It’s that time of the year where you will find yourself fighting bug bites and naturally, you will be on the hunt for solutions. Why not make your own insect repellent using natural ingredients such as yarrow?
The most conventional sprays that many of us go for has a chemical known as DEET – which has been found to have adverse health effects on users.
They have been found to have detrimental effects, particularly on children with some even developing seizures. According to a paper published by Human and Experimental Toxicology in 2001, DEET-based repellents could result in brain damage and brain disorders.
In simple terms, DEET is not something you should use without caution. Luckily, there is a new way to make your own natural insect repellent just as effective but safer to you and your family. The answer you have been looking for is yarrow-based tinctures.
Achillea millefolium is a plant usually known as yarrow is known to grow in most parts of Asia, Europe and North America thus if you live in any of these regions, you are bound to find them growing on their own. So, why not take advantage and use them to make something useful.
A Guide to Making a Yarrow Insect Repellent
The first thing you will have to do is find fresh leaves, flowers, flower buds, seeds and stalks preferably from the top third of the yarrow plant. As stated earlier, finding a yarrow plant should not be much of a hustle with most growing wild in temperate regions.
You will notice that they have white, red, pink or yellow flowers but the best for this recipe are those with white or pink flowers. After assembling the plant parts, it’s now time to start your preparation.
- The first thing you should do is to remove any damaged parts and wash the roots.
- Chop all the yarrow parts into small pieces (Do Not Chop Flowers and buds)
- Find a Clean Jar and fill it with the chopped parts followed by 100 proof Vodka or Vinegar-Vodka is usually the better option based on the fact that it does not produce smelly repellents.
- Label the jar with a sticker that indicates it’s date-this will help with tracking purposes.
- Cap the Jar and wait till the next day to add more liquid. This will give the plant parts the time to absorb the liquid.
- Top up frequently as the liquid level reduces.
- The mixture should be left for about 6 weeks.
- When it’s ready, you will need to strain the liquid into a spray bottle and it’s ready for use!
You can also make the tincture from dried yarrow just in case you find it difficult to source fresh ones. You can use dry yarrow roots for this. You will have to put the roots in a glass jar, add 100 proof vodka and follow the steps described above.
Mind you, the resultant repellent will not be as effective as the ones made from fresh ones.
How to Use
Spray the repellent every half an hour if the mosquitoes are prevalent or simply skip a few hours if they are not many.
It’s time to rush and make your yarrow insect repellent and avoid those painful mosquito bites. More so, you will be protecting yourself against diseases such as malaria.