Editor's Note: We have no first-hand experience with these remedies that have been gathered from various sources. For those concerned about chemicals, they offer a possible alternative to commercial products. In some cases, instructions are a little vague, so a degree of experimenting may be necessary.
Collect a batch of citrus fruit. Oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and limes all work, and can be tried in combination. Squeeze out the juice. It might be a good idea to remove all of the inside pulp, but it's more work and not necessary.
Put all of the squeezed-out rinds in a big pot, and fill it with water. Bring to a boil, and then turn down the heat and simmer for several hours.
When the rinds have reached a limp, squishy state, scoop them up and mash them in order to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Return that liquid to the pot, and continue to simmer for a few more hours, allowing the liquid to cook down to some degree. Cool the liquid and pour through a fine strainer or cheesecloth to remove the pulp. Bottle it up and refrigerate.
In case you wind up with more than you can use in a reasonable time, the liquid freezes well and works fine when thawed. (Remember, this concoction doesn't have "preservatives".)
You may also add a quarter of a cup or so to a dog's bathwater. The liquid is not sticky, does not stain coats, and kills fleas on contact.
I dug deep in my herbal formula for this recipe out of desperation, given that I live in the epicenter of the tick-generated Lyme disease epidemic. I tested the essential oil that is recommended for ticks, Rose Geranium, by putting a few drops no more! on our dogs' collars, to see if it would repel ticks. Lo and behold, we went from 20 ticks a day on each dog, to none.
Two tablespoons of vegetable or nut oil almond oil contains sulfur, a repellent in its own right.
10 to 25 drops of Rose Geranium essential oil.
Combine the ingredients in a glass jar; shake to blend. Makes 2 tablespoons. Shelf life: six months. Dab a few drops on skin or clothing, making sure to avoid eyes.
Palmerosa is a sister essential oil to Rose Geranium, and it also repels ticks. It is cheaper, and sometimes easier to find, than Rose Geranium. Another good repellent that also worked on our dogs is feeding them garlic pills on a daily basis.
This is not a flea control; it just kills fleas on contact. Put ¾ to 1 inch of rubbing alcohol in the bottom of any size jar. Add a tiny bit of Dawn dish detergent. Pour warm water into job to top and mix together. Apply this to a DRY dog and work into a lather. Rinse. All fleas will be dead. Use cream rinse on dog after bathing.
We have no idea why this one works, but people swear by it. Put some water in a white dinner plate and add a couple of drops of Lemon Fresh Joy dish detergent. Set the dish on your porch, patio, or other outdoor area. Mosquitoes flock to the dish and drop dead shortly after drinking the mixture usually within about ten feet of the dish.
ANTIC, March, 2006
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