We all know that with what’s shaping up to be a damp, hot summer ahead of us, we’re going to be facing those little suckers in swarms. It’s common knowledge that mosquitoes don’t have many fans among the picnickers, hikers, sports fanatics or just general outdoorsy types, so what’s the best way to deter them from making you their next meal? Any commercial repellent containing DEET comes to mind first, but here are a few other more natural ways to keep the mosquitoes at bay.
If chemicals or toxic substances aren’t really your thing, there are tons of other ways to stop the bites. A common ingredient in DIY mosquito repellent is citron or lemon essence, but did you know that peppermint and tea tree oil are a natural deterrent as well? Essential oils are a fantastic natural option to add to your homemade repellent and the combination of different oils can not only smell great, but also provide a much healthier alternative to store bought bug spray. Eucalyptus, lemon and clove are great oils to use in your homemade repellent.
Another option, if essential oils aren’t in the budget, is using equal parts water and witch hazel in addition to a mix of dry herbs such as peppermint, citronella, spearmint, lemongrass, lavender and catnip. Vodka and rubbing alcohol work in place of witch hazel and vinegar is also a substitute if you aren’t afraid to smell a little sour. If all else fails and none of these scents are enticing for you, spritzing a formula of vanilla extract and water onto your skin and clothing works wonders!
Planting the solution
Citron or lemon candles are a popular method for managing mosquitos and any fire pit or BBQ is sure to smoke the skeeters out of the general area, but there are several handy plants and herbs that will help keep the vampires out of your yard.
Lavender, because it’s so wonderfully fragrant, is naturally off putting to many different insects. Planting lavender in and amongst flowerbeds not only has a charming appeal, but also doubles as a repellent. Marigolds and geraniums are a beautiful approach in the war against the mosquito and should be placed near doors and windows to make possible entry points attractively secure. Lemon scented types of geraniums work best!
Another great way to deter the little pests is by planting basil, peppermint and rosemary in the garden or indoors. Not only do these herbs add to your cooking, but they also provide natural, fragrant protection. Sprinkling peppermint oil and scattering the leaves around your backyard will also do the trick! Garlic is a tasty option to add to the list of plants that mosquitoes aren’t fond of. However, a great deal of garlic would have to be ingested in order to act as a repellent, so consider this before you begin a diet consisting entirely of garlic bread.
If you’d like to know more about how to give mosquitos the boot, follow our blog for other ways to manage these and other annoying bugs this summer!
Do you have a case of the creepy crawlies? For help with unwanted bugs, get in touch with the One Man and a Lady Bug team for all your pest control needs.