By Emily Lauzon, Better Farm Sustainability Student & Intern
Up here in the North Country, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of flies! You take a step outside and there they are ready to bite and it doesn’t stop there—you come in from a hard day's work only to find that houseflies have invaded your living space as well! After a while, the buzzing can drive even the most balanced person clinically insane. So in order to stop the madness I have employed the fallowing methods in fly eradication. I hope that these also work for you!
Main concern number one, avoiding all the flies that bite! When I was first confronted with the awful swarms of the North Country I just tried to ignore them… that lasted about a week. Then I tried some all-natural bug spray we found laying around the house. I was confident in this, but I guess I am just so tasty the herbs in this mixture were the equivalent to gravy because it didn’t do a thing to keep them away.
Without the will to avoid it any longer I went for the last resort, chemical bug spray. The sticky, smelly, gross, aerosol can, you don’t want to be near small children or animals when you spray this kind. It finally worked! Then after a few hours, it didn’t. I was putting bug spray all over my body up to four times a day. Even though I was also putting lotion on daily my skin started to look like an alligator and peel off! Other than refusing to go outside for the rest of my life, inadvertently becoming a mole person, I didn’t know what to do.
Then I thought back to this awesome chick Rebecca who I shared a room with in June at Better Farm. We would always joke about why I would get bit instead of her. We always did suspect it might be that she wore lavender oil everyday. Could it be that the one thing these flies can’t stand is lavender?
As quickly as I could I got my dried up little paws on some lavender oil and coconut oil. Coconut oil a great moisturizer for the skin and gives the lavender oil something to be diluted in. Spooning coconut oil into an old pesto jar and adding five drops of pure lavender oil, I mixed well and hoped for the best. The next morning I went to test my product. The mixture had hardened again over night but since coconut oil has such a low melting point, all I had to do was scoop some out and melt it in my hands. I put a healthy layer all over my body and…. success!
I very rarely get bitten by any sort of fly, my skin is soft and smooth, and I smell great! I would definitely recommend this method to others. There are no real measurements that I have found. Just put a healthy amount of lavender oil in with the coconut oil, this will vary with the size of the contained. The lavender oil is very strong so I would try not to over do it. If you don’t think it is working you can always add more to your coconut oil mixture.
Disclaimer: Doesn’t repel mosquitos! This is my next project! For more information about Better Farm's Sustainability Education Program, click here.