Since many of you will be spending time outside this long holiday weekend and, of course, this summer, we thought we’d share a few tips to that may come in handy. This week is a DIY to help keep those pesky pests at bay naturally. And, this post, like last weeks, is another re-post with update as we continue to move posts over from our blog archive.
Before we start, you may recall that we wrote about Milestone Cards in an early Meet the Makers post. If not, this is a lovely maker that helps preserve great memories by adding dates to photo cards. Milestone Cards just added a beautiful free printable for the holiday. You can grab the "My First 4th of July" 2017 at the end of this post. And if you would like the full set for yourself or as a gift, you'll find them on sale this week at 40% off here.
Like you, we love spending time outdoors with our families. Summer provides us with time to ride bikes, kick around a ball, kayak, and picnic together. Unfortunately, it seems some pests also enjoy tagging along for these activities! At Modern Kids Design, we try to take care of uninvited guests in an earth-friendly way. The next time ants invade your picnic or mosquitoes rock the boat, consider trying one of these natural pest control methods.
Natural Insect Repellent
We enjoy making our own insect repellent for our on-the-move families. This simple recipe uses essential oils that are known to repel pests—and it smells great!
1-1/2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon castor oil
8 drops of Rosemary essential oil
8 drops of Lemongrass essential oil
4 drops of Geranium essential oil
Add ingredients to a 2 ounce spray bottle, shake vigorously, and spray. Be sure to shake well before each use. Apply liberally, and often!
In this recipe, rosemary and lemongrass serve to scare off mosquitoes and geranium tells ticks to bug off. Other essential oils that can be used instead of those listed include: (for mosquitoes) Citronella, Clove, Tea Tree, Lavender, Mint, and Eucalyptus. For ticks, consider using Peppermint or Thyme essential oils instead of Geranium. If you’re looking for more recipes or information, Pinterest is a great resource.
Spray It Everywhere!
In addition to sporting natural insect repellent, you can also spray it in areas you’ll be hanging out to encourage insect pals to relocate. You can spray ribbon or paper strips to hang inside a tent or the edges of a picnic blanket. One great idea we came across was to spray a cotton ball to place by your pillow when camping. Diluting essential oils in small water bowls is also a wonderful alternative to commercially available citronella candles, which may not be made from the highest quality citronella. Simply fill a small bowl with water and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil from above.
Did you know some plants naturally repel bugs? Bolstering your garden with some of these fragrant plants may help to reduce the creepy-crawlies that try to sneak into your kitchen or patio. Unsurprisingly, they’re the same plants that insect-repelling essential oils are distilled from! Tending lavender, mint, thyme, basil, lemongrass, and rosemary will give your garden anti-bug powers. Marigolds and petunias can also urge pests to look elsewhere for their next meal.
It’s fun to be outside during this time of year. The flowers are in full bloom and it’s perfect weather to be camped out under the stars or playing flashlight tag in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, it’s perfect weather for ticks and mosquitoes as well. We all want the best for our families and by making sure we’re protecting them from irritating, and sometimes dangerous, bug bites without using unnecessary chemicals on their skin, we feel like we’re doing our part for the Earth, too.
Now last but not least, if you or someone you know has a little one, you might like to download a free printable from Milestone Cards. Again, we featured this very cool company in an earlier post. If you like the concept as much as we do, check out the full deck on sale here and go grab your free download directly on their site here.
Before signing off, in case you are wondering about this weeks picture, we took it at the Whitney Museum of American Art. It's by Jasper Johns and is called Three Flags. We like the idea that he painted it in this format, using three canvases and hot wax, to encourage a closer inspection of this iconic image. Well, it worked! It really does capture your attention and it's lovely! Happy 4th!