her or ticks on her dog.  

Here is a list from The Hippy Homemaker that you might find useful.  Depending on where you live and the type of bugs you deal with, this is a list of essential oils that will repel certain bugs.  They suggest if these bugs are in your garden, add the essential oils to your watering can.  If they are in your home, just use a spray bottle and dilute a bit as essential oils are strong.  

  • Ants: Peppermint, spearmint, garlic, citronella, orange, cedarwood
  • Beetles: Peppermint, thyme, garlic, cedarwood, orange
  • Chiggers: Lavender, lemongrass, sage, thyme, cedarwood, orange
  • Cutworm: Thyme, sage, cedarwood, orange
  • Fleas: Lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, cedarwood, citronella, tansy, orange
  • Flies: Lavender, peppermint, rosemary, sage, citronella, tansy, cedarwood, orange, lemongrass, lemon, thyme, tea tree, sandalwood, patchouli
  • Gnats: Patchouli, spearmint, orange, citronella, tagetes, cedarwood, peppermint, eucalyptus, rose geranium
  • Mosquitoes: Lavender, lemongrass, orange, citronella, tansy, cedarwood, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, thyme, rose geranium, clove, blue cypress, cinnamon, sage
  • Moths: Cedarwood, hyssop, lavender, peppermint, spearmint, citronella, orange
  • Roaches: Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, cinnamon, thyme, orange
  • Slugs: Cedarwood, hyssop, pine, garlic, orange
  • Snails: Cedarwood, pine, patchouli, garlic, orange
  • Spiders: Peppermint, spearmint, lemon, lime, orange, citrus, lavender, citronella, cedarwood
  • Ticks: Lavender, lemongrass, orange, sage, thyme, citronella, tea tree, geranium, cedarwood, tansy, eucalyptus, sweet myrrh
  • Weevils: Cedarwood, patchouli, sandalwood, orange

I hope this helps in the fight against bugs this season.  It's such a safer feeling having a natural alternative to commercial sprays that can be harmful to our health. Also, it's so much more fun to have a barbecue without those pesky critters flying around our hamburgers and landing on our watermelon.  

Kris Bitar

Essential Oils and Simple Sachets

Essential Oils and Simple Sachets

The weather is getting warmer, finally.  I am so thankful to put my long-sleeved shirts in the back part of the closet and bring up the short-sleeved and sleeveless shirts.  It seems like forever since I've seen the sun.  Living on the coast of Washington, that is the price you pay for all the green you see year-round.  I am surrounded by tall Evergreen trees and it is beautiful but once in awhile, I hope to feel the sun shining through all these trees on my pale skin adding just a hint of color.

Today I do see a peek of the sun so I am taking no chances and arranging my closet in honor of its arrival.  I am working diligently in case the clouds burn off by noon and I can take my book out on the porch to read and enjoy those warming rays.  I am working quickly with that goal in mind when I notice something I at first try to ignore.

There is no ignoring this, however.  It is a smell.  It is THE CLOSET SMELL!  I have smelled this smell at my grandparent's house when I was younger.  It isn't a smell you forget.  It isn't necessarily a horrid smell, like a dead hamster or anything,  but it is a smell that would remind you of your grandparent's attic for instance. I don't want my clothes to smell like my grandparent's attic. I want my clothes to smell wonderful!  I want them to smell like they just came off the rack at some expensive clothing store (even if they didn't).  I just want them to smell fresh!

After some research, I read that shoes in a closet are the biggest reason for your clothes developing this smell.  I have shoes in there I haven't worn in 10 years!  I removed them all, threw out half, well, okay, maybe a third, and vacuumed the closet floor.  My next step was incredibly brilliant if I do say so myself.

I had a bunch of those organza favor bags (you can get them at Amazon for around $3.00 for 100) and using about 8 of them, I placed 6 cotton balls in each one, added my favorite essential oil, (I used ZAQ Sweet Orange, it's just my personal favorite), and drizzled a bit of the oil onto the cotton balls.  I then just tightened up the strings and hung it over several of the hangers.  It did the trick and my closet smelled great!

I should also mention, I didn't get rid of enough shoes so I took a fabric softener and placed it in each shoe that I was storing.  I think it's working!  No more grandparent's attic smell in my closet and clothes!  

Now, if tomorrow is going to be nice, I am going to try to get that book read!

Kris Bitar

Anxiety and Essential Oils:  June is Eye Twitch Month

Anxiety and Essential Oils: June is Eye Twitch Month

Yes, I am stressed.  Stressed out and my eyelid is actually twitching.  I don't want to do the same to you so I will try to tell you what I did to solve it instead of what I did to cause it.  Unfortunately, we will have to walk hand-in-hand through the entire story to truly appreciate the "cure."

You see, I am a teacher.  It is June.  I am a high school teacher in June and several of the students who want to graduate have put off a few, well, a lot, of assignments until the very last minute and now are having trouble getting it done.  Everyone wants help.  Now it isn't that I haven't asked, begged and bribed them all year long to get busy.  I have.  It's just now, invitations have been ordered, caps and gowns are ready and diplomas are in the office - everything is ready to go.  Oh, except that last credit of social studies or English.  No, that has to be turned in within 5 days or guess what?  That student can't graduate.  That's why my eyelid is twitching.  I'm trying to help them.  That's what teachers do.  I've just seen so many meltdowns this week!

After inquiring if it was still against the law to drink alcohol at school (it is), I decided to turn to what has worked in the past.  Reducing my anxiety with my ZAQ Paradise diffuser.  The Paradise is beautifully sculpted glass featuring unique ridges inspired by a pattern of gentle ocean waves.  It is very relaxing just to look at.  I also looked into what essential oils work best for anxiety.  This is what I found:

I am going to try a few of these since I don't have a prescription of Lorazepam.  I already have ZAQ Lavender so I'll start there.  My goal today is to stop my eye twitch. Tomorrow, I'll work on the racing heart so if I can find a few minutes, I'll going to order a few of these suggestions above.  

In the morning, I'm bringing my ZAQ Paradise diffuser to school for the students and for me! On top of that, I am going to plan for 5 minutes to use the bathroom. It's a lofty goal, but I got this!  

Kris Bitar