Thursday, September 25, 2014


I finally figured out what's the matter with me -- why I feel woozy and unwell most of the time, why my sinuses have been acting up since July, why my possible bronchitis hung on for so long -- bug spray. Eco bug spray, to be specific, because, gosh, I don't want to poison my plants or pets. But this stuff. It's poisoning me. What is the safe threshold for clove and mint oils? How about a little menthol? How about whatever the hell else is in there that I don't know about? Because I have to leave the backdoor open for the puppy to piddle and poo, and there is no screen door, the flies have been nearly pouring in the small opening, hence the eco bug spray. I usually don't subscribe to such things as I'm pretty handy in the apothecary and can whip up a batch of peppermint spray to rid myself of the flies and whatnot that manage to squeeze in here and there, but other people in this house think my efforts are lame. The thing is, there are no fewer flies buzzing around now that they're air bombing the house with eco bug spray than there was when I was judiciously squirting a shot of homemade bug spray here and there. Victims of slick marketing, those people. I have no problem, however, shooting that stuff in the back strip to get rid of the hovering masses of flies that alight on a single scrap of puppy poo. The whole city is suffering from an abundance of flies this year, I'm thinking perhaps because of the drought. Everywhere you go where there's an outdoor trash receptacle, there's a black mass of buzzing flies. It's crazy. The upside is that the weather is set to cool soon and the flies will be a thing of the past -- and so will that ineffective eco spray.

So, yeah, that was my 'ah-ha' moment.

I'm out of olive oil and want to make soap, so perhaps on my way home from the costume store in San Luis Obispo this evening, I will stop and pick up a liter. There's a sweet bottle of sandalwood oil sitting here just screaming to be put into some soap.


  1. But that fly is so pretty! :)
    Can I ask what you put in your homemade bug spray? I made some for my mother (she lives in mosquito and tick infested northern Wisconsin) with some essential oils and a witch hazel base, she said it worked "okay" which probably means it didn't but she didn't want to hurt my feelings.

    1. I know, he is pretty. And annoying :) My bug spray is a little unorthodox as I mix naturals and a tiny bit of bleach to the mix, not enough to bleach anything out, but just enough to stun the flies. I use 32 ounces of water, 20 drops of peppermint oil, 5 drops of clove oil, a tsp of bleach, and a tsp of boric acid. The bottle this is mixed into has to be shaken just before it's sprayed to mix everything around. I set the sprayer on the direct shot and go for individual bugs rather than fogging a room with it. It works just as good, or better, in my opinion, as the store bought eco stuff. Beats chasing them around with a fly swatter :)



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