Researchers at Duke University have found that continuous exposure to DEET leads to memory loss and various behavioral changes in rats.
Apparently, it has been linked to various health issues such as sperm mutations, seizures, damage to the nervous and immune systems, itching, and more, and the Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has documented 8 deaths linked to its ingestion or topical application.
On the other hand, Scientific Reports published a study conducted by scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, which showed that coconut oil has strong insect repellent properties.
This oil contains fatty acids that protect against bed bugs and biting flies. Moreover, the lauric acid in its content provides potent antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Furthermore, if you mix coconut oil with some essential oil, like lavender, citronella, and tea tree oil, you will double the efficiency of your natural insect repellent.
For instance, try the following non-toxic bug repellent with coconut oil and various essential oils:
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/8 cup shea butter
- 4 tsp. beeswax granules
- 12 drops citronella essential oil
- 8 drops lemongrass essential oil
- 8 drops eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil
- 8 drops rosemary essential oil
- 8 drops cedarwood essential oil
Boil the water in a double boiler, lower the heat to medium-low and let the coconut oil and shea butter melt while whisking together. Then, add the beeswax, and whisk the granules into the coconut oil mixture. Dip a metal spoon in the liquid to check its texture, so if you want it firmer, add more beeswax, and if you like it softer, add more shea butter.
Then, remove the pan from heat, leave to cool for a few minutes, and whisk in the essential oils.
Pour the mixture into jars, leave it to cool at room temperature and cap them. Keep the jars at room temperature for easy application.