Say no to insect spray

Many people tend to reach for insect spray upon sighting a bug in their house, be it a cockroach, a spider, ants or other critters. But here is the catch, if it is harmful to insects, it is also harmful to humans and our pets.


A study conducted by the institute of Development Research in France has shown that DEET typically found in most insect sprays interferes with the enzymes that are vital for the nervous system to function properly. Some of you may have also purchased commercial insect sprays that claim to use “natural ingredients”, but as I mentioned above, if it will kill insects, it is also harmful to us.


The irony is that the insect spray is actually doing us more harm than the insect it is being sprayed on. Most insects are absolutely harmless to humans. Spiders generally stay away from people, they don’t like being around big things that make loud sounds (us humans that is). In fact spiders are actually beneficial for the home, they help trap and kill other insects in our homes.


We have grown up being taught that insects are scary and should be killed, but this is simply not true. So throw out the insect spray, if you see an insect, best to capture it and take it outside. There is no need to kill it, it is not going to hurt you.


Having said that, there are truly natural insect repellents that you can make yourself. Essential oils that repel insects include Citronella, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Clove, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Cajeput, Cedar, Lavender, Peppermint and Spearmint. To make a spray simply add about 40 drops of these oils, but definitely include the mint, into 250ml of water, and top it off with another 250 ml of witch hazel or alcohol, such as vodka. If you want to make less simple use less quantity of each. Add more essential oils for a stronger concoction.