A few years back and two homes ago we developed a big problem with pantry moths. I am not totally sure how it all began because I never had a big problem with them before, perhaps a few here and there. This particular year though I could barely keep anything in the pantry that they did not infest within a couple weeks and they found hiding places in closets, under couches, etc. They destroyed cereal, almond flour, rice, dried fruit, and so many other pantry items.
When we moved shortly thereafter we took them with us because they had cocooned in various hiding places. By that time I was sick of all the wasted food and the larvae are just gross as heck. It was time to end their reign.
Of course any attack in my arsenal has to be natural. No way am I going to spray toxic insecticides near my food. Every thing we did involves some elbow grease and natural alternatives.
Our attack was three-fold.
- We used sticky moth traps that attract with pheromones
- I cleaned the pantry out once every two weeks with soap and water and put all attractive foods in mason jars
- I used a spray repellent in the pantry to keep them out of there
Pantry Moth Repellent Spray
2 ounces white vinegar
10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
10 drops bay laurel essential oil
10 drops lemon essential oil
5 drops rosemary essential oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
Combine all the ingredients in a dark glass bottle with a spray mist top. Shake well with each use and spray on clean shelves and walls, making sure you get all cracks and crevices. Repeat every month to prevent the moth eggs from hatching and to prevent re-infestation. You can also spray a couple cotton balls and place in pantry corners or their favorite hiding places.
We were able to get rid of our moth problem entirely. No more damaged pantry food!
Who needs expensive beauty counter anti aging lotions and potions? This anti-aging face cream can be made at home using natural ingredients such as basil and avocado oil. It is soothing and hydrating and it uses non oily avocado oil, though you can use any carrier oil of your choosing. If you have problem skin pick one that has a low comedogenic rating (see this chart for ratings). It also provides the option of the three different essential oils. All are great for your skin and anti-aging in general but you can pick the one you have on hand.
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves and stems
1/3 cup witch hazel
1 tsp. avocado oil (or your favorite carrier oil)
2 tsp. Shea Butter (or your favorite butter)
1.5 tsp Emulsifying Wax
7-10 drops frankincense, rosehip, or geranium essential oils
Using a food processor combine witch hazel and basil leaves and witch hazel and blend well. Strain the now-green witch hazel into a half-pint canning jar, until you have ¼ cup of basil liquid. If you don’t have enough liquid add a little water to reach the ¼ cup.
In a microwavable bowl add Shea butter, Almond oil and emulsifying wax. Heat in 30-second increments until melted and smooth.
Add basil mix to the butter mix and slowly stir and allow it to cool and thicken. Once fully thickened add 7-10 drops of your desired essential oil. If your skin is dry add 10. Once fully thickened and cooled pour into half pint storage jars and seal. Keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!
Essential oils can be categorized into eight broad groups. It can be really helpful to know these groups and what oils go in each because it can help you choose alternative oils to fit your needs when you don’t have the exact one you want. For example…if you want a strong floral oil for a DIY essential oil perfume and you don’t have the jasmine essential oil you want you can easily choose another from the floral category such as Neroli. Or if you need an earthy essential oil to make a beard oil product for your husband and you don’t have sandalwood, then you can elect to use another woodsy/earthy oil such as cedarwood. It helps when you know the general groups the essential oils fall into.
Antiseptic Essential Oils
These oils are antiseptic and cleansing with a strong camphorous smell. They are great for disinfection uses.
Citrus Essential Oils
These oils all have refreshing and stimulating citrus.
Fresh Essential Oils
These oils have strong stimulating and refreshing scents.
Floral Essential Oils
Light and relaxing floral oils:
Heady, strong floral oils:
- Rose Otto
Herby Essential Oils
- Clary Sage
Spicy Essential Oils
These are warm and spicy oils.
- Black Pepper
Woodsy/Earthy Essential Oils
These oils have the lovely earthy scents from the nature all around us.
- Ylang Ylang
Palmarosa essential oil is refreshing and rejuvenating. It has a sweet floral fragrance and its performance in cellular support and skin health make it highly valuable in skin care products, soaps, and beauty products. Palmarosa is closely related to lemongrass and citronella but the smell is actually closer to roses. It is often used as a cheaper substitute to rose oil which is quite pricey.
The esters in palmarosa, such as geranyl acetate make this oil good for skin problems and scarring. The high concentration of alcohols, especially geranol, give it an uplifting aroma and its documented antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. It is perfect for any skin issues, such as what teens face during puberty. It makes a great skin conditioning agent and toner. It conditions by helping keep the skin supple and elastic. It supports skin cells and helps them regenerate to keep the skin healthy and younger looking. It hydrates the skin and stimulates new cell growth and cell repair. It also helps balance the skin’s natural sebum production.
It is greatly beneficial when added to lotions, anti aging creams, toners, facial mists, facial masks, acne creams, and other beauty products.
The oil is also commonly used for digestive support as a soothing tonic. Adding a couple drops to bath water or to some almond oil and massaging the tummy is sure to help with digestion.
It being so closely related to citronella also makes this another great oil for keeping insects at bay.
It diffuses beautifully with bergamot, cedarwood, chamomile, clary sage, frankincense, ginger, lemon, lemongrass, mandarin, orange, rosemary, sandalwood, and ylang ylang.
Palmarosa is also a mild aphrodisiac. It was once thought that the perfume of palmarosa would evoke the love goddess Venus. Scenting the body with palmarosa was also supposed to surround the wearer with an aura of love and tranquility. You can boost its properties in this regard by mixing it with other essential oils known for boosting sex drive such as ylang ylang and sandalwood.
Fresh, sweet, citrus-y citronella is one of my absolute favorite essential oils and one that I use quite often in my home. It’s amazing and strong citrus scent stimulates the mind and the body. It lifts your mood, balances emotions, and helps people get rid mental fatigue. It relaxes your muscles and eases aches. It is antiseptic and antifungal so it is wonderful for cleaning and it is a great insect repellent.
Ways to use citronella
- Add a few drops to some epsom salts and add to your bath for a mood boost and mosquito protection.
- Mix 5 drops with your body lotion or shower gel.
- Boost insect repelling properties by mixing with geranium, eucalyptus, or lavender oils.
- Soak your pet’s collar in 2 cups of water with 5 drops of citronella. Once dry put it on your pet for flea protection.
- Diffuse in your home when fatigued, sad, or experiencing head pain.
- Diffuse when you need to be uplifted and inspired during work or other creative endeavors.
- Purify sickrooms or other germy areas of the home.
- Use it in especially “smelly” areas of the home such as bathrooms or a teenager’s bedroom.
- Add to baking soda to make a carpet powder or to sprinkle inside stinky sneakers.
- Mix with a carrier oil and rub yourself down after workouts to alleviate soreness.
- Diffuse to support respiratory health.
- Add a few drops to your washing machine for fresh smelling laundry.
I love using citronella oil on its own but my absolute favorite way to use it is in a blend called Purification. It may actually be my favorite essential oil product ever. It is definitely my favorite one to diffuse (along with lemon) when I am cleaning house or I am going to have guests. It has citronella, lavandin, lemongrass, rosemary, myrtle, and tea tree. I love it and must have it on hand at all times.