Whether you are sitting around a campfire or at an outdoor concert this summer, mosquitoes are the party crashers everyone wants to see gone. I’m not advocating harming or killing them, as I know these pesky insects play a vital role in our ecosystem. I would just rather not be insect bait. Depending how your skin reacts when bitten, you may have red, itchy bumps and/or swelling at the site. Or worse, you can become infected with an illness like West Nile virus, Malaria or parasites.
Before you reach for a big-name bug spray containing DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide), you should know that the US Environmental Protection Agency recommends such repellents be handled with care. There’s evidence of it causing irritations to the skin and eyes, neurological problems in children and even death in a few rare cases. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to put any product on me or my loved ones that requires a toxicity report. Instead consider giving these ten chemical-free, inexpensive mosquito repellents a try.
10 Ways to Keep the Pests (and the Mosquito Bites) Away this Summer
- Essential oils are as ancient as mosquitoes; so, it’s no wonder they are Mother Nature’s answer to warding off pests. It’s believed lemon, eucalyptus oil, cinnamon oil, rosemary oil, neem oil and geranium oil are all-natural remedies to help keep your skin itch-free. The lemon-eucalyptus oil pairs well with grain alcohol and olive oil and even better, the mixture smells great and is non-toxic.
- Dried herbs such as peppermint, spearmint, citronella and lemongrass can be combined with boiling water and witch hazel into a spray bottle to make the perfect on-the-go spray. A helpful tip to remember: if you don’t have witch hazel on hand, try substituting rubbing alcohol.
- Rub vanilla extract and/or lavender oil or flowers onto the warmer parts of your body like the underarms, neck and behind ears. Don’t forget to read the vanilla extract’s ingredient list to ensure it doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup, which may attract mosquitoes.
- Plant Garlic, Catnip, Rosemary, Basil and Marigolds along the perimeter of your yard to fend off mosquitoes and enjoy your time playing in the moonlight.
- Wearing an insect resistant wristband is a no-brainer to protecting yourself from pests. They are water and sweat proof and guaranteed to last up to 100 hours.
- Make your own Citronella candles and stop wasting money and resources purchasing the ones in the store. Click on the link for a simple tutorial to get started making yours today.
- Create a sticky liquid trap using a 2-liter bottle and supplies. Your home will be mosquito-free in no time.
- Get rid of standing water as it is a breeding ground from mosquitoes. This includes children’s pools and puddles by leaky hoses.
- Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts. It’s difficult for a mosquito to bite your skin if isn’t exposed. Also consider wearing darker colors as insects are less attracted to them.
- Stay indoors an hour after dawn and before dusk to avoid the most mosquitoes.
What are some other all-natural remedies you have for repelling mosquitoes? I’d love to give them a try.
Image Credit: Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel via photopin cc