I’m so glad that the weather is getting warmer! I know I’m ready for some sunshine and warmth after this cold, dreary winter.
But with the warmer weather comes the bugs and small rodents that many people don’t like. I’ve seen a few posts on facebook this week from friends already starting their yearly battle with ants! And on just after midnight on Wednesday night (Thursday morning), I woke up to the familiar sound of a mouse scratching under the floor boards in our loft. With that in mind, I thought a post about EOs and insects might be worthwhile this week.
Citronella is probably the first oil that comes to mind when people think about keeping the bugs at bay. And indeed it is one of the most common and most effective. It deters moths and insects as well as being disliked by rodents.
Peppermint is another great pest deterrent! It is great for keeping out mice, mosquitoes, and ants. Because we live in an old building, we do get the occasional mouse, especially since we no longer have a cat in the loft. With my midnight mouse wake up, I grabbed a bottle of Peppermint EO and put a couple of drops in the area where I could hear the mouse. He left shortly afterwards.
I have a blend of Citronella EO and Peppermint EO that I use at home and at the office. I place a few drops of the mix on a piece of cotton fabric or a cotton ball and place it on the window sill. We live in a loft space on the second floor with very large windows so most of our pests are small flying ones. If I remember to add a few drops every 2 months or so, it keeps the bugs out. I can always tell when it needs refreshing – as soon as I find a fly in the loft! Generally at the first signs (or sounds) of a mouse, I place a few drops of the Pest Deterrent Blend at the back of the cupboard under the sink (generally where they come up from the neighbours downstairs at our place). Within the day, the mouse is gone.
At the theatre where I work fulltime, we have an outside side door that doesn’t quite seal along the bottom and in the past we have had some ants wander in to check out our hallway. I try to place a drop of the blend on the entrance carpet every couple of months in the spring and summer to discourage the ants. It does make the small hallway smell very much like peppermint so I try to just use 1 drop and generally do it at the end of the day so that the strongest scent has dissipated a bit by the next morning.
So far all of the things I have mentioned have been household solutions. One of my next projects is to work on an insect repellent that you can wear. For that I hear that Lemongrass EO is pretty good. I have read lots of possibilities for various combinations. Now I get to experiment and test!