A few weeks ago, we posted about household remedies for soothing bug bites. All of those tips are great, but the best tip of all is don’t get bit. The most common repellent everyone knows about is bug spray. I don’t know about you, but I despise the smell of the store bought spray cans that are so popular, not to mention that they are full of chemicals that I would rather not have around my family. Here are some more natural ways to repel those pesky blood suckers.
1. Eliminate the places they have to breed around your yard. Dump out any standing pools of water, any little place that rain water collects can become a breeding zone for mosquitoes.
2. Avoid removal of mosquitoes’ natural enemies and even welcome some. These include ground beetles, spiders (yuck, I know! But 1 small spider can kill an average of 20 mosquitoes a day), snails, bats (another yuck! Well, 1 small brown bat can eat up to 600 mosquitoes in just 1 hour!), frogs, fish and birds. “Bombing” your area with pesticides can kill more than just the mosquitoes, which could make your mosquito problem much worse when they come back, and they will have less enemies. Additionally, your children can put those toxins in their mouth if they pick things up off the ground.
If you have a small pond in your back yard that is populated with fish, it can become a natural mosquito trap with the fish eating both the larvae and full size mosquitoes attracted to it for breeding. You can also hang a bat house or bird house to trees in your yard giving the predators more reason to live and eat in your area.
3. Catnip can also repel mosquitoes very well, according to new research. Studies show that ingredients found in catnip are about 10 times more effective than DEET in repelling mosquitoes. You can also grow catnip in your yard to repel them, but beware that your yard may become the neighborhood cats’ favorite hang out.
4. Citronella candles, plants, or oils can all help repel mosquitoes. Studies have shown burning a citronella candle can reduce bug bites by 42%. Be sure to read the label if you are buying the candles rather than making them, because some are made with dangerous chemicals, while others are more natural. I have a citronella plant growing on my porch. If the bugs get particularly bad, I pluck a few leaves off and crush them up, releasing even more of the smell that repels them.
5. Eating lots of fresh garlic can also help you stay off the mosquito menu. They can’t stand the stuff. In fact, my father-in-law hasn’t been bitten in years due to his a diet high in raw garlic.
6. Lavender oil or plants repel mosquitoes effectively and smell great. Make sure the oil you use is not just a scented oil, because it is far less effective. Lavender plants provide nectar for butterflies and are a beautiful addition to your garden. The flowers can be easily dried and kept in the garden to repel mosquitoes and other insects.
7. Marigolds don’t just repel mosquitoes; they also help to repel aphids. It can be an amazing companion plant for your vegetable garden, helping to keep bugs away and saving your vegetables from being eaten by bugs before you get to them. Marigold plants are very easy to maintain. You don’t need a lot of care to keep them healthy and flourishing. Just make sure you never rub this plant on your skin.
8. Rosemary is not just great for cooking. This shrub can easily repel mosquitoes and keep your garden safe. This is one of the most attractive plants for herb and container gardens. It does not require a lot of water. Rosemary is also very tasty. You can use it for cooking soups, meat, and more. Rosemary also comes an oil form as well, which you can use to repel bugs from your body.
9. Basil works as great repellent, and it’s easy to see why. Its pungent smell will hold the bugs at bay. It is the perfect companion for tomato plants and your garden as well as around the house. There are many different kinds of basil but most effective seem to be lemon basil or cinnamon basil. Currently, I am growing sweet basil (pictured in the title image), and it seems to be working great.
You can also look into making your own mosquito traps. Commercial traps that you can find online are fairly expensive and can lure even more mosquitoes to your area before trapping them.
Have any additional tips? Send us a message or leave a comment! I hope these tips keep your body and yard a little more mosquito free!