We had the craziest weather today, it was sunny and it rained, then the sky got dark and we had an amazing thunder and lightning storm, then the hail came… our swollen creek is running so fast it should join the Olympic swimming team. The signs of summer are just not showing. Sure it’s spring in the Pacific Northwest, rain is the normal, but I have a nice reminder of summer on my leg and it’s not a tan. Apparently when I was standing in the rain talking to my neighbor the other night, I was being feasted on by mosquitoes! I noticed my leg itched, scratched it to find a huge welt. The suckers got me 6 different times on the same leg! Ugh. Isn’t it too early for mosquitoes?
I noticed that my jar of homemade lavender oil was sitting on the counter. So itchy and scratchy I decided to turn that into some mosquito repellent. We have a lavender bush and so does my best friend, with our flowers and the ones she gave me I put them into a mason jar then covered them with oil and let them sit. After they sat for several months, I strained them out of the oil then packed the jar full again of another batch of flowers and put the oil back on top. So essentially I soaked the oil twice. I’ve been using that lavender oil as my repellent for the last couple years, I’ve just kept it in the fridge and applied it when I needed it. Lavender oil works amazingly for mosquitoes, but you have to apply more often than you would the chemical types. So I wanted the power punch this year, I mean if they are out already and eating me alive like it’s June then I think we’ll need some good defenses this year. I went online and found that lemon and eucalyptus oil was the best oils to ward off mosquitoes, so I just happened to have a little bottle of essential oils. So I put some lemon eucalyptus oil in my lavender. Then I made a salve out of it. I wrote a previous blog about making salves here.
So I have my defenses for the year. But that doesn’t take care of my current problem, how much they itch! So I did a little looking and found some interesting ideas. I took these ideas from this site.
- Rub the bite with soap.
- Apply an ice pack to the bite.
- Mix baking soda with enough water to make a paste and apply to the bite.
- Apply lavender and tea tree oils with a swab.
- Rub a piece of freshly cut onion on the bite.
- A dab of toothpaste is soothing, too.
I’ve done baking soda on bee stings, the onion just sounds like it would sting like crazy, and I don’t use conventional toothpaste… The one thing the author suggests before the points above was to rub a banana skin on them. We have tons of bananas around and so I was itching enough, and the results were pretty fabulous actually. The banana skin took away the itch 100%. I am not sure how long it lasts but I’m willing to reapply. However a banana peel at work probably wouldn’t work, I think there I’d stick with some essential oils which could be easily applied in the restroom. Happy mosquito season folks, hope they are not going crazy on you like they are on me.