There was a study done that shows that Catnip is more effective than DEET at keeping mosquitos away. For link to more info about that, you can click here. While effective, it is not as long lasting and will need reapplied more often than conventional bug sprays.
Anyway, here's the info on the bug repellent.
First, I infused equal parts extra virgin organic coconut oil with safflower oil (total 1 cup) to dried catnip (1/2 cup). Coconut oil has a million and 1 uses and is very very very good for the skin. It is especially wonderful on sunburns. Which I have a bit of at the moment from spending every moment possible out weeding the herb garden yesterday. :) After a long day in the sun, slathering on some coconut oil can actually heal your skin and prevent blistering and peeling (This has worked for me! Even from a LOT of too much sun.). So, that's a bonus of this bug repellent. :) IF you were to use it during the day, coconut oil can also work as an effective sunblock to prevent sunburns. I'm not sure of the SPF value of coconut oil, nor am I sure how long would be safe to be in the sun. This would differ to where you live. For instance, my sun here in Wisconsin, is not going to be as strong as Florida, or Texas. Ya know? So I can't say. Use common sense and wear protective clothing rather than relying on just coconut oil if you'll be out for a long time or are in strong sun/UV area.
I used Safflower Oil because it's lighter than Olive oil and is less fragrant. Plus, it's high in Vitamin E, which is also great for the skin. But mostly because Coconut Oil alone tends to have this habit of solidifying under 76 degrees. Which, it often gets in the evenings. So by mixing the two oils, it gives it a more liquid presence.
I did the ol' herbs in a jar trick and just put the oils and catnip in a Mason jar and sat it on the back of my stove, then shook it up several times a day for 2 weeks. You can infuse for longer, but I really wanted to get this bug repellent finished. We've had a lot of rain and the hubby and kids plan to go on a survival expedition this weekend. I thought this would come in very handy.
Once the oil had a chance to infuse, I then drained it in a mesh strainer over a bowl with an old cut out piece of t shirt. Be sure to wrap up the herbs in the cloth and wring it out really well! That's the most concentrated oils!
I picked up the little 2 oz spray bottles at *gasp* Walmart for $.97 each in the trial products section. If I were to use them often, then I would order from From Nature With Love. They offer free shipping with any order of $75 or more and I've used them for many of my container orders for supplies. The free shipping makes them very competitive on prices.
I then poured the catnip infused oil into the little spray bottles until it was ALMOST filled, but not completely. Then I used 10 drops each of the following essential oils (I prefer Mountain Rose Herbs).
Put the cap on and shake it up. Done.
My kids were so enthralled. "Mom! It smells like REAL bug repellent!" :) If you get a chance to try this, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for checking it out!
|Sorry for the crappy phone picture.|