That gave me an idea. Obviously, making a natural product is no guarantee that it won’t cause a reaction but it could lessen the odds, right? Maybe? Anyway, I took this logic with me as I set out to make my own mosquito repellant.
Here’s how I did it:
Step one: Google search natural mosquito repellants, find a few recipes that sound simple and realize that this could work out.
Step two: Realise that you don’t have all the ingredients to make any one of the recipes properly but figure that you have a good enough idea to figure something out.
Step four: Put leaves in a container and, because you don’t have a mortar and pestle, just smoosh them as well as you can by hand, then pour boiling water over them.
Step five: Toss in some whole cloves because, hey, why not?
Step six: Have second thoughts about whether whole cloves will do the trick and add some powdered cloves too.
Step seven: It has a nice smell so take a good whiff and pat yourself on the back for doing a good job so far.
Step eight: Fragrant water isn’t going to stick to your skin very well, right? So let’s add some oil to this mixture. Baby oil, to be precise, because that’s what I had.
Step nine: The scent of the baby oil doesn’t meld so well with the clovey, tea tree scent, but what the heck, it should still work. Hopefully.
Step ten: Maybe it won’t work. Wild garlic is also supposed to repel mosquitoes and there’s wild chives growing in the garden, which is close enough. Pick some and tear them into your jar then put the lid on.
Step eleven: Shake the jar throughout the day and admire the ominous colour that the water is turning. After a few hours the oil also starts turning a pale beige so take the lid off and give it a smell.
Step twelve: Wow. Hurriedly put the lid back on and try not to gag.
In hindsight, I think adding the chives was a very bad idea but I strained the liquid into a bottle with every intention of using it. By the time I was finished, indecision had settled in. Did I really want to smell so bad that I made myself nauseous, even if it does keep the mozzies away? I didn’t have the guts to put it on my skin but I dabbed some of it onto the furniture around the bed. It didn’t scare the mosquitoes away completely but I think there were less of them buzzing around. If you decide to try something like this at home, please, follow a proper recipe.