Don’t put harsh chemicals on your skin when there are natural insect repellents out there.

Insects are often known for their aggravating qualities of biting, stinging, contaminating and transferring disease, and thus humans have long sought methods to control them. We do not need to destroy all insect life. Insects provide food for birds, reptiles and mammals, and many help pollinate plants.

Essential oils that repel insects include bay, bergamot, camphor, cardamom, cedarwood, cinnamon, citronella, clove, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, orange, patchouli, pennyroyal, peppermint, rosemary, sage, tea tree and vetiver. Health stores carry a variety of essential oil based bug repellent that are diluted enough to prevent skin irritation. Pregnant women should use essential oils cautiously, and avoid the use of pennyroyal.

Natural Bee Sting Treatment

Bees are unlikely to attack unless threatened. If stung, remove the stinger, being careful avoids squeezing the poison sac by scraping, not pulling the stinger out in the opposite direction from its entry. Act quickly, as the venom sac can release poisons for several minutes. Wash the area with soap and water. Applying mud immediately to the area brings quick relief. A paste papain powder, (the enzyme derived from papaya), helps break down the venom’s inflammatory properties. A paste of baking soda and apple cider vinegar is pain relieving. Look for a homeopathic remedy called Sting Stop in health stores.

Four drops of Rescue Remedy can be taken under the tongue every ten minutes, to calm stress. Homeopathic apis in 30 c potency may be taken orally as directed on the package. Taking 1,000 – 5,000 milligrams of Vitamin C and 100 milligrams of panothenic acid helps provide a natural antihistamine effect, thus reducing swelling. Bromelain and quercitin, 100 mg every 4 hours will also help reduce inflammation.

If allergic to bee stings, carry an emergency kit with you or get medical attention immediately.

The only absolutely organic, botanical, natural insect repellent that doubles up as a fragrance!

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Natural Mosquito Repellent

Mosquitoes transport over 75 diseases, the latest and most worrisome being West Nile Virus. Apply bug repelling essential oils to the pulse points every hour or taking three or four garlic capsules a day will make you an unappetizing to many blood sucking bugs. One hundred milligrams (50 for kids) of Vitamin B 1 taken orally creates a smell that many bugs don’t like. It may be wise to start this a few days before entering mosquito-infested areas. Mosquitoes are attracted to people who eat lots of sugars, alcohol, tropical fruits and juices.

If bit, helpful things to apply topically include mud, plantain leaf poultice, witch hazel, lemon juice, moistened vitamin C powder, and apple cider vinegar. Essential oils that may be applied directly to a bite include peppermint oil, clary sage, lemon, and tea tree.

For those prone to numerous mosquito bites give homeopathic staphysagria. Taking it a few days prior to an outing may even prevent them from being bit.

To create a more bug free environment, diffuse oils of citronella, eucalyptus, pennyroyal, lavender, rosemary, tea tree, basil, geranium or sage. You may also make a spray with water and a few drops of the oil to use as a room spray. Burn citronella candles.

Symptoms of West Nile Virus include fever, headache, and body aches, occasionally with a skin rash on the trunk of the body and swollen lymph glands.

Severe cases can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis. It is estimated that 1 in 150 persons infected with the West Nile virus will develop a more severe form of disease. Incubation is usually 3 to 14 days. Symptoms of mild disease will generally last a few days. Symptoms of severe disease may last several weeks, although neurological effects may be permanent. If you develop a high fever with severe headache, consult your health care provider.

Treating Tick Bites

Ticks have been a cause for concern in the past few years due to their ability to transmit Lyme disease and other types of Tick Fever. It is actually a spirochete, a corkscrew shaped organism, that is carried by the tick that is the culprit. Symptoms of Lyme Disease include arthritis symptoms, chills, rashes, facial palsy, headaches, loss of sensation and heart arrhythmia.

It is important to remove a tick as soon as possible. Do tick checks when returning from the wilderness. Brush them off clothing or flick them off skin. If they are attached, it is imperative that the ticks be removed without leaving their heads imbedded in the skin. Do not traumatize the tick or squeeze its body in the center. Use disinfected tweezers and grab the tick as close to the head as possible and pull straight out. Apply heat to the tick back’s side by carefully holding a stick of lit incense to encourage the tick to back out. Wash the affected area and your hands well with soap and water, dry, then apply a few drops of the infection fighting tincture, echinacea. People and pets that consume garlic and nutritional yeast repel ticks. The same essential oils that repel mosquitoes will also work against ticks. If bitten by a tick, a dropperful of echinacea or red root extract 3 times daily for a few days will give the immune system a boost

Avoiding Insects

Insect bites have the potential to be dangerous. Hypersensitive people have died from what might be innocuous to most. Watch for skin flushing, severe coughing, wheezing, anxiety, blurred vision and vomiting. Rush the person to the nearest emergency room if they are allergic.

When being in the outdoors, remember that this is insect territory. Wear socks and shoes. Tuck pants legs into socks. Avoid sandals and loose clothing. Tuck in shirts and if possible, wear two layers of clothing. It makes sense to avoid floral prints, the color blue (the preferred color of mosquitoes), hair spray, perfumes and shiny jewelry. The colors least likely to attract bugs are said to be white, tan and light green.

Mosquitoes are most active around dawn and dusk, so limit outdoor exposure then. In the home, keep screens on the windows and doors and in good condition. Remove stagnant water in gutters, old tires, and other containers, which may be breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Change the water in birdbaths weekly.

Be careful traveling past garbage containers, where bugs often congregate. When camping, choose areas on high ground, away from stagnant water. If in a survival situation, you can always apply mud on your skin to make insects consider you more trouble than it’s worth. If suffering from a multitude of bug bits, soak in a tub with 1/2 cup of sea salt or 1 cup of cornstarch.

Natural Mouse and Animal Deterrents

Peppermint oil deters mice. Nothing will catch mice better than anise seeds mixed in with some peanut butter. Valerian is also good mouse bat. To keep dogs and cats out of the garbage can, give the covers a sprinkling with cayenne pepper. When possible, choose natural methods to deter insects. We can all share the Earth!

This article first appeared on brigittemars.com. It is reposted by permission from the author.

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