Conversation across our dining room table / office this morning was about the effectiveness of DEET vs essential oils in repelling mosquitoes.
If you know me and my dear hubby you can guess which side each of us were on. I took a few deep breaths and maintained my calm.
I wanted to share our conclusion with you all in case you were having the same discussion – either in your head or someone of a different view point.
#1 goal – keep the bugs from biting – safely.
The study in the NPR link below shows that lemon eucalyptus oil is almost as effective as a DEET based repellent. These days it’s easier to find a DEET based repellent so why seek out a more natural, essential oil based one? It’s hard to find studies based in actual science, showing DEET, when used as recommended, is dangerous to humans. And that, my friends is the key phrase: “When used as recommended.” That means applied to skin only – not inhaled or ingested in the mouth or near eyes. If you have kids you know how hard it is to keep kids from putting their hands near their mouth or eyes – or even wiping their nose on their DEET sprayed sleeve. That is why I chose to use oils as our insect repellent spray.
What do we use? A home-made blend of DoTerra essential oils with their TerraShield blend which contains lemon eucalyptus. I re-apply every 2 hours, if I remember. We’ve used this blend for years with very good results.
That being said, when in a situation where we forgot our spray I’ll use the DEET based spray…”as recommended.”
My bug (mosquito, ticks, gnats, flies, etc.) repellent spray blend (all DoTerra oils): TerraShield, Peppermint, Purify, Lavender, Cedarwood and Lemongrass.
The TerraShield blend alone is also very effective, and cheap. Let me know if you want to order and I can send you a link.
Articles on DEET and Lemon Eucalyptus repellents: