Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Homemade Mosquito Repellent ~ Summer is Not Over

I know it's a bit late in the season, but I have been wanting to try a recipe using basil and vodka.  The temperatures soared up to the 90's this week.  It definitely feels like summer is still here.  

I spent the early part of the week deep cleaning my kitchen.  That was a relief, and it kept me out of the heat.

I also took some time to file recipes, pitch the ones that didn't make the cut, and recycle most of the paper.  

The kids are still sick, and I am feeling better.  There is nothing worse than to have severe congestion when it's 95°F outside.

To make my mosquito spray, I placed clean basil leaves in a glass measuring cup, and poured 1/2 cup boiling water over it.  I let it steep for 4 hours, covered.  I did not find recipes that had actual measurements, so I simply filled a 2 cup glass measuring cup with leaves.

I squeezed the leaves, then poured the infusion into a spray bottle, and added 1/2 cup of vodka.  I used 80 proof, and yes I went there.  The guy at the counter wants me to get back with him to let him know if my spray works.  Another guy walked in and told me I could just get "snockered" on margaritas and that would keep the mosquitoes off of me. Of course I laughed, but high-tailed it out of there. 

Then I used it.  See these weeds?  It's only a fraction of my garden.  Or what used to be my garden. The entire thing is like this now.  Can you see the pea fence?  That's how tall the weeds are.  Sad, I know, but I knew it would be infested with mosquitoes, so I sprayed myself down with my homemade spray and got to work.

The results?  Well, if there were mosquitoes out there, I didn't feel any biting me.  I will store this over winter and check it in the spring.  These past cool nights may have killed off most of our mosquitoes.  To make an accurate report is difficult. Everything I read about herbal infused vodkas, said it could last for several years if the vodka is more than 10% in the bottle.  I'll probably be back in the spring with an update on this.  

Lola, the only tetra-tint (hybrid) chicken we had, passed away this week.  We don't know why either.  Sometimes you just don't.  Her comb has been drooping for a few weeks now, and she hadn't been acting like she was feeling well.  She was only about 2 years old.  I just read up on her symptoms (should not have waited this long), and we probably should have tried giving her olive oil, or bread soaked in olive oil.  I guess this homesteading "thing" comes with many lessons.  We did put organic apple cider vinegar in the water.

We do have signs of another rat in the chicken barn, so traps will be set again.  Where are the hawks and owls when you need them?

I'm sharing a beautiful sunset this time, versus a sunrise.  The trees along the creek prevent us from seeing the sun set completely, but this was a photo moment.  

Update on the spray:  I tried it to repel a fly that got in the house.  I sprayed my legs and feet, and the fly continued to bite me.  


Candy C. said...

That is a lovely sunset! Sorry about your chicken. Those weeds do look like they would be a mosquito haven, glad your spray worked!

Kim said...

Interesting about the bug spray. I just use a dryer sheet! Beautiful sunset.

EMMA said...

So sorry to hear about your chicken.
Like the sound of your spray. Do you think it will work against horse flys? I got bitten 4 times on the same leg, at the same time, this summer, and it swelled up so much and was so painful I was unable to walk for two days. We don't have many mosquitoes here as we have a dry alpine climate.

Kristina said...

I am not sure if it will repel a horse fly yet. We do have them here, and I have been bitten this season too. We buy a natural fly spray for our goats, and my daughter actually sprays it on herself while she's out at the barn. I will keep using and let you know. I tried a lemon-vodka infusion for flies, but it doesn't always work, so I will continue to experiment and update you.

Willow said...

Love that sunset photo.
I may try that on my mini horses next year as the small midges drive them nuts ... perhaps it will repell them or at least make them too drunk to fly lol I may infuse some marigolds into the mix as well as that is another naturall repellant ... together it all may do the trick!

RB said...

So sorry to hear about the chicken. Did you call a vet?

Sorry to hear the bug spray doesn't work on flies too. I sure could use a good unscented one at work, cause for some reason, the store's been flooded with flies, midges and gnats something awful lately.

God bless.


Beansieleigh said...

So sorry about your chicken.. Like the recipe for making mosquito repellant though!.. I can just see making it now. A little for the me, a little for the mosquitos, a little for me.. and so on! (0; Have a great weekend! ~tina

Kristina said...

Beansieleigh, you gave me a laugh with that comment - ha ha!