I’m a bug magnet. I always have been. My husband and I can be sitting outside, and within five minutes, I’ll get bit no less than 10 times, and the bugs won’t even come near him!
When I was a kid, people used to say it was because I was so sweet! And while that’s a nice sentiment, it doesn’t make the thousands of bug bites I’ve gotten over the course of my life any less itchy. I’m not sure what it is about me that is so attractive to buggies, but man, I really wish they’d, uh, bug off.
If I want to sit outside in the summer, I literally have to surround myself with citronella candles and douse myself in bug spray. I never really felt great about spraying super chemically bug spray all over my skin, so I’ve been working on perfecting an all-natural homemade bug spray for the past few years.
My previous blend of citronella, lavender, clove, and eucalyptus worked incredibly well for mosquitoes and those annoying biting flies (I’m looking at you, deer flies!), but it did nothing to keep off the ticks that have infested our yard. I started to do a bit of research about repelling ticks and landed on adding rose geranium essential oil. Rose geranium is the essential oil to repel ticks, and in particular, the pelargonium capitatum x radens variety of rose geranium is the most effective. I also added some cedarwood oil—ticks loathe the smell of cedar (but I love it!). We actually spray our yard with cedar oil to help keep the tick population down. Read the post »