Like many people, I try to live as natural an existence as I can – in as many ways as is practical.
21st Century Britain isn’t exactly the most in touch with nature we’ve ever been, and with artificial everything coming out of our ears, sometimes it’s nice, not to mention healthier to get back to basics.
It’s a mild and muggy summer here in England, and we’re not seeing the temperatures we would like. Admittedly that does give us Brits more to talk about, the weather being our favourite subject for general discussion and bonding…
But something I have noticed this year is the BUGS!
Fleas! Mosquitoes! The insects seem to be loving the humid, warm air and at times, poor Evey is a very itchy, grumpy little cat.
So here are my top 5 natural tips to keep the bugs at bay this summer without resorting to nasty chemicals…
Oh my goodness, how I LOVE citronella so much, we now have a special Citronella Range in the Angel Wings Holistics store! This gorgeously lemony essential oil is pretty pungent, and you’ll see it everywhere in the summer time. Candles, incense, essential oils, insect repellant sprays.
My top tip is to always make sure that you get a product made with the pure essential oil or plant extract, organic if possible, and not an artificial fragrance as this won’t work as well and could contain harmful substances.
As with all essential oils, you should mix it with a carrier or base oil before applying to the skin.
You can also burn citronella in the form of incense or in an oil burner to keep your home pest-free. Evey and I love to burn citronella oil in the summer, because it’s a lovely deodorising fragrance and the fleas and mozzies really hate it! Watch them run!
In the absense of an oil burner, just pop a couple of drops of the essential oil onto a tea light or your favourite candle for a quick fix, or put a couple of drops in hot water when you mop the floor.
Biting insects tend not to be much of a fan of this lovely oil either. Lavender essential oil is one of the few oils that you can put directly onto the skin (although you should do so with caution and check for any allergies first).
I like to dab some onto a cloth and wipe down any furniture that Evey likes to hang out on to keep the fleas at bay.
Lavender infused skin products can have a repellant effect too, plus they smell divine and will help you to chill out when you’re being driven mad by bites!
3. Make friends with your vacuum cleaner
Now anyone who knows me will know that I have a mild phobia of vacuum cleaners, and a former flat mate actually threatened to take a photo of me one time I did actually hoover, just so that she had hard evidence it wasn’t a figment of her imagination!
Vacuuming every day, especially making sure Evey’s bed is done too, really does seem to make a difference. *Sigh*
Thankfully, I have a very understanding partner who is a dab hand with a Dyson…
4. Grow insect repellant plants
Here are a few of my favourites:
– Lemon Balm
– Lemon Thyme
These are all lovely, and pretty easy care fragrant herbs that will make your home and garden smell delicious as well as keeping the biters at bay.
As an added bonus, you can also spice up your cooking with their wonderful flavours!
5. Get rid of any stagnant water in the garden
Water butts and ponds are literally breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Go and have a look in yours now and see if you can see the little larvae swimming happily around!
If you have a bird bath, change the water frequently and empty any watering cans when they’re not being used.
There’s no point becoming an accidental backyard mozzy-breeder!
This is far from an exhaustive list, and I don’t think you can ever keeps the insects 100% at bay, but it shows that you can minimise negative interactions with our six-legged friends without resorting to poisonous chemicals.
Another point you may like to consider is the spiritual aspect of any sort of infestation, or “insect problem” you may be experiencing.
From a Shamanic point of view, the insect will be in your life to give you a message. If you find yourself plagued more than most with one particular critter, that little bug may well be trying to tell you something important.
Once you’ve identified it’s spiritual message, it will usually leave you alone, or at least stop plaguing you in the same way.
If you’re having trouble with fleas for example, it may be that you are hiding from the world and not sharing your talents as you should.
For a more in depth look at insect infestations and patterns in your life, book yourself a reading with me to really get to the bottom of the issue that’s bugging you!
A note about essential oils and pets
You’ll notice that I don’t use essential oils directly on Evey. She is a cat, and her body is not able to metabolise that sort of thing in the same way that the human body can.
She enjoys the scents, but they can be a little overpowering for her in close proximity.
For this reason, I don’t recommend putting essential oils directly onto your pets. Whilst essential oils are natural, they are extremely potent and should be used only as directed by an aromatherapist.