This time of year means WAR, war against the pests eating your vegetables and the insects that seem determined to eat YOU!
Always willing to destroy our attempt at outdoor summer activities, Mosquitoes top the list of offenders.
Let us give you a tool to defend yourself.
Corymbia citriodora is a tall tree, growing to 35 metres in height (but sometimes taller), from temperate and tropical north eastern Australia. It is also known as lemon-scented gum, blue spotted gum, lemon eucalyptus and eucalyptus citriodora.
The essential oil of the lemon-scented gum mainly consists of citronellal (80%), produced largely in Brazil and China.While unrefined oil from the lemon eucalyptus tree is used in perfumery, a refined form of this oil is used in insect repellents, especially against mosquitoes. The refined oil’s citronellal content is turned into cis- and trans- isomers of p-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD), a process which occurs naturally as the eucalyptus leaves age. This refined oil, which includes related compounds from the essential corymbia citriodora, is known widely by its registered tradename, “Citriodiol”, but also by generic names which vary by country or continent: “oil of lemon eucalyptus” or “OLE”(USA); “PMD rich botanic oil” or “PMDRBO”(Europe); “PMD and related oil of lemon eucalyptus compounds” (Canada); Extract of Lemon Eucalyptus (Australia). Pure PMD is synthesized for commercial production from synthetic citronellal. Essential oil refined from the leaves of the tree can contained up to 98% citronella content. The smell of the essential oil can vary, but mostly includes a strong odor compatible alone to citronella oil, with a slight hint of lemon scent. – Wikipedia
While I have used the Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil by itself, I developed a simple mixture that works just as well, if not better and a great and non-toxic alternative to DEET
Lemon Eucalyptus repellent:
2oz glass spray bottle
.8oz Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil
1.2oz ethanol (vodka)
Repels Mosquitoes for up to 6 hours
Depending on your luck, If you are able to get a quality supplier of the Lemon Eucalyptus Essential oil processed from mature trees, It alone will suffice, but from some providers the active ingredients may not be as potent.
The active ingredient comes directly from lemon eucalyptus citriodora oil. But in nature, the main component of the oil is citronellal and as the oil ages, that citronellal slowly turns into p-menthane-diol (PMD). PMD is the compound that is effective for repelling insects. This PMD is found only in small amounts in “young” oil, it must be harvested from older leaves/twigs and/or the citronellal is turned into PMD under mildly acidic conditions. You don’t know how much PMD is in the aromatherapy oil you buy, so it might not be very effective.
Some Repellent manufacturers use PMD and are very effective. If you would rather purchase an effective product than create your own.
Try this, highly rated on Amazon: Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Insect Repellent
Use just enough repellent to cover all exposed skin and clothing, spreading evenly with your hand to moisten. To apply to the face, spray it in your hand and then spread it to your face and neck. When applying to children, do not use Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent on their hands to prevent the accidental spread of repellent to their eyes or mouth. Oil of lemon eucalyptus-based repellent products are safe for children ages 3 years and older. Reapply once per day as needed.
Oil of lemon eucalyptus can be used on clothing and will not harm synthetic fabrics or gear made from synthetic materials. This product is designed for humans only, not pets.
Application for Pets:
Pets are likely to get this product into their eyes, nose, and/or mouths from licking or rubbing sprayed areas of fur which will burn and irritate a great deal, and also that the strong smell of this product will be difficult for pets with keen senses of smell (dogs and cats, particularly) to tolerate.
It’s much better to use the essential oil on pets, diluted or combined with other oils, and dot it on the spine (one drop at the base of the neck, one mid-back, one at base of tail. The skin oils distribute it, more effective and less irritating to the dog than spraying on the fur.