Eureka! Insect Repellant – Our History

My husband and I moved to Argyll in 1987 with our three daughters aged eight, nine and ten and three horses. We were totally unprepared for the huge impact on our lives caused by the heavy infestation of insects suffered by Argyll, in particular the tiny midges.

There were many preparations available over the counter promoted as deterrents but we were always dubious about these because they either did not work or contained harmful chemicals. This was a big consideration for myself and two of my daughters as we have very sensitive unforgiving skin and many rashes and blotches would appear.

The only alternative was to suffer in silence or, on many occasions, not silently!

In early 1990 my husband, Rodger, was working in India and during one of many conversations with an Indian colleague the topic of “flying nasties” arose.

Of course India is home to many flying biting insects but the people do not automatically turn to chemicals to alleviate the problem. Rodger was given a recipe for a carefully balanced blend of essential oils, which are renowned for their non-toxic and soothing qualities. The oils had to be used in balance with each other.

On Rodger’s return home, we researched and sourced the oils, and followed the recipe meticulously though I do admit we were a little “tongue in cheek” and the girls did tease their father.

From the moment we started to use the lotion our outdoor lives were transformed and for the first time we were able to enjoy outdoor Scotland to the fullest. We gave it to our friends and family and the girls never left home without it during the summer.

We experimented with different qualities of oils within our recipe and discovered, not surprisingly, that the better quality the oil, the more effective the repellent. The oils were expensive but the results made the extra expense worthwhile.

We named it Eureka! meaning “I have found it”. Eureka! was now in demand within an ever-growing area as its reputation and popularity grew by word of mouth.

For the first time our children attended pony camp without the usual dread and horror of being eaten alive whilst camping in the middle of nowhere. We made up mixtures for our horses and dogs and made sure they were always protected. We were even able to keep our old pony at home because his allergy became manageable.

My mother took supplies of Eureka! to Spain where she spends five months each year; she reported back an astounding success against mosquitoes. Friends in Norway reported how effective and kind to the skin it was.

Fishing without midges

Fishing without midges

We were approached by a Dr. Alison Blackwell from the Biological Sciences at Dundee University. Dr. Blackwell has studied the biological habits and flight patterns of the midge for many years and used students at Ormsary in Argyll as guinea pigs to test a number of repellents. This project was funded for four years by the Agriculture and Food Council and later by local funding.  Dr. Blackwell had heard of Eureka! and wanted to test it out in some field studies. We were not surprised when she reported back that Eureka! showed up favourably during the tests and was pleasant to use.

Dr. Blackwell gave Eureka! her approval.

And so after several years of using, trying and testing we decided to market Eureka!