Spring is coming, flowers are blooming and the temperature is heating up… enough reason why Mosquitoes and other bugs are suddenly appearing. Many of us don’t like a mosquito buzzing around in the middle of the night, when cooking or just around us whether we are indoors or outdoors. Since one of my fellow bloggers asked me the other day which natural repellents can be used, I decided to get information and sharing some tips for the different situations and avoid mosquitoes bites.
1. Plant Herbs
Many herbs naturally repel mosquitoes. You’ve likely heard of citronella, but did you know that garlic, lemongrass, cedarwood, basil, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, onions, and marigolds also deter the little buggers? You can cut down on the mosquitoes in your yard by planting these herbs around your porch and deck.
In addition to growing the herbs, throw some on the grill when cooking outside. Burning herbs while you cook can significantly reduce infestation during the dinner hour.
2. Use Essential Oils
Many people turn to products like OFF! or repellents that contain DEET to ward off mosquitoes. These products, especially those that contain DEET, can cause health problems. BeyondPesticides states that DEET kills large numbers of brain cells in the cerebral cortex; this is the area of the brain that controls muscles and movement.
You should not spray or rub this chemical onto your skin. Use safe products, like Avon’s Skin-So-Soft, or use natural essential oils from the herbs listed here. You can find essential oils at most natural health food stores or online. Simply dilute a few drops in a carrier oil, such as olive oil or Vitamin E, and rub the oil onto your skin.
You can also make an herbal blend to spray on your skin. Add 25 drops of the essential oil of your choice to 1/4 cup of water. Shake it up inside a spray bottle, and spritz it on your skin, for a healthy and natural bug repellent. Reapply oils and sprays throughout the evening, to ensure they remain effective. You can also burn diluted essential oils outside in an aromatherapy diffuser.
3. Get Rid of Water
Mosquitoes love water. You can reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard by removing standing water. If you have a rain barrel, make sure it has a screen. Clean out your gutters, fix dripping faucets, and if you have a pond, make sure to stock the pond with mosquito-larvae eating fish, called “mosquito fish.”
Remove standing water from the trays under flowerpots, or on car or boat tarps. If you have a drainage ditch that habitually fills with water, do what you can to clear it out so it drains quickly, before mosquitoes begin to spawn in the standing water.
4. Burn Citronella Candles
You’ve likely seen citronella candles for sale at the home improvement store. Citronella candles can help keep mosquitoes away. In addition, candles made from herbs that repel mosquitoes can also keep bugs away from your deck or yard. Look for candles that include essential mosquito-repelling oils like cedarwood, lavender, lemongrass, and rosemary. Place the candles on tables and around the deck or yard to help reduce infestation.
5. Make Your Own Indoor Mosquito Repellent
If you have a plug-in, refillable mosquito killer, you don’t have to keep buying the toxic inserts to kill the mosquitoes. You can easily make your own inserts using an orange peel. Orange oil repels bugs naturally, and many mosquito and bug sprays include it.
Cut an orange peel to the exact size of the rectangular inserts normally used in the mosquito plug-in device. Then, use the peel in place of the insert. Your home smells great when you use an orange peel bug repellent and stays bug-free. Plus, you won’t have to worry about breathing in toxic chemicals.
6. Use Old Coffee Grounds
Many people don’t know that used coffee grounds can help keep mosquitos at bay. Not only is this an eco-friendly alternative, but it’s a great way to reuse coffee grounds! You can sprinkle the grounds around your deck or patio, or put them in bowls and place them near where you’ll be sitting.
7. Use Mosquito Coils
Mosquito coils are slow-burning incense that you set on the ground near where you’re sitting. The cool thing about mosquito coils is that they’re natural; they’re made with pyrethrum powder, which is a powder made from the dried heads of Chrysanthemum flowers. Mosquito coils are often used in Asia and South America, but you can often find them in hardware stores.
You can drive cats wild and make mosquitoes run in terror, according to research at Iowa State University which found that the essential oil found in the herb catnip is about 10 times more effective than DEET in repelling mosquitoes.
the old standby. Use only pure essential oil of citronella—not fragrance oil. Oils purchased in bulk for burning are not adequate for applying topically to your skin. For your skin it is best to get a high quality citronella essential oil from a natural food store. While it’s not as effective as catnip, it’s still a good option.
eat lots of fresh garlic—mosquitoes can’t stand the stuff.
4. Lavender essential oil
smells great and is a commonly used and effective mosquito repellent. It’s best diluted in a carrier oil like apricot kernel, sweet almond, or coconut oil. If you can find organic soy oil, it is also a good option since it also keeps mosquitoes at bay.
5. Neem oil or neem seed oil
According to a study by the US National Research Council neem oil is more effective than DEET. The results were confirmed by scientists at the Malaria Institute in India and in research cited in the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. Neem is a plant that grows in India.
6. Organic soy oil
Research cited in The New England Journal of Medicine found that repellents made of soybean oil are just as effective as DEET-containing repellents. Soy oil is inexpensive and easy to find, making it an excellent choice. Plus, it is an excellent body moisturizer. As an aside, research shows that an ingredient in soy can slow the growth of body hair when applied topically. Choose organic soy oil if possible since many soy crops are now genetically-modified.
7. Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)
New research published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine shows that lotus is an effective mosquito repellent and also helps kill mosquito larvae. Since lotus grows in water it is a good option as a natural repellent in backyard ponds and water features rather than something that is applied topically.
8. Black pepper (Piper nigrum)
New research from the same study shows that an extract (the study used an alcohol extract but black pepper essential oil would probably work too) of black pepper is effective in repelling mosquitoes.
Testing 11 Ways To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes
Turns out that mosquitoes are attracted to those who drink beer. So, we thought that placing cups filled with cheap-o lager around our patio would make great bait for the pests. A glance at the buggy victims proved this to be true. There’s a catch though. Mosquitoes will still seek you out if you’re drinking the stuff.
Bottom line: This somewhat works, but if you’re also imbibing, expect to be bitten.
The thinking here is that colors somehow make you more attractive to mosquitoes. But this is just a bunch of wishful thinking — the bugs will still bite, no matter how much white you wear.
Bottom line: Does not work.
Garlic is used in many mosquito repellants used in landscaping. So, why wouldn’t it work for us? After eating a garlicky meal, we waited. The mosquitoes didn’t bother us. But really, is this practical?
Bottom line: Works, if you’d like to down garlic cloves on a daily basis.
This involves exactly what you think it does: Vacuuming up any mosquito you see in the air. It’s more like a reflex test than a viable means of pest control.
The bottom line: Not surprisingly, does not work.
When diluted with water and spritzed on the skin, this promised to rid of us mosquitoes for a full night. Sadly, it just made us smell minty fresh. We were still bitten at the end of the night.
Bottom line: Does not work.
This sonic repellant promises to rid your life of mosquitoes with a touch of a button. Easy, right? So we were disappointed when all this did was drain our iPhone’s battery.
Bottom line: Does not work.
Like garlic, mosquitoes dislike chives. We simply placed a few snippets in a centerpiece and hoped for results. Though we did experience less bites, we were still bitten.
Bottom line: Might work, but probably should be applied to the skin in order to see results.
Fabric Softener Sheets
Rubbed onto the skin, this method did leave us mosquito bite-free for the evening. But, it did irritate the skin of one of our testers. So, use caution.
Bottom line: This works.
A few squirts of dish soap, left in a saucer, did a nice job of keeping mosquitos occupied…and away from us. The results were comparable to citronella candle.
Bottom line: This works.
Particularly, Mountain Dew, which was suggested by a reader, with a dash of dish soap. While the traps did attract mosquitoes, this might have also been because of the dish soap.
Bottom line: This works, but probably not because of the soda.
Silly, but it did prove effective. Again, soap might be the factor here.
Bottom line: It works.
Do you have another solution?
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