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Green Tip

The biting insects that like to participate in all of our outdoor activities are back. We know what the ravenous little pests like; warm-blooded Humans and their pets, but what are some of the things that they don’t like?

In addition to citronella and diethyltoluamide, more commonly known as DEET, there are many other natural plants that can be combined and prepared to serve as insect repellents and to keep the bugs hungry. Many Natural, People-Friendly and Pet-Friendly, Non-Toxic solutions can be made from easily acquired essential oils and other common household ingredients. The essential oils, like tea tree oil or cedar wood oil, are concentrated or distilled products available from numerous plants such as lavender, lemon and lemongrass, almond, basil, geranium, eucalyptus, bergamot, rosemary and sesame; just to name a few from a very crowded list. There are a myriad of web-sites accessible that provide recipes and advice designed to offer alternatives to the commercially produced and chemically based insect repellent products. Other ingredients listed in some recipes include catnip, castor oil, witch hazel, vanilla extract, cloves, garlic and even vodka! Because the essential oils are concentrated and powerful, some warnings are appropriate to protect pregnant women and small children from adverse effects, and recommendations are made to keep the solutions in dark bottles and to accurately label the containers. To be able to spend more time outdoors, there are many other solutions to the age-old problem of sharing the spaces with some of our less desirable neighbors, the ones that bite.

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