Eating to Repel Biting Insects
Updated: Jul 17
Did you know that what we eat and feed our fur kids can help repel biting insects?
In past blogs, I've shared different safe natural repellents you can apply to your dogs and cats, as well as some supplements that can make dogs and cats less tasty to biting bugs. (Read it here) Now we can add some vegetables, fruits and herbs that you can eat with your pets to help you both!
Lemongrass: This lovely plant from Asia works both topically and internally. Not only that, but it's safe around cats! Add it to soups and curries.
Apple Cider Vinegar: APV can be added to salad dressings and makes a tangy, refreshing drink when you add a little honey and sparkling water. It can be added to your dog's food or water, although I prefer adding it to their food. Start with 1/4-1/2 teaspoon to be sure they like the taste.
Garlic: Raw garlic in salads is ideal, but cooked garlic can be helpful as well. It is safe to add a small amount of garlic to your dog's food. Again, raw is best. Start with 1/4 teaspoon or less for small dogs. Mix well into wet food. Cats will not likely go for it.
NOTE: Raw onions are great for you to eat to repel insects, but are NOT okay for your animals.
Citrus: I just learned that citrus contains the chemical compound nootkatone. Insects do not like it at all. Grapefruit has the highest amount, but oranges, lemons and limes have it too. Eat by themselves, in salads, add lemon juice to everything! NOTE: I wouldn't necessarily recommend citrus for dogs and NEVER for cats.
There a a bunch of safe and wonderful herbs that biting insects don't like. You can plant them around the house as well as add many of them to salads, as toppings and in soups.
Catnip: Mosquitoes don't like catnip! Make a tea from the leaves and flowers. Drink hot or iced. It also is a great tummy tonic. 'Nuf said about how much cats love it...It can be added to their food or as a "topper." Fine for dogs too!
Lavender: We all know its lovely scent. Add flowers to salads and soups, Really nice added to lemonade! May be too strong to add to your animal's food but safe to have in vases or dried bundles around the house.
Marigolds: They are excellent to plant around your vegetable garden to repel aphids, thrips, hornworms and others that like to eat vegetables. Mosquitoes don't like their unique odor either. The marigold flower is also known as calendula, a wonderful skin healer when made into a salve. It smells like chocolate when cooked.
Basil: One of my favorites. I put it in salads, add it to soups, sauces and of course pesto! Add a tiny amount to your dog's food to see if they like it. It has calming effects on dogs.
Enjoy eating (and planting) these foods and herbs. They have so many more benefits beyond helping to repel biting insects. Learn more about them and share!
With Love, Your Voice of Animals,