Using Basil As A Natural Insect Repellant
Basil is one of the many herbs you can use to make a natural insect repellent so your summer fun isn't bothered by pesky insects. Basil insect repellent not only works well to keep stinging bugs away, but it has a pleasant aroma and can be grown easily and inexpensively.
Making this type of natural insect repellent requires only a few steps. Note: Because this homemade insect repellent calls for a small amount of vodka, if you are not of legal drinking age, you won’t be able to use this recipe. In that case, have a parent or guardian assist you with the making of the mixture. An alternative to the prepared mixture is to crush fresh basil leaves and rub them on your exposed skin - this will also work but the deterrent doesn’t last quite as long.
4 to 6 ounces of freshly picked basil leaves and stems
4 ounces of water – bring to a boil
4 ounces of vodka
1 spray bottle
Step 1: Basil prep
Harvest your fresh basil and make sure it is thoroughly cleaned with no dirt or debris left attached to the stems and leaves. The stems can stay attached. Place the basil in a large container – preferably something like a glass pitcher.
Step 2: Boil water
When the water has boiled, pour it over the basil in the container, cover it and leave it to sit for several hours. Be sure to only use the amount of water the recipe calls for. Too much water and the mixture will be too weak to be effective.
Step 3: Transfer infused water
After the basil has steeped in the water for several hours, remove the leaves and pour the basil-infused water into a spray bottle. Make sure to squeeze every last drop of liquid out of the leaves into the bottle as well. The liquid should smell heavily of basil.
Step 4: Mix with the carrier alcohol
The vodka is used as a carrier. Pour the four ounces of vodka into the spray bottle and mix it with the basil water by shaking gently.
You are now ready to apply your new insect repellent!
Now that the process is complete, attach the spray bottle nozzle. The mixture can be sprayed onto your skin or clothes (however, we recommend spraying primarily on the skin) to repel stinging insects. Keep the bottle out of reach of young children and take care not to get the spray in your eyes, nasal cavity or mouth. Of course if used in and around the pool, reapply after swimming.
Herbs like basil often contain powerful properties that go forgotten. It is nice to find alternatives to using chemical insect repellents and this mixture is easy to make and costs much less than the chemical versions. Here’s to saving time, money and providing a natural option for insect repellent this summer while we spend countless hours Living Poolside!