Biting flies are a nightmare. Here’s a list of essential oils that repel biting flies and some prevention tips to stay protected from their bite!
Belonging to the order ‘Diptera,’ biting flies feasts on human and livestock blood. Even some of their species are capable of transmitting diseases through their bites. While feeding on their host, biting flies inject saliva that can induce life-threatening allergic reactions in some people.
Types of Biting Flies
Some fly species are only a nuisance to homeowners, while the others bite humans and animals for blood. Below is the list of biting flies that triggers allergic reactions, transmit diseases, and sometimes do not cause any harm rather than the bite itself.
- Deer Flies
- Horse Flies
- Stable Flies
- Black Flies
- Biting Midges
- Yellow Flies
Essential Oils That Repel Biting Flies
Extracted from the leaves of the catnip plant (Nepeta cataria), the catnip essential oil is an excellent “Stable flies” deterrent. Thanks to its active ingredient named ‘Nepetalactone,’ catnip essential oil is all you need to get rid of the flies.
Fill a dropper bottle with 10-15 drops of catnip essential oil and 3-4 tsp of coconut oil and shake it well. Take a sufficient amount of this blend onto your palm and rub it on your skin when going outdoors.
2. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil is a potent repellent against mosquitoes and other species of biting flies, thanks to its strong fragrance. Its two monoterpenoids: menthol and menthone are the reason behind the peppermint oil’s excellent insect repellency.
To protect yourself from biting flies, pour 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil and 3-4 tsp of jojoba oil into an empty dropper bottle. Don’t forget to shake it well before using it every time. Next, dispense a small amount of the prepared solution on your palm and apply it to the exposed body parts.
3. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is an exceptional natural insect deterrent. Mosquitoes, midges, and stable flies can’t stand against its strong, pungent smell. Furthermore, lavender oil has analgesic and antiseptic properties, meaning along with repelling biting flies, it calms and soothes your skin too.
Take a small fine mist spray bottle and fill it with 8-10 drops of lavender essential oil, and 3-4 tsp of almond oil. Jiggle it a bit and spray it on your hands, neck, arms, face, and other body parts to prevent the bites of biting flies.
Also known as melaleuca oil, the tea tree essential oil is a perfect alternative to chemical-based biting flies repellent. According to this study, melaleuca oil keeps the mosquitoes and biting midges at bay for a long period of time. However, make sure to dilute it first with a suitable carrier oil.
Mix 15-20 drops of tea tree oil and 4-5 tsp of jojoba oil into a fine mist spray bottle. Spritz it on your exposed body parts. For maximum protection, reapply this solution whenever you go outside.
To repel biting flies from inside and outside of your home, pour the same proportion of essential oil and carrier oil into a bowl. Soak a few cotton balls into it and place them strategically.
The lemongrass essential oil is obtained from the aerial parts of the ‘Cymbopogon citratus’ plant. It consists of four active compounds, namely Geranial (α-citral), neral (β-citral), geraniol, and citronellol, making lemongrass essential oil one of the most effective stable flies repellent.
Pour 10-15 drops of lemongrass essential oil and 3-4 tsp of avocado oil into a dropper bottle. Using the dropper, pour enough amount of this solution onto your palm and then rub it on your body parts to do the trick.
While handling the essential oils, it’s vital to follow the below precautions.
- Always dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil for topical usage.
- If you notice any irritation or sensitivity, stop using the above remedies.
- Before using the essential oil hacks, first, do a patch test inside of your forearm.
- These biting flies remedies are suitable for adults and not for children.
How to Prevent Flies Bite?
Along with using the essential oils, you can also follow the below prevention tips to ensure maximum safety against biting flies.
- Don’t go outside unnecessarily during the day when the biting flies are more prevalent.
- Before going outside, always wear light-hued long-sleeve shirts, long pants, boots, and hats.
- Flies get attracted to trash cans and open food sources that’s why manage them appropriately.
- Always use the essential oil insect repellent before going outdoors.
- Use window and door screens to keep the flies out.
This article proves that natural ingredients like essential oils are an effective way to repel biting flies. This is good news for those people who want to avoid exposure to toxic chemical-filled products. Besides, essential oils deter wasps as well.