Your clothing is your first line of defense against intrusive stinging insects, while insect repellent is customarily applied to your exposed skin. However, it's possible to infuse essential oils that naturally repel insects into your clothing. Insect repellent clothing discourages mosquitoes, flies and other stinging pests from ever landing on you, keeping you sting free. Here's a guide on how to infuse oils and smells into your clothing to repel bugs, without resorting to chemicals.
Step 1: Mix a Natural Insect Repellent
One way to infuse your clothes with a natural insect repellent is to put a few drops of a mixture directly on it. While you wear the garment, the aroma of the essential oil will repel insects.
In a small bottle, mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 1 tablespoon of Aloe Vera gel. Add 20 drops of lavender essential oil. Mix this thoroughly. When it is well blended together, simply apply a few drops of this on various places on your clothing.
Step 2: Alternative Mixes
The same carrier (olive oil and Aloe Vera) is used, but different essential oils can be used in the same amount: 20 drops. Citronella or lemon balm is offensive to mosquitoes, as are thyme and lavender. For repelling stinging black flies, try cedar or sassafras essential oil.
Step 3: Dryer Infusion
Another method you can try is to take a clean handkerchief and apply 20 or so drops of your favorite essential oil on it. Much like a dryer sheet, put it in with a load of clothes to be dried. Not only will the load of wash come out of the dryer smelling wonderful, but it will have infused the aroma into all of the clothes for a period of time. It will not last forever, but the scent will remain at least until the next wash. If mosquitoes are a problem where you live, try this method to repel them.
Step 4: Fresh Basil Method
Take 4 ounces of fresh basil and pour the same amount of boiling water over it. Cover and let it steep for several hours. Strain the leaves out, pouring the basil-infused water into a spray bottle. Add 4 ounces of vodka and mix thoroughly. This infusion can be sprayed directly on your clothes as another means of repelling stinging insects.
It's easy to repel insects the natural way by making an essential oil mixture and applying it to your clothes, or infusing a load of clothes in the dryer. Without resorting to chemicals, insects will be offended by the odor of the essential oil coming off of your clothes.