Essential oils are made from plants and are normally derived from flowers and leaves, roots and stems. They are extracted from these plants by various methods, which take all of the essential properties from within the plant. What is left is a highly concentrated form of the Chemical Properties that was in the plant.
When essential oils are extracted from plants that have a natural insecticide quality, they tend to have a higher concentration of the chemicals of insecticide, and you will need to take extra precautions. Perhaps one of the most common misconceptions concerning essential oils is that since it is derived from a plant it is assumed that it is safe for both humans and animals. In most cases it is not toxic if diluted properly, the pure essential oils are normally highly concentrated and can be highly toxic.
When one is using essential oils that contain a natural insecticide, it is important that they are diluted. Normally to make a spray it would take 1/4 teaspoon of essential oil and that would then be diluted by approximately 1 cup of water and 1 cup of witch hazel. It only takes a very small amount of the natural insecticide oil due to it being so concentrated.
It is very easy to think that just because something is natural it is safe and a little more won’t hurt. When using natural insecticide oils because of their highly concentrated form is very important to remember that less is more.
Most any plant that has natural insecticide qualities can be made into an essential oil. And many of these oils are included in commercial insecticides. If you are buying a commercially prepared insecticide, even one that is considered natural, it is important to carefully read all of the ingredients on the labels.
Often times you’ll find synthetic insecticides mixed in with the natural insecticides. One of the only ways to ensure that you are using a completely natural insecticide is to prepare your own. As you can control the type of natural insecticides you are adding, as well as the amount you want included.
Many natural insecticides can be very toxic especially in high doses, and you should use caution when working with pyrethums, nicotine, and rotenone. Granted these are all derived from natural sources, but due to their natural insecticide qualities being so strong they can be harmful and should be used sparingly if you are able to even find them. Normally these natural insecticide oils are not available to the general public due to their toxicity.
Some of the most common natural insecticides that can be beneficial for you around your home and within your garden, that come in essential oil form are; Catnip Oil, Citrus Oil, and Neem Oil.
Catnip oil can be diluted into a spray and used around your home as a deterrent for mosquitoes. It can also be added to homemade insect repellent but it can be a skin irritant to people with sensitive skin and is not recommended that it be used on children. It makes your cats really happy too!
Citrus oils are known to kill fleas and repel other types of insects. These oils can be diluted and sprayed on your carpets and furniture. You can also dilute this even further and use it as a final rinse on your dog. Do not use citrus oils on your cats, as it is toxic to them.
Neem Oil has a natural insecticide quality and is also found in many head lice treatments, as it is effective as a natural insecticide. This can also be diluted and used within your garden.
In general any essential oil made from a plant with natural insecticide qualities can be used in and around your home and yard provided you take precautions with their highly concentrated form and that you dilute them appropriately.