before they bite you (GRAPHIC PHOTOS)

GRAPHIC PICTURES INSERTED BELOW

 

by David Stewart, Ph.D., R.A.

Among the many chemicals in our industrial environment that get into our systems and make us sick are the pesticides we use in our homes. We use them because they are toxic to the creatures that bug us, but they are also toxic to us. Sometimes the toxicity is immediately apparent: we get a headache, get sick or feel nauseous from the fumes or other contact.

Sometimes the toxicity is subtle and can accumulate resulting in chronic complaints and disorders (including allergies, cancer and miscarriages) that can be serious and even deadly over time. Sometimes we even put poisons on our pets to deal with ticks and fleas, not realizing that these substances are not healthy for us nor our animals.

~^~A Brown Recluse Experiment

Seeing how squirting a peppermint-water spray would kill flies in mid-air, I wondered what pure oil would do. So I did an experiment on a brown recluse spider. I captured a live one in a jar and carefully placed one drop of peppermint on one side. The pure peppermint repelled the spider who crowded to the other side to avoid the oil. When I tipped the jar to force the spider to fall into the oil, it merely squirmed and got away, still repelled by the oil, but not apparently harmed. Then I put a drop of water with the oil and tipped the jar so that the spider slid into the water and oil together and, instantly, it shriveled up died.

Conclusion: The oil alone is an insect repellant. Combined with water, it is an insecticide.


~^~Safe Insect Repellents

As far as repellents go, when you go into the woods and fields, put a little lavender around your ankles, wrists, and waist-band and you won’t have to worry about chiggers or ticks (or Lyme Disease of Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever). Lemongrass, Sage or Thyme would work, too, but might irritate your skin so put it on your pant cuffs and shirt sleeves.

As for your pets, you can put oils such as Purification, around their necks and backs, but watch to keep oils from around their eyes.

So there you have it. Non-toxic pest control.

~^~How to Use Oils for Pest Control

As YLEO distributors, we don’t need poisons to kill pests. We can repel them (and even sometimes kill them) with substances that are not only harmless to us but are actually healthful to us. To the right is a list of oils that will solve most of your pest problems around the house.

And how do you use them? One way is to get a pistol-grip squirt bottle. Mix a few drops of the oil with some water, shake it up, and start firing. If you have bugs on your plants, like aphids on your roses, you can squirt the leaves and drive the bugs away with no harm to your plant. You can do the same with the other pests. As for ants, you can smear a line of peppermint or spearmint across your kitchen counter or floor and the ants won’t cross it. If you already have a line of ants invading your house, just draw a line of oil across them and they will turn back.
It is fun to watch. And as for flies, you can knock them dead right out of the air with one shot from your pistol-grip.

~^~Specific Oils for Specific Insects

ANTS
Peppermint
Spearmint

APHIDS
Cedarwood
Hyssop
Peppermint
Spearmint

BEETLES
Peppermint
Thyme

CATERPILLARS
Spearmint
Peppermint

CHIGGERS
Lavender
Lemongrass
Sage
Thyme

CUTWORM
Thyme
Sage

FLEAS
Peppermint
Lemongrass
Spearmint
Lavender

FLIES
Lavender
Peppermint
Rosemary
Sage

GNATS
Patchouli
Spearmint

LICE
Cedarwood
Peppermint
Spearmint

MOSQUITOES
Lavender
Lemongrass

MOTHS
Cedarwood
Hyssop
Lavender
Peppermint
Spearmint

PLANT LICE
Peppermint
Spearmint

SLUGS
Cedarwood
Hyssop
Pine

SNAILS
Cedarwood
Pine
Patchouli

SPIDERS
Peppermint
Spearmint

TICKS
Lavender
Lemongrass
Sage
Thyme

WEEVILS
Cedarwood
Patchouli
Sandalwood

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2. Snake Oil and Other After-Bite Remedies
by David Stewart, Ph.D., R.A.

Therapeutic grade essential oils are not only good insect repellants, they are also excellent after you have been bitten. Essential oils are great detoxifiers for insect bites because their chemistry can break down the poison and render it harmless.

Because the molecules of essential oils are all lipid soluble and very tiny (less than 500 amus) they all transdermal. Thus, when applied to a bite, they pass through the skin in seconds, reacting with the toxins injected by the insect and reducing their toxic effects.

I was stung by a wasp recently and, within a few minutes, put Purification oil on it the area that had become red and swollen. The stinging sensation soon resided and within a few hours I could not tell that I had ever been stung.

~^~Do You Sell Snake Oil?

Those who sell good therapeutic grade essential oils are sometimes accused of “selling snake oil.” If you are ever so accused, your response should be, “Yes, I do. Would you like a bottle?”

There are those in Australia who know what “snake oil” really is because 100-200 years ago the Australians exported “snake oil” to America because it was in great demand from miners, trappers, and families who were moving into the wild and untamed West.

Early pioneers had to contend with many dangers which included not only their exposure to the weather and the threat of hostile Indians, but also the daily peril of rattle snake bites.

But there was a remedy. Traveling salesmen who serviced those early pioneers had an oil that, when applied to a snake bite, would penetrate the skin and detoxify the poison. That oil was Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternafolia). And that is how the traveling merchants of the West came to be known as “Snake Oil Salesmen.” In the beginning, it was a good name implying a good and effective product.

Unfortunately, back in the pioneering days, some of the traveling salesmen acquired bad reputations, not because their oils did not work, but because they were dishonest in other ways. But that is no reflection on the efficacy of melaleuca oil as an on-site detoxifier.

So there you are. Many of you really are snake oil salespeople after all. And you can be proud of it.

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Lee Stewart
Oils for Things that Bug You (February 2007)