Darn those pesky mosquitoes! It’s summertime and you’ve made plans to spend the evening outdoors under the starlit sky, or at your friend’s barbecue, yet you know who else will be there. Those mosquitoes who leave their traces along your precious skin, to your disadvantage. There are bug-repellants in the store, but they are sticky and full of chemicals.
So is there a solution for those of us who prefer natural methods to keep mosquitoes away? The good news is, mother nature has not left us empty handed! Indeed there are natural ways, and today we will go through a few of them.
What’s Their Deal Anyway?
So these mosquitoes are basically attracted to our smells, and our bodily secretions, like sweat. They are attracted to chemicals like lactic acid and carbon dioxide. That’s why sweating makes us more prone to mosquito attacks. Wearing or being surrounded by smells that they dislike, yet we (hopefully) don’t mind, can do just the trick.
Natural Ways to Keep Mosquitoes Away
One way nature has equipped us is through plants that can help keep mosquitoes away. Rodalesorganiclife.com recommends crushing the herb leaves with our hands, and then rubbing the leaves and oils on our skins. Assuring that they are on our skin is more effective.
As the name suggests, these flowers come with a light lemon scent. Indeed this is a balm to our wounds, as it has healing properties as well. Some also believe in its effects to reduce anxiety and insomnia problems as well. This does the trick in keeping biting insects away, and will leave us smelling great too.
This plant contains greenish, greyish heart-shaped leaves. It is useful in repelling insects due to its chemical nepetalactone. You may want to watch out if you have any cats around you, as the scent of catnip has a different effect on them than it has on mosquitoes.
They may begin behaving the way they do during their mating seasons. According to the Scientific American, they “may rub their heads and body on the herb or jump, roll around, vocalize and salivate”.
This elegant purple plant keeps away adult mosquitoes and the larvae of many species. It is best to rub this onto the skin. A way people use lavender to keep mosquitoes away is by adding a drop of lavender onto a ribbon and placing it around any open windows.
This minty herb is ten times more effective in keeping mosquitoes away than DEET. DEET is the chemical that does the job of keeping insects away in conventional bug repellents. While this plant can become invasive, it is easy to take care of. We can grow a few in our backyard, or just buy some.
2. Essential Oils
Another way to repel mosquitoes with scents is by using essential oils. Essential oils effective for this include peppermint, lavender, nutmeg, cinnamon, citronella, and cedarwood. Check out below a recipe to make your own essential oil mosquito-stay-away spray using essential oils. It is from Aromatherapycontessa.com.
Aromatherapycontessa’s “Bug Away” Blend:
- 4 ounces of distilled water, witch hazel, or aloe vera gel as a base
- 10 drops of Eucalyptus-lemon essential oil
- 10 drops of citronella essential oil
- 10 drops of lavender essential oil
- 5 drops of lemongrass
- 5 drops of peppermint
- 1 4-ounce spray bottle with a fine mist sprayer
What to do:
- Pour your chosen base into the spray bottle.
- Mix together the essential oils.
- Pour your mixture of essential oils to your base slowly.
- Leave some room at the top to put the sprayer on.
- Shake the mixture well and spray onto your clothing and parts of exposed skin, avoiding eyes and mouth.
- Shake each time before use, and spray it on often so that the mosquitoes stay away.
3. Gardening and Other Methods
You can keep plants, such as lavender and catmint in your garden to repel mosquitoes. Herbs like peppermint and basil which we would want to grow for cooking purposes also work against mosquitoes. They will help keep an atmosphere and aroma in your garden that repels such insects so that you can enjoy your time there.
Another option that’s great for campfires is to burn a little sage or rosemary in it at the fire. Though light draws in mosquitoes, the scent from the burning sage or rosemary will keep them away, and protect you while you’re at the scene.
So Off We Go
Nature is good for us. It relaxes the soul. This summer, lets make the most of it by incorporating these tips into our routines. This will keep mosquitoes at bay, leave that smile on our face, and who known, maybe allow us to love summer even more!