Many people dread the thought of being attacked by mosquitoes during those lovely summer evenings that are ideal for walking around the neighborhood or cooking in the backyard. Those who are fearless usually rely on typical over the counter insect repellant to banish unwanted mosquitos, but many pesticides contain toxic chemicals like DEET that are dangerous to your health in heavy doses. Studies have shown that high exposure to DEET is linked to a variety of ailments such as memory loss, headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, and joint pain.
People are wise to take mosquitoes a bit more seriously now that Zika is in the news. The mosquito that is capable of transmitting the Zika virus is currently in the U.S., and even though the risk of contracting the disease is substantially smaller than in South America, it’s not worth being complacent about mosquito prevention – especially when there are many simple measures that can be taken to repel the insect.
Alternate text 1: Does this mean that enjoying a backyard BBQ is a no-win situation? Not when there is a myriad of simple and natural ways to keep mosquitoes away that are very effective! Don’t be lazy and rely solely on easy spray-on chemicals that neither smell nor feel pleasant.
This article will reveal 10 simple and natural ways to repel mosquitoes so you can enjoy a summer free from bites!
Alternate text 2: Try one of these refreshingly natural remedies and ingredients to prevent mosquitoes from ruining your summer:
Remove stagnant water
You can reduce the quantity of mosquitoes around your living environment simply by eliminating breeding spots. Standing fresh water is prime breeding ground for mosquitoes. Make sure you eliminate stagnant water everywhere and anywhere: flower pot stands, buckets, children’s lawn toys, drains, kiddy pools, yards, garbage etc. Even the tiniest pool of stagnant water, such as in a bottle cap, can attract a mosquito to lay its eggs! Make sure to remove standing water the day before hosting any social gatherings in your backyard and patio.
- Apply natural repellants to your environment
Essential oils in candles are wonderful for repelling mosquitoes while creating a lovely ambience in your backyard. One of the most pleasant ways to repel mosquitoes is by burning citronella essential oil. This oil is one of the most effective natural repellants in the world and can be easily infused within homemade candles. Place the candles around your garden and patio to create an all-encompassing natural barrier to mosquitoes!
Wax that contains geraniol is a longer-lasting alternative to citronella for events that last late into the night.
You can even substitute natural oils for over the counter insect sprays. Lavender essential oil, mixed with two tablespoons of vegetable oil, can be rubbed onto exposed skin like forearms and ankles. Now you will smell beautiful while repelling mosquitoes!
There are even certain plants, must-haves for avid gardeners, which produce defensive chemicals that ward off bugs. These mosquito repellant plants, like feverfew or catnip, can be planted in flowerbeds or pots around the garden.
Apply DEET-free repellant
Although over the counter insect repellant contain chemicals like DEET are safe if used according to instructions, why not try other effective alternatives that are natural and chemical-free?
Bug repellant sunscreen is a dual purpose application that will protect you from bugs and UV sun rays. It is all natural and does not contain any potentially toxic chemicals.
There are body sprays that contain oil of lemon, eucalyptus, or picaridin that work well against mosquitoes.
A simple solution is to fill half a spray bottle with distilled water and the other half with witch hazel. Then add up to 60 drops of essential oils, like rosemary or clove, and shake well.
- Cover your feet
Mosquitoes are attracted to sweat and bacteria, which makes the toes on your feet a prime target. Moreover, the Zika-spreading species of mosquito tends to bite the lower parts of the body. Simply covering your shins and ankles with a light clothing, or wearing socks and high-top sneakers, will prevent many unwanted bites.
- Dress light
Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors like black and navy blue. Fortunately, during the summer you may prefer wearing light-colored and lightweight clothing. Try to wear something that covers your arms and legs and you will go a long way to keeping mosquitoes off your body.
Bacteria kits like “BTI dunks” are comprised of bacteria that kill mosquito larvae in breeding areas. This super-efficient solution can be applied to stagnant water like bird baths, rain barrels, drains, pots, or even large puddles.
Another easy solution is to place fans around gathering areas like patios and gazebos. Mosquitoes will either be pushed away by the airflow or sucked into the fan and killed by the blades.
For those who are absolutely obsessed with garlic, consuming a lot of this vegetable will cause your pores to secrete garlic oil that will act as a barrier between your skin and mosquitoes. Unfortunately, it may repel humans too.
- Build a tent
Tenting areas where guests will gather is another simple, tried and tested method of protecting from mosquitoes and other unwanted insects. There are nets that attach to umbrellas, canopy tents with mosquito nets, and other retail variations.
- Hire a professional
Finally, you can just hire an exterminator to inspect your entire living environment for potential breeding spots. These experienced pros will know where to find hidden spots that you may have overlooked. They will also offer advice on preventative maintenance.
So these are 10 simple and natural ways to keep mosquitoes away from your home and garden this summer. They are all-encompassing, fun, and don’t require any harmful chemicals or off-putting methods (except maybe the garlic). Simply applying 2 or 3 of the aforementioned solutions may completely solve your mosquito problem and make your outdoor activities enjoyable for everyone.
For more info on picking the best outdoor setup, please check our guides: