Flies and mosquitos are one of the frustrations of summer. Their constant whining and buzzing are irritating, as are their bites and ability to spread germs. Insect sprays can be really toxic and unpleasant, so here are a couple of natural remedies that can help.
The enemy of the BBQ and outdoor dining, flies spread disease and generally contribute precious little to the planet.
To repel flies without endless chemicals
Gather several small tins with tight fitting lids. As you will be putting them where you sit and dine in a social occasion, the more attractive they are, the better.
Cut a circle of natural sponge or cotton or absorbent cloth to fit snugly in the bottom of the tin. Depending on your preference of smell, saturate the cloth in lavender, citronella, eucalyptus, pennyroyal, peppermint or lemongrass oils. (note: apart from lavender oil, all the others should be diluted 1:3 with water). Close the tin tightly and leave for two days. After that, should you want to repel flies, open the tin and leave nearby. Replenish the oil after each use.
Natural fly repellent spray for the body
In a spray bottle, mix ½ cup witch hazel, ½ cup apple cider vinegar, 30-50 drops of essential oils (depending on your preference of scent); citronella, cloves, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, eucalyptus, cedar, catnip, mint or lavender. Lavender is particularly effective against flies. Shake before application. May be sprayed on the skin, avoiding the eyes and mouth.
To repel mosquitos from the inside out, it is a good idea to take B vitamins, particularly B1 (thiamine). 25-50mg of thiamine 3x a day produces an odour that is undetectable by humans, but abhorrent to mosquitos.
Similarly, drinking 2tbsp of apple cider vinegar daily will help repel mosquitos.
You can also dab basil oil, mint oil or lavender oil directly on to the skin (pulse points) to keep the little nasties away. Enjoy!