When you think of the arrival of spring and summer, the images that emerge are those of blooming flowers, the return of the birds, and warmer weather. You think of spending lazy days outside under a beautiful sun, or better yet, evenings by a campfire. Ah! So many amazing memories. You can almost smell the flowers and freshly cut grass just thinking about it.
For some, the excitement of running your hands in the dark cool earth, and looking forward to the arrival of the perennials. You are eager to plant the marigolds, petunias and daisies. Vegetable gardens have become more popular. People now gravitate towards a more natural and organic lifestyle, and the desire to grow vegetables is stronger than ever.
Sadly, we are not the only ones who are eager for the arrival of the sunshine and heat. Mosquitoes, ants, slugs and more, are lurking in the shadows, waiting to explore the outdoors. Unfortunately, humans and insects do not enjoy each others company. In fact, the insects sometimes are able to force us back indoor simply by sheer numbers. You have two options actually. You can retreat to the indoors and watch the summer go by from the window, or you can arm yourself with essential oils and live amongst the wildlife of the insect world, in an organic and natural fashion. The following suggestions are yours for the taking.
Mosquitoes, Ticks, and Ants, Oh! My!
Mosquitoes put a huge damper on summer enjoyment. I have been chased indoors by mosquitoes too many times to count. In fact, just the buzzing sound of their flight gives me goosebumps. More significant, however, is the mosquitoes ability to transmit diseases such as malaria, West Nile, and recently, the Zika virus. The female mosquitoes are the only ones to bite, as they use the blood they collect to feed their eggs. Now, more than ever, it is so important to be diligent in preventing those pesky mosquitoes from biting us.
Lavender EO, Lemongrass EO, and Arborvitae EO are the top three essential oils to repel mosquitoes. Fractionated coconut oil actually contains its own insect-repellent properties, and in combination with EOs, work amazingly well together. By adding a few drops of the above essential oils to FCO and applying topically, it will help to protect you in the war against mosquitoes.
With the increase of hiking and camping in the woods, ticks have become more common. These small arachnids attach themselves to your skin in order to feed. If you discover a tick latched on you, be sure to follow the proper removal technique using tweezers. Grab the tick as close to its mouth as possible, and pull straight out. You can then apply Lavender EO, Lemongrass EO, Sage EO or Thyme EO to the bite site to disinfect. Of course, prevention is the better course. You can make a tick repellent spray by combining 20 drops each of Lemongrass EO and Eucalyptus EO with 4 ounces of water in a glass spray bottle. Shake well then spray on your clothes, shoes and pant cuffs before that hike in the woods. This spray is also safe for your dogs.
Ants hate Peppermint EO. Another great essential oil to use in your fight against ants is Spearmint. Simply apply a few drops of Peppermint or Spearmint to the problem area, such as a window sill or door jamb, to discourage these pests from entering your home or cottage. For larger areas, you can add 20 drops of Peppermint EO in a glass spray bottle and combine with water. You will enjoy the wonderful aroma of this essential oil as you deter the ants, simply by spraying a very natural and organic mixture. This spray also works perfectly for spiders too.
Using Essential Oils in the Garden
If you have ever planted and grown a garden, flower or vegetable, you know how much work is required. The beauty of the flower beds, or the yield of fresh vegetables, is the reward for any avid gardener. At times however, despite your best efforts, beetles, slugs, snails and other pests, move in and impede the growth of your garden, or consume the fruits of your labor. Essential Oils can provide a natural alternative to the harmful chemicals that was once used to deal with these issues.
Using a glass spray bottle, combine 10 drops each of Clove EO, Peppermint EO, Rosemary EO, and lastly, Thyme EO. Fill the rest of the bottle with water, and shake well before each use. You can freely apply this natural garden spray to any area of concern, to chase away any insects that reside there. This is a general and effective method for most of your gardening issues.
For treating aphids, slugs, snails and weevils, different essential oils work more effectively. You can use Cedarwood EO, Patchouli EO, or Sandlewood EO, to ward off these unwanted residents. These natural insecticides work effectively at deterring these garden pests. Using the same method as described above, you can spray around the base of your plants to discourage them from harming your hard work. You can also add these oils to your watering can, and douse the base of the plants.
Another common problem in the garden is parasidic fungi, or more commonly know as garden fungus. This can become a huge problem fast if not treated quickly. Melaleuca Essential Oil, or better known as Tea Tree Oil, is a natural and organic essential oil that can dissuade the growth of further fungus. Its properties will actually kill off most types of fungus that can ruin a garden. Spray a combination of 20 drops of Tea Tree EO and water directly on the plant leaves. Repeat this method once or twice per week until cleared. Your garden will be very appreciative indeed.
Enjoying the Summer Weather
When the warm weather arrives, you naturally gravitate to the outdoors. Part of the enjoyment of the summer months is to participate in all the activities, such as soccer and baseball. If you have ever been in left field in the evening waiting for the ball to be hit to you, you soon realize that you end up doing most of the hitting. Mosquitoes love dusk, or maybe it is the sport they enjoy. Either way, you certainly wish they would watch from the sidelines.
TerraShield Outdoor Blend is formulated to deter summer insects from impeding on your outdoor fun. This proprietary blend of Cedarwood, Ylang Ylang, Catnip, Lemon Eucalyptus, and Arborvitae Essential Oils, just to name a few, is a perfect companion for life on the go. It is available in a 15mL bottle or a convenient 30mL spray, perfect for the whole family. By the campfire, or out on the lake fishing, this blend is a must-have. You can also spray the opening of your tent if you are camping. While out barbecuing or playing cards around the table in the evening, you can diffuse TerraShield to prolong your enjoyment.
Although I have discussed a lot about prevention, there are times that the inevitable occurs and you get stung by an insect. To calm the itching, apply 1-2 drops of Lavender EO to the site for fast and effective relief. It is amazing at how quickly this essential oil calms the itch. For a bee, wasp or hornet sting, you can remove the stinger by applying a cold compress of Roman Chamomile EO to the bite site for as long as possible. You can apply Lavender EO topically once the stinger is gone to relieve the pain and the itch.
Enjoy your summer holidays. Get out and soak in the heat and summer sounds. Just be sure to bring your arsenal of essential oils to play along. After all, essential oils are well versed on protecting themselves from the creepy crawly enemies that nature supplies.
What are your go to essential oils for summer enjoyment? Please share your story with us so that we can all have lots of fun in the sun. I would love to hear from you!