Easy home-made bug spray

An evening stroll in the garden should be relaxing: it’s a time to check on the ripening tomatoes, snack on a strawberry then squish a bug or too — but too often lately I’ve been chased back inside by a swarm of aggressive tiger mosquitoes who seem to be eagerly waiting for their dinner (me), and who attack the minute I open the back door. I’ve made some bug repellent sun cream, which works well, but if I’m just popping outside to gather a few basil leaves then it seems pointless to spend 5 minutes rubbing it over exposed skin. Today I adapted my recipe, putting the essential oils in a vodka base rather than the water and oil emulsion I used for the cream — I sprayed some on then I offered myself to science and to my mosquito sisters, parading up and down their favorite haunts, brushing against the leaves where they lurk.

Success! I repelled all the mosquitoes — not a single one bit — but the neighbors’ cat still came to greet me as usual.

I will post a more detailed recipe after further testing — but here are the ingredients I used: neem oil, citronella EO, lavender EO, peppermint EO, soy lecithin, and, of course, vodka.

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