Mosquitoes are one of the worst things about warmer months.
It is important to have a mosquito repellent that is effective. They breed in standing water, and spring and summer are rainy seasons. These pests are not only annoying, but they can also cause issues for people that are allergic to their bites. The female mosquitos need blood to help their eggs survive, so they can grow.
When the bite happens, you are susceptible to whatever the mosquito was carrying. There are ways to protect yourself against the bites and to keep the mosquitoes at bay using natural remedies.
Catnip is really effective when trying to keep the mosquitoes away. The essential oil used in the making of cat nip is what will keep the pests from coming near you. It is said to be much more effective than using something like DEET. (When checking ingredients of mosquito repellent, both N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide and N,N-diemethylbenzamide are chemical names for DEET; the label may or may not have the word “DEET” on it.) Catnip is obviously pet-friendly, and if you have children it is also safe to have around it. You could also look to plant catnip around areas where you typically congregate outside.
Citronella works well too. You can purchase candles to burn at local hardware or big box stores, and it is the most familiar product used when dealing with mosquitoes. If you are looking for something to rub on your skin and not just use in the yard or outside, you can actually purchase citronella oil from a natural food store. You can apply it directly to your skin and the pests will stay away all night.
It is said that garlic will repel the mosquitoes, but that may just be folklore (there is no real proof). There are plenty of uses for garlic when cooking, so trying it out wouldn’t be such an issue. You can purchase garlic cloves at the grocery store and come home and break them up. If you rub them on your skin you may be smelly, but if the mosquitoes aren’t biting you, it works! There is no scientific evidence that eating garlic, onions, or virtually any other specific food will work as a mosquito repellent.
Lotus flowers are typically found in ponds and around areas with heavy water abundance. It is said that the flower is not only a natural mosquito repellent, but it also helps to kill the larvae. If you have standing water in your yard or a pond you have for landscaping purposes, putting some lotus flowers in it will be a great help in killing the mosquito population. The Lotus is not supposed to be used as a topical cream for skin; it is best used as a defense mechanism in the yard. As you can see (left) it is also easy on the eyes, so worth planting if you have the space.
Mosquito Repellent Oils
Organic soy oil is an excellent mosquito repellent. You can rub it directly on your skin. It not only helps keep the pesky insects at bay, but it also acts as a moisturizer for your skin. There are many other bonuses to using organic soy oil, including the fact that it stunts body hair growth when applied topically. You have to be careful about what you purchase because many soy plants are now genetically modified. To be certain you are getting the right product, check out your local natural food store.
Lavender oil is another essential oil that is said to be great at fighting mosquitoes. The only issue with this is that it needs to be mixed with another oil like soy oil or coconut oil. You can make your own spray or lotion by mixing two of the oils in a spray bottle. You would apply it like you would store-bought mosquito repellent. The added bonus to using Lavender oil is that is not only keeps the mosquitoes away, it smells really good too. This can also be found at your local natural food store.
Eucalyptus oil is yet another substance that works as a natural mosquito repellent. The good news is about eucalyptus and citronella is that they can also treat mosquito bites after they happen, so it is really a strong solution. Basically the key to these oils is that it gives off a scent that mosquitos don’t like, making them stay away from you.
Surprisingly black pepper works well when made into an oil or paste. It isn’t something you should necessarily rub on your skin because of potential contact with your eyes, but it works if you keep it around you. You can actually purchase black pepper oil, but it is just as easy to make your own paste with the seasoning you buy from the store.
The reality is that many oils from plants will work as a natural repellent for mosquitoes. You need to keep in mind any allergies you may have or people around you may have before making your own version of bug spray. Talk with someone that works in the local natural food store and ask for suggestions on the best mixes for the oils. You don’t want to end up with a horrible smelling concoction, even if it works incredibly well.
Mosquitoes love to find unsuspecting humans to bite. They are typically abundant by standing water, and often are most aggressive after a rainstorm. In order to keep yourself protected on all ends, make sure you have your patio, yard, and body covered in mosquito repellents. It is always better to go the natural route, but if that is not working for you, make sure you are using something to protect your skin when outside on summer nights.