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Fight pests naturally – and frugally

Now that the weather has warmed up, the mosquitos are coming out and literally bugging us. How do you fight them off, yet be environmentally conscious and all natural, and remain frugal at the same time?

The answer is peppermint oil. It's just a nice fragrance to us humans, but to most insects, particularly fleas and mosquitos, it's a repellent. Since you can buy peppermint oil in concentrated form, a little goes a long way. This saves you money. Here's how you use it.

• Put a few drops here and there on your clothing, like inside pockets and in areas where you perspire the most, since those are the areas mosquitos will be drawn to, like your collar and armpits. 

• You can also dilute one part peppermint oil with 10 parts rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle, and use it on plants, pets and clothing, as well as yourself. 

• Mix some of the peppermint oil with other oils that are also natural insect repellents like rosemary oil, lemongrass oil and lemon eucalyptus oil, then mix it with rubbing alcohol or dab it in key spots on your body. This increases the number of bugs you'll be repelling, since different bugs are repelled by different scents. As an added bonus, you'll find that adding lemon eucalyptus oil increasing the length of time you're protected by five or six hours.

• While you are repelling insects, you can also condition and soften your skin by adding a little vitamin E. Break open one capsule and mix it into the peppermint oil.

Bear in mind that while this method is effective in repelling insects, it can irritate your skin, so do a skin test by applying a little on the inside of your forearm and monitor it for any reaction. You will also want to wash our skin thoroughly after use with soap and hot water. 

Published Apr 26 2012, 01:27 PM by moneycoach
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