Natural Mosquito Repellent

By: Alexis Jenkins

Garlic, Garlic and more Garlic:

Garlic is one of the most effective natural mosquito repellents, garlic repels mosquitos because of its strong odor; they hate the smell of garlic! Garlic also releases allicin; allicin is a pungent, oily liquid with antibacterial properties that causes harm to mosquitos. If you are interested in using Garlic as a repellent you have a few options: first you could simply consume more garlic in your diet. Eating a large amount of garlic causes it to seep through your skin repelling mosquitos but unfortunately most people too. Also, putting a jelly form of Garlic on your skin is great for keeping mosquitos away for a long time but be careful because it can harm your skin. There are also natural mosquito repellent sprays made with garlic to fend off mosquitos such as Garlic Barrier Mosquito Repellent. This odorless spray is sold online and is used on crops, trees or airborne. Garlic is one of the best mosquito repellents but extreme measures could be more harmful to your life than the bite.

Big Bad Herbs

Did you know that there are many natural herbs that repel mosquitos in your everyday grocery store?  Peppermints are the epitome of a great natural mosquito repellent and itch reliever against mosquito bites.  Most biting bugs dislike the smell of peppermints. Growing peppermints in your backyard would be a great way to keep those pesky pest away during your family picnics and family camp outs in the back yard. Another way that you can use peppermint is crushing it up and applying it to your skin. This act not only repels mosquitos but it also soothes those annoying bites.  Lavender is also a commonly used as a natural mosquito repellent that you can plant indoors or outdoors that will have the same effects. Planting lavender indoors also has a bonus; lavender leaves a wonderful smell to consume your house.  Studies suggest that catnip may be the best herb repellent to use, even better than DEET an ingredient used in most mosquito repellent sprays. Catnip is much better to use because it is pure and natural while DEET is very toxic but be cautious! If you own a cat, expect it to want to play in the newly grown catnip. The best place to grow catnip is away from all other plants.

Ponds, Lakes, Streams Oh my!

A mosquito’s life starts near water and that is where they tend to stay. A female mosquito lays her eggs in the wet damp mud surrounding an area of water. Mosquitos need water to complete their life styles; they live mostly in unattended pools, birdbaths, ponds, lakes, and any stagnant water. Mosquitos do not breed in plants but adult mosquitos tend to rest in those areas during the day. Mosquitos usually come out around dusk and if you are near an area of water the mosquitos will be in enormous packs. A great way to tell what type of species the mosquito is, observe the type of water the larvae is laid in. There is even an aquatic larvae stage that takes place during the producing of mosquitos. The larva does not become a pupil until the fourth molt. Water is needed for mosquitos to live. It’s where they become mosquitos and where they live in the evenings.

If You Can’t Beat Them Get Something To Eat Them

While there are some people that choose to use natural herbs as a natural mosquito repellent, there are those who choose to involve the circle of life as the mosquito repellent. There are many animals and insects that eat mosquitos, such as frogs, toads and tadpoles. Consumption of the most mosquitos takes place between the tadpole and frog stage. Some large species of tadpoles feed specifically on mosquito larvae. This is perfect for you if you have a park yard pond or lakes filled with mosquitos, simply purchase some tadpoles or frogs from your local pet store.

Another predator of mosquitos are the dragonflies, also known as the mosquito hawks!  Dragonflies have the ability to kill hundreds even thousands of mosquitos. If you are considering purchasing dragonflies take into consideration that adult dragonflies do not consume a lot of mosquitos. During the aquatic larval stage they feast on mosquitos, they do not consume as many in their adult years because mosquitos are not seen a lot during the day when adult dragonflies are out exploring.  The Gambusia Affinis also known as the mosquito fish is another great natural mosquito repellent being that it is a fish and lives in water. Since the mosquito fish lives in water they are able to consume large amounts of mosquito larvae. It is one of the greatest natural mosquito repellents because the fish can grow up to 2.5 inches and is able is able eat a lot of mosquitos! Another example of a predator of mosquitos is a fish called the guppies. Guppies are not as successful as the mosquito fish but they are better known in your local pet store for purchase. A less attractive predator of mosquitos are bats, they are more of a violent eater of mosquitos. Mosquitos make up less than one percent of their diet because bats eat mostly beetles, wasps, and moths. There are many options to use to repel mosquitos, other animals being a great one.

I’m a Mosquito and I love you!

There are a lot of things that attract mosquitos that we have some control over. For example if you live by a pond, lake, or any still water I would not suggest taking a casual nap outside during dusk or dawn; that would be like inviting the mosquitos to feast upon your relaxed flesh.

Another attraction would be dark clothes such as black, brown on blue faded clothing. When sitting outside or even camping overnight you should always wear light colors.  For women, black may be slimming but it could be the very reason that you have large amounts of mosquito bites. A common myth is wearing more clothes to cover skin will protect you from mosquitos. That statement is false, mosquitos have a way of getting in your clothes and biting anywhere they please.  While the previous statement is true tighter clothes are more difficult for the typical mosquito to crawl in.

Another common mistake is drinking alcohol outside. This is bad especially if your trying to avoid mosquito bites because drinking alcohol raises your body temperature, which attracts mosquitos! High body temperatures attract mosquitos because they are attracted to warmer blood. Speaking of high body temperature, when your body gets hot you sweat! Mosquitos are attracted to sweat, so you might want to rethink that evening run by the lake.  Carbon dioxide is a huge attraction to mosquitos, all humans breathe out carbon dioxide but adults breathe more. Since adults breathe more carbon dioxide out they are more prone to be bitten. Being pregnant can also cause you to bit more because not only do pregnant woman exhale more carbon dioxide they also have high body temperatures. In today’s world, we need as much encouragement as we can get to stay healthy! If you tend to get bit a lot by mosquitos it could be because your cholesterol is high! You can lower your cholesterol by eating healthier and leaner which may mean putting down that burger and picking up a fruit cup at you annual barbeque. While all these things we can control, there are some we cannot such as genetics. 85% of your chances of being bit depend on your genetics. One of the largest factors in your apparel to mosquitos is your blood type. Mosquitos love O type blood, this means if you are O type blood you tend to be most tasty to your favorite pesky blood eaters.

Got to go, Got to go, Got to go go go !

Here are some simple ways to reduce your everyday mosquito nuisance:

  • Get rid of all standing water- do this because when water stands more than seven days mosquitos began to multiply
  • Get rid of and empty flower pots, water filled tires, trash cans with small amounts of water at the bottom, cans and buckets
  • Clean your gutters- do this because water tends to sit still in our house gutters attracting mosquitos
  • Keep your grass low cute because a lot of shrubs and weeds attract mosquitos to rest there during the day and to come out of there in the evening.
  • If mosquitos are getting into your homes check to make sure all your screens in your windows and doors are secure. Mosquitos enter thru small holes in the screen and surrounded the doors.

One of my favorite ways to natural mosquito repellents is to simply build a fire. It is not the fire that repels the mosquitos it is the smoke. Why not roast some marshmallows while the smoke repels the mosquitos. It’s a win- win!