Ever since I can remember it seems that I have had a flashing neon sign over my head advertising "Free Buffet" for bugs of all varieties, especially mosquitoes. The first five years of my life we lived on the bank of the Mississippi and every summer my chubby arms and legs were decorated with quarter size welts that did not become any more attractive with my scratching. I still can't chat over the fence with a neighbor at dusk for five minutes without become a "movable feast"!
Being a natural born multi-tasker, I use an essential oil blend called Purification that both repels insects AND soothes insect bites of any kind. Ticks really hate this stuff! I put several drops in my palms and rub them together until the oil is ALMOST gone then rub my hands thoroughly over my shoes, socks, pant legs etc. Keeping in mind that everything we inhale or put on our skin ends up in our bloodstream, I don't want to inhale aerosol sprays or rub chemical insect repellants on myself or my toddler son. I make my own natural "bug wipes". I always carry a pack of the fragrance free diaper wipes with me, so to make bug wipes on the go, I just pull out a wipe, put 2 or 3 drops of Purification on it and wipe it all over bare arms and legs until it is almost dry. If sitting outdoors, I'll set the wipe on or under the table for continued bug repelling.
Lemongrass, sage or thyme would work, too, but might irritate your skin so put it on your pant cuffs and shirt sleeves. As for your pets, you can put oils such as Purification, around their necks and backs, but watch to keep oils from around their eyes. So there you have it. Non-toxic pest control.
After-Bite Remedies by David Stewart, Ph.D., R.A.
Therapeutic grade essential oils are not only good insect repellants, they are also excellent after you have been bitten. Essential oils are great detoxifiers for insect bites because their chemistry can break down the poison and render it harmless. Because the molecules of essential oils are all lipid soluble and very tiny (less than than 500 amus) they all transdermal. Thus, when applied to a bite, they pass through the skin in seconds, reacting with the toxins injected by the insect and reducing their toxic effects. I was stung by a wasp recently and, within a few minutes, put Purification oil on it the area that had become red and swollen. The stinging sensation soon resided and within a few hours I could not tell that I had ever been stung.
PURIFICATION can be used directly on the skin to cleanse and soothe insect bites, cuts, and scrapes. When diffused, it helps to purify and cleanse the air from environmental impurities including cigarette smoke and other disagreeable odors.
How to use: For topical or aromatic use. Diffuse, apply topically on location as needed, or put on cotton balls to place in air vents of home, car, hotel room and office. Diffuse and rub on feet for cleansing. Possible skin sensitivity. If pregnant or under a doctor's care, consult your physician. Dilution not required; suitable for all but the most sensitive skin. Generally safe for children over 2 years of age.
Purification Ingredients: Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Melaleuca (Melaleuca alternifolia) lavandin (Lavandula x hybrida), and myrtle