News & tips on health, fitness and nutrition

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Peppermint oil as an insect repellent

Peppermint oil, while unusually fragrant to humans, acts as a repellent to most insects, especially mosquitoes and fleas. You can apply dabs of concentrated peppermint oil to focal points on your skin 
or clothes, or use a diluted formula to spray over broader areas.

1. Purchase peppermint oil in its pure, concentrated form, and apply a few drops to focal points on your clothing. You can add a little peppermint oil inside pockets, and on areas where perspiration may attract mosquitoes and fleas, such as under your arms or around your collar. Test a few drops of peppermint oil on a hidden part of your clothing to ensure that it will not stain the fabric.

2. Dilute 1 part peppermint oil with 10 parts rubbing alcohol and place the solution in a plastic spray bottle. This will allow you to use peppermint oil in broader applications, such as on plants, pets and clothing. You can also spray the solution on your skin, although you may want to rub a little on your forearm first to make sure it does not irritate your skin.

3. Mix peppermint oil with other types of natural oils that act as an insect repellent, such as rosemary oil, lemongrass oil and lemon eucalyptus oil. Using a mixture of more than one oil ensures that a greater variety of pests can be repelled, and that the potency of the formula will last longer as well. Lemon eucalyptus oil, in particular, can extend the length of protection from pests to 5 or 6 hours.

4. Use peppermint oil as an insect repellent by breaking open a few Vitamin E capsules and mixing the oil with peppermint oil. A Vitamin E and peppermint oil mixture will keep your skin smooth and soft, and will act as an effective and natural insect repellent as well. You may need to re-apply the solution once every 1 to 2 hours, however, for best results. 

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