Crazy things happen when you enter parenthood. You are now responsible for a young thing who is completely dependent on you. You over think. You protect. You care more about this little thing than you have really cared about anything else. Things change.
The word 'DEET' never mattered to me until I became a mom. When my little one was 5, I sent her to nature camp in New Jersey. I hadn't really heard of or read about mosquitoes that kill. Instructions from camp were to apply bug spray so I did. I read the bug sprays with DEET are most powerful. They work. Bravo. My kid will be safe now.
Since our move to LA, we've been spending way too much time outside. There is a lovely Discovery Bird Park near the Ballona Nature Preserve near us that my family visits often.
Over the last few years, every summer there has been influx of mosquitoes carrying viruses. One year, it was West Nile, another year, it was Zika. And we often see signs and warnings about these bugs in our area (which would make sense, swampy lands are often breeding grounds for mosquitoes). Which means, the Kapoors will need to put insect repellent in the dawn-to-dusk hours on a regular basis. Insect Repellent with DEET will now come to our rescue, right?
Hmm. Not so fast.
Since I have been on a natural and DIY quest, I did a little Google search on DEET. I realized that DEET wasn't the safest of chemicals. Because it can kill bugs, it possibly can harm other life forms too. Bad news. Of course, not everyone agrees, but I wanted to do my bit.
That's when I started to make my own Bug Oil. So far, I have I have made two rounds, and what I have realized is that it works perfectly when our family is sitting in the garden or hanging out in the playground or outdoor restaurant.
This recipe was inspired from Tiffany's Don't Waste the Crumbs website (its a great blog btw). This is what I used to make my bug oil:
4 tablespoons of avocado oil (or sweet almond oil)
20 drops of eucalyptus oil
20 drops of peppermint oil
I just put it all in a glass jar, and gave it a nice shake. Essential oils keep better in an opaque/darker jar. So when I stored it, that's what I did.
This is what I also realized. When my family is camping or in a seriously wooded area, I am not sure if my oil would be strong enough to fight the ticks or some crazy bugs. So, on those trips, I will still take the Deet spray along.