Yikes! Mosquitoes! Keep Them Away Naturally

Mosquitoes, they’re definitely one of summer’s biggest pests. They seem to be everywhere this time of year, and most repellents out there leave skin coated with a film of icky chemicals that not only seem questionably safe, but are smelly too.

Though most of us have heard of using citronella to ward off bugs, turns out that’s just one of many natural ways to keep them at bay.

Try some of these simple ways~

Eliminate standing water

Objects that can collect water provide for perfect breeding areas for mosquitoes. This includes plastic wrappers, tarps, tires, planter saucers, kids’ toys and clogged gutters. Also, if you’re a fan of birdbaths, change the water in them at least twice a week, and, of course, change the water in outdoor pet bowls regularly. For items such as recyling bins, drill drainage holes to prevent standing water.

Plant the right plant

Plants such as horsemint, rosemary, marigolds, ageratum, agastache cana, and catnip are said to have odorous attributes that mosquitoes detest. Simply crush the leaves to release their scent, or rub them on your skin and clothing for the most protection.

Save your parsley

You can make your own mosquito repellant by putting crushed parsley in a jar of apple cider vinegar. Rub the concoction on your skin or dip a handkerchief in it, which you can tie around your neck or hat band.

Attract bats

It is said that one small brown bat can catch 600 mosquitoes per hour. In an effort to attract these opportunistic insect eaters, you might want to consider building or buying a bat house. And if you’re worried about contracting rabies from the bats you attract, consider the Niagara Frontier Wildlife Habitat Council’s statistic that the less than half of one percent of all bats that contract rabies, which all mammals can do, ‘they normally bite only in self-defense and pose little threat to people who do not handle them.’ For a free bat house pattern, go to Bat Conservation International.

Keep it light

When considering your attire for outdoor activities, think white and light as mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors.

Add the Fan

Mosquitoes don’t like strong wind currents; sitting next to a fan will keep the little pests away.

Change the lights

Mosquitoes are attracted to incandescent lights. For outdoor lighting, considering installing fluorescent lights, which don’t attract or repel mosquitoes.

Believe it or not…  the #1 way to repel mosquitoes the low tech way….

Eat more garlic

When you eat garlic, especially large quantities of it, an invisible layer of garlic oil seeps from your pores and creates a mosquito barrier. If you don’t like the thought of eating more garlic, you can also use garlic juice to make a natural repellant. According to hometownannapolis.com, ‘Mix one part garlic juice with 5 parts water in a small spray bottle. Shake well before using. Spray lightly on exposed body parts for an effective repellent lasting up to 5 to 6 hours.’ And if you don’t like the idea of reeking of garlic, you can dip strips of cotton cloth into the malodorous mixture which you can then hang in strategic areas such as patios, decks and such as a local deterrent

Also… Try Making Your Own Repellant

It’s easy to make your own natural mosquito repellent. You can control exactly what goes into the product so you won’t need to worry about any unwanted chemicals

There are a couple of different formulations you can make for your natural mosquito repellent. In general, what you are doing is diluting an essential oil that the mosquitoes find distasteful or which confuses them so they can’t find you to bite you.

The oils don’t mix with water, so you’ll need to add them to other oils or to alcohol. It’s important to use an oil or alcohol that is safe for your skin. Also, don’t go overboard with the essential oils. The oils are potent and could cause skin irritation or another reaction if you use too much. If you are pregnant or nursing, do not use any mosquito repellent, natural or otherwise, until after you’ve gotten it cleared by your physician.

Natural Mosquito Repellent Ingredients

If you are making large amounts of mosquito repellent, a good rule of thumb is to mix the repellent so it’s 5-10% essential oil, so mix 1 part essential oil with 10-20 parts carrier oil or alcohol. For a smaller batch use:

•    10-25 drops (total) of essential oils

•    2 tablespoons of a carrier oil or alcohol

The essential oils that work well against mosquitoes are:

•    cinnamon oil
•    lemon eucalyptus oil
•    citronella oil
•    castor oil

Safe carrier oils and alcohols include:
•    olive oil
•    sunflower oil
•    any other cooking oil
•    witch hazel
•    vodka
Keep in mind that ‘natural’ does not automatically imply ‘safe’. Many people are sensitive to plant oils. Some natural insect repellents are actually toxic. Therefore, although natural repellents provide an alternative to synthetic chemicals, please remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using these products.

Have a safe and happy summer!


One Response to “Yikes! Mosquitoes! Keep Them Away Naturally”
  1. Michle says:

    This is a great post for the season we’re in :) Pinning it!

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