Making all-natural insect repellent

Nothing beats relaxing in your backyard under the cover of an awning — until the flies take over. Soon, no amount of swishing and swatting keeps them from landing on you, your book or your food. Apart from being a nuisance, flies can also carry bacteria and other pathogens. Instead of whipping out the chemicals, keep yourself safe and keep flies at bay with all-natural fly repellents that use essential oils.

What are Essential Oils?

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, essential oils are a plant’s fragrant essences (natural chemical makeup) that have been extracted via steam distillation or mechanical pressing. Essential oils contain natural compounds that plants use as protective measures against insects and other invasive species. Homeowners can use extracted essential oils to their own benefit: successfully deterring flies and other household pests from plants and people.

Essential Oils That Keep Flies Away

There are a lot of essential oils that smell nice to you, but terrible to flies. Here’s a list of typical essential oils that help keep flies away:

  • Lavender
  • Thyme
  • Tea tree
  • Citronella
  • Rosemary
  • Mint
  • Patchouli
  • Lemongrass
  • Eucalyptus

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Where to Place Fly Repellent

Set out fly repellent wherever you see flies around your yard. Flies often group together around tables, patios, and exterior doors, but they can show up practically anywhere. Whether placed on tables or hung from porch railings, the fly repellent should be easily accessible for you and the flies.

How to Make Your Own Natural Fly Repellent

Here’s a recipe to make your own fly repellent spray:

  • 4 oz of distilled water
  • 2-3 oz of witch hazel
  • 1-2 oz each of hydrosols (floral water), such as lavender or peppermint
  • The combined total of 40-50 drops of essential oils (your choice of lavender, thyme, tea tree, citronella, rosemary, mint, patchouli, lemongrass, or eucalyptus)
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Pour the liquid mixture into a spray bottle, shake vigorously before each application, and use on skin or clothing, or mist into the surrounding area. Make sure to store it in a cool location away from sunlight. Here’s another way you can make a fly repellent, and place it in a different type of container:

  • Tin can with a lid
  • 1 oz witch hazel
  • 1 oz vegetable oil
  • The combined total of 50-60 drops of essential oils, using the options mentioned above
  • Clean cloth

Combine the witch hazel, vegetable oil, and essential oils in a glass bowl. Place the cloth in the tin can, and pour the mixture over the cloth. Cover with the lid and let sit overnight. Open the lid and place the container on the table while outdoors. You can also place the cloth into a cotton bag and hang it from a railing. As another option, add several drops of various essential oils to candles. When burned, the candles will release the fragrant oils that deter flies. We hope this helps you prepare for the coming months when the weather will be warmer, and picnics and cookouts will start happening. If your patio or outdoor area needs shading to help with the coming Texas heat or an insect screen to help keep flies and other pests away, contact us today.

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