I've been wanting to try making some bug spray for awhile now but I always forget until we are actually out in the woods being bitten by mosquitos. This time I remembered a few hours earlier than usual so Wednesday morning, before heading out camping, saw me out picking some yarrow.
I think a yarrow tincture would be best to use (it would last longer and not "go off" as I think the one made from tea is likely to do) but for this trip I decided to make up a recipe using yarrow tea. I picked a large handful of yarrow leaves and simmered them in water for about 5 minutes and then left them to steep. I strained off the leaves and then poured the cooled "tea" into a jar with some witch hazel (maybe 2 parts tea to 1 part witch hazel) then added a few drops of lavender essential oil and a few drops of lemon grass essential oil. I can't say for sure if the spray worked but I came home from camping in the rainy woods with no mosquito bites so surely that is a good sign. Also, after several days with no shower a little something pretty smelling to spray on can't be a bad thing.
And...while I was steeping the yarrow for the tea I also finally took the time (ooh, about 2 minutes) to make a yarrow tincture so that I would have some for the next time I want to make bug spray.