Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks such as West Nile, Dengue, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Chikungunya, and Zika are emerging in some parts of the United States. Take the spread of West Nile virus as an example, the first outbreak was reported in 1999, today the virus has been found in 48 out of the 50 U.S. states.
We can avoid insect bites by taking protective measures. First of all, when spending time outdoors, cover up with light colored clothing. A hat is also a good idea. Loose fitting clothing makes it harder for biting insects to reach the skin. If you are planning an outdoor gathering, a gently blowing large fan will not only keep your guest cool, but will also blow away weak-flying insects. Note that the mosquito that transmits Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya (Aedes aegypti) bites mostly during the daytime.
Anything that can hold water, even a bottle cap, can breed mosquitoes. NPR writes an excellent article explaining why the Aedes aegypti mosquito is such a threat.
Insect Repellent Warnings
Bug sprays are recommended, but caution is needed. Medline Plus warns us that breathing or swallowing DEET bug spray can cause poisoning, and that even pyrethrins bug sprays can cause problems. We also learn that DEET is especially dangerous to small children.
The recently published Practical Guide to Essential Oils tells us that aromatic compounds not only give plants their unique smell, but also help attract plant pollinators and deter damaging insects. The Practical Guide references several essential oils that have tested effective at repelling and killing mosquitoes, ticks, and other biting insects.
Sweet Orange Oil is a delightful oil that not only is calming but is also used to repel and kill insects. It naturally contains limonene which is used in some commercial insect repellents.
Lavender Essential Oil has long been used to repel insects. This study found that lavender compared well to DEET for repelling ticks.
Try This Blend:
In a dropper bottle mix together 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) carrier oil, 9 drops lavender oil, and 9 drops orange oil. Mix well and massage on arms and legs. Orange and lavender oils not only repel insects but also a study found that inhalation of the combination helped reduce anxiety.
Melaleuca's Natural Insect Repellent is formulated with Peppermint, Cinnamon, Lemongrass, Thyme, and Geranium oils. It is non-sticky and 99% effective against mosquitoes and ticks.
Good to Know
For many years Melaleuca customers have successfully formulated their own natural insect repellents. If you find yourself unprotected among hungry mosquitoes, remember this Melaleuca Wellness Guide recommendation: Mix 1 tsp of Renew Intensive Skin Therapy and 5 drops of T36-C5 and apply to any exposed skin.
Another clever Melaleuca Wellness Guide recommended tip is to carry used MelaSoft Dryer Sheets in your front pocket, tie it in your hair, or slip it through a belt loop. It really keeps the bugs away. Don't try this with other brand dryer sheets. They may contain harmful chemicals.
Gone are the days when an insect bite was an irritating nuisance, now some insects transmit dangerous diseases.
~ Richard M Barry
NEW! Essential Oils Booklet
Practical Guide to Essential Oils with References and Traditional Uses
Plants have been used for thousands of years to help heal, soothe and alter moods. We can imagine early man experimenting with stems, leaves, barks and roots, noting which reduced pain, which reduced swelling, which were calming, and which were stimulating. By trial and error remedies were discovered, and cherished traditional treatments were passed on from generation to generation.
An "essential oil" is the highly concentrated "essence" of the plant from which it was derived. Today research is beginning to explain some of the mystery behind the art and science of essential oil therapy. Clinical studies are currently underway, and many of these studies confirm the remarkable healing properties of essential oils.
Practical Guide to Essential Oils was written for those who are just beginning to experiment with the healing properties of essential oils. Designed as a primer, it gives the reader a basic understanding of what these natural wonders are, and what they can do. Each chapter is written as an introduction to one of the more commonly used essential oils, explaining how that oil has been traditionally used, how it is used today, and what research there is to confirm its effectiveness. Scientific studies and supportive articles are referenced for additional reading.
Natural Insect Repellent Testimonials
The people below will receive a free copy of The Melaleuca Wellness Guide for submitting their stories.
The minute Melaleuca released the Natural Insect Repellent, I placed my order. I knew it would be great for kids and adults but I wasn't sure how it would work on the terrible tick problem I was facing with my dog. We have a dangerous problem in the area I live, and my dog had been diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease many times. I was picking ticks off of him on almost a daily basis, and I was finding them on the carpet in the house which could only mean they were going to find their way on to me as well.....yuck! I started using Natural Insect Repellent the day it arrived and I was truly amazed. I never saw another tick on my dog until the day he sadly passed away. I continue to use it myself, and I recommend it to all my friends, especially the ones with kids that play in the yard, or anyone that hikes or spends time outside. Everyone thanks me, and we all agree it works! In addition, I have had terrible skin rash reactions to other products on the market, some that even say they are non-allergic. I also used it indoors for an ant problem that I was having ... no more ants, no poisons needed.
Melaleuca's Natural Insect Repellent is fantastic. On a camping excursion last summer, my daughter was the only one in a group of friends not bothered by mosquitoes as they sang around the campfire and throughout the night. I am so confident of its people friendly composition that I spray it on my skin and bed sheets to ward off insects for a good night's sleep up north Michigan and at home in the Detroit area. The scent is based in the essential oils that are calming to us. Its use is total enjoyment in getting back to nature to refresh.
Our family has been very happy with Melaleuca's Natural Insect Repellent!! We use it when the kids are playing outside or while playing soccer games. It does a great job keeping mosquitoes from biting my little kids without poisoning them with DEET or other harmful chemicals. Thank you Melaleuca!!
I use the Natural Insect Repellent before I run or exercise outdoors. Sometimes I run on trails, other times at the park. We also boat, and I spray the screens with the repellent to keep the bugs out of the boat. Best bug repellent ever. And it smells good!
The court where my daughter's tennis team practices is next to a large wetland area. The gnats are overwhelming. So my daughter and I sprayed ourselves down with the Melaleuca Natural Insect Repellent. Her coaches wanted to know why she was not slapping the gnats away like the rest of the team. Needless to say for the next 6 weeks of the tennis season our Melaleuca insect spray was in high demand, and I was so thankful that we were using a non-toxic product! Thank you Melaleuca!!
Man alive, I'll never buy canned "poison" (DEET and the rest) insect repellent again! I'm a mosquito and tick magnet. I walk outside and mosquitoes celebrate and spread the news to all their friends that the buffet has arrived... I first tried homemade EO repellent 3 years ago and since have refined it. The first attempt was a combination of plain old coconut oil (non-fractionated), lavender oil and lemon juice (had no lemon oil at the time). It was a greasy mess but stayed liquid if kept warm enough, but I have dry skin and coconut oil is great for that. I slathered up and took a book to the deck. I watched mosquitoes flit around my hands but NEVER land on me - and of course certainly never bite. I'm now able to go outside any time I want without getting a single bite. I live in the woods with a heavy deer population and the concoction allowed me to walk through freely whenever I wanted without picking up a single tick. That had never happened before. I've progressed to using fractionated coconut oil, lavender oil and lemon oil, about 2 oz fractionated coconut oil, 10-15 drops lavender oil and 10-20 drops lemon oil - in a small spray bottle. It's always liquid and very convenient. And it smells GREAT! For children or others for whom dry skin is no problem (or who simply don't like the feel of the oil) I fill a 6-ounce bottle with about 4 ounces of well water (distilled water for city folks), an ounce of witch hazel, a small "slosh" of glycerin, 10-15 drops lavender oil and 10-20 drops lemon oil. Just shake it well and spray away. No greasy feel but best of all, no bites. I've seen other combinations that include lemongrass, peppermint, eucalyptus, clove oil, and Melaleuca oil along with the lavender and lemon oil. I'm sure they smell good and I'll try some of those combinations this year. But lavender and lemon oil work beautifully on their own. No more canned - and expensive! - poison spray for me!
I always get big welts from insect bites. It has been a struggle of mine. Along comes Melaleuca with a perfect solution for me. Insect Repellent that actually repels them. Now I can sit on our deck in comfort!