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Insecticide from Citrus Peels?  RSS feed

 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
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Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
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Many commercially available insecticides that are supposedly on the safer side are made with lemonine and other citrus oils.  We eat a lot of citrus, mostly lemons and oranges.  We eat the white inner peel, but shave off the yellow or orange bits with the concentrated oils with a knife. 

Anybody got any ideas on how to extract the oils for some sort of bug repellent?  Not looking anything hard core, just something that will repel household bugs...  mostly ants and the occasional flea.

 
                      
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Most of what I've seen about extracting oils suggests that you simply soak the peels in oil. Maybe cut them into smaller pieces to make it go faster. Soak them in just enough oil to cover them for a day or two. Just my two cents. Best of luck!
 
                        
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slightly related and may not help...
when I was at a permaculture project a couple of years ago the dishwashing detergent was made from a combination of wood ashes and water that had orange and lemon peels soaked in it for a few days at a time.  this soaking water was a continuous cycling of peels, as after a week or two a peel would begin to mold in the hot climate.  i do not know the science behind it.  perhaps water is adequate to draw out whatever qualities you seek.
 
                      
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If you're wanting to extract limonene, water won't work, because limonene s a hydrocarbon -- not water-soluble. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limonene

However, there may be things with similar effects that you can extract using water.
 
Lee Einer
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kazron wrote:
slightly related and may not help...
when I was at a permaculture project a couple of years ago the dishwashing detergent was made from a combination of wood ashes and water that had orange and lemon peels soaked in it for a few days at a time.  this soaking water was a continuous cycling of peels, as after a week or two a peel would begin to mold in the hot climate.  i do not know the science behind it.  perhaps water is adequate to draw out whatever qualities you seek.


Being an oil, it's likely not water soluble. BUT wood ashes in water release KOH, potassium hydroxide, AKA lye. The lye will bind with the oils to make soap. This is how they made soap in the old days, with lye derived from wood ashes, reacted with a fat such as lard.
 
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