Natural bug repellents and natural cures for bug bites
Spring and summer are wonderful times of the year, so be happy. You waited months for the change of season, and the nicer weather that it would bring. But that joy can be ruined very quickly if you or your child is smitten with painful and swollen bug bites! Ouch! Bug bites can ruin a fun day at the park, or make us grumpy if we are up all night scratching and itching! Although we are bitten mostly when we are outdoors, those pesky critters somehow make their way into our bedrooms as well. And yet hope in enjoying the finer months of the year is not lost. There are natural bug repellents you can employ, and a wonderful green powder you can use if, unfortunately, you have already been bitten.
Essential oils are great bug repellents when used properly, and my favorite defense against that terrible itch from a bug bite is simple French green clay. The oils are safe for use with children.
There are many essential oils that can be used within the space of children’s bedrooms or sprayed directly on your child’s bedding or clothing, and which can also be used outside where the kids are playing. My favorite bug repellent essential oils are: cedar wood, citronella, eucalyptus, geranium, catnip and lavender. You can combine all of these oils into one jar to make a lovely blend; or you can begin with choosing only two to three oils to begin your blend. You will also need to purchase a diffusor and a spray bottle. The diffusor can be used in your child’s bedroom or outside by where your kids are playing; the spray bottles are used for spraying directly on your child or their clothing. When using a diffusor, make sure it is placed on a high shelf or in an area that your child cannot reach. Place a candle under the diffuser, fill the top with hot water and put between 10-15 drops of the oil into the hot water. The room or area will be filled with bug-repellent smells—pleasant to us humans but repulsive to those nasty insects. To use the spray bottle: fill the bottle with 4oz. (half of a cup) of water and add to it 15-20 drops of the essential oil mixture, shake well and spray on child’s pillowcase, sheets or clothing, or into the child’s hair (avoiding the eyes). In fact, it is a good idea to get into the habit of spraying your children’s clothing during the heavy mosquito outbreaks.
My favorite cure for bug bites is pure French green clay. Often sold as a facial mask, you can purchase green clay at your local health food store or order it on-line. The best way to use pure green clay for bug bites is in the form of a paste; which reduces the inflammation of bug bites and also helps pull the toxic venom out of the skin. To make the paste, put some of the clay into a cup and add a drop or two of water, but don’t add too much water because you want to make a paste that will stick to, and cover over, the bitten area. When you have made the paste into the correct consistency, spread it over the bug bite. When the paste has dried, if the child is still complaining, you can add another layer of the paste over the dried layer. You can continue painting the green clay over the bites, layer upon layer, until your child is no longer bothered by the bite. The green clay will begin to crumble off but don’t worry; it doesn’t stain clothing or bed sheets. Your child may, temporarily, look a little green but this is the best cure I have found for those itchy, painful bug-bites!
Relax and enjoy the summer. Just keep a little bottle of the ‘natural-bug-spray’ with you at all times, when the mosquitos are out, and feel confident that the little buggies won’t bit your precious ones!