Naturally Repel Mosquitoes and Ticks: doTerra Essential Oils

‘Tis the season for BBQ’s, boating, camping, and other outdoor activities.   The beautiful outdoor weather, however, brings plenty of pests just waiting to bite you!  Many people will use insecticide containing DEET, but you may want to think twice before grabbing for the bottle next time.  Here’s why:  doTerra essential oils help repel mosquitoes and ticks naturally without the harmful side effects of DEET!

“According to a study by Duke University Medical Center every year, approximately one-third of the U.S. population uses insect repellents containing DEET to ward off mosquitoes and other pests. At present, DEET is used in more than 230 products with concentrations up to 100 percent.

However, DEET should be used with caution due to its possible damaging effects on brain cells. Studies have shown that DEET causes brain cell death and behavioral changes in rats after frequent and prolonged use. This exposure causes neurons to die in regions of the brain that control muscle movement, learning, memory, and concentration. Rats treated with an average human dose of DEET (40 mg/kg body weight) performed far worse when challenged with physical tasks requiring muscle control, strength and coordination. These findings are consistent with reported human symptoms following DEET’s use by the military in the Persian Gulf War.

With heavy exposure to DEET and other insecticides, humans may experience memory loss, headache, weakness, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, tremors and shortness of breath. These symptoms may not be evident until months or even years after exposure.”

Wow, according to this study DEET causes brain cell death? Yikes!!  So what can be done instead of lathering up with harmful and toxic chemicals?  I suppose you could just deal with bites from pesky mosquitoes and ticks.  I suppose another option is to stay inside and become a recluse.

In the past I just dealt with the itch and irritation of bites, but with West Nile Virus and other scary sicknesses out there I didn’t want to continue with the “ignorance is bliss” approach.  Not to mention I now have four young children who all love to stay outside and play until the sun sets.  The problem with that of course is that’s prime time to get bit!

After looking around for an acceptable solution that was actually effective, the answer found me!  I now protect myself with a doTerra essential oils

TerraShield essential oil blend contains 15 essential oils that have been proven to be more effective at repelling biting insects than synthetic repellents.  A small amount of this blend will provide powerful coverage for up to 6 hours.    I love the citrus smell of this blend all over my exposed skin.   You can also diffuse it into the air or place a few drops on ribbons and strings, and place near air vents, windows, or openings where bugs might come in.

Also, melaleuca essential oil was found to be more effective than DEET at repelling head lice (Canyon et al. 2007).  Lavender essential oil is also an amazing natural protector.   It has been found to be comparable to DEET in its ability to repel ticks (Mkolo et al. 2007).

It seems many of the essential oils are great at turning insects away.  Just the other day I ran across a story from a friend living in Australia who had a few run ins with ticks and her kids.  Being the DEET free family that they are, she used her doTerra essential oils.

Here’s Natalie’s story:

Ticks showed up in our lives this week- 4 of them. Before I knew it was a tick, we used frankincense and that worked (put it on at night, then tick had disconnected by morning.) Ticks 2, 3, & 4 released with a bit of purify followed by peppermint. Just a drop of each, then wait a few minutes- don’t squeeze it seems to drive them deeper to run away from the oil!

How great is that? No smoldering match or DEET repellent needed!  I’m so grateful we have these tools to live a healthy life using the gifts provided from the earth.

Drop me an email or leave a comment below if you have any questions and I’d be happy to respond.

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