Along with the endless sunshine, green fields, beautiful flowers, and gorgeous outdoor days come the mosquitoes. Constantly fending them off is frustrating because they literally chase you inside when you really just want to enjoy the outdoors!
There are several different products on the market to keep the pesky insects away, but many contain poisons and chemicals that people do not want to spray on their bodies. What are some other options? We set out to find natural, poison-free ways to keep mosquitoes at bay.
Citronella – The Original Might Still Be the Best
Break out the Tiki torches or romantic outdoor candles; just make sure they are burning citronella oil. Mosquitoes are repulsed by the smell. You probably already knew that citronella was effective at forming a safe barrier with its smell, but did you know that it is the number one ingredient in most mosquito repellents?
The National Institutes of Health states that citronella is one of the most widely used natural repellents on the market, used at concentrations of 5-10%.
If you don’t want to buy mosquito repellents, you can plant citronella grass, which can grow up to 5-6 feet tall, in your flower beds or in pots around your home. The plant provides a strong odor that trumps other smells. The mosquitoes only smell one thing…the citronella, and they stay away from this natural mosquito repellent.
Make a $5 Mosquito Trap – DIY Video
If you love DIY projects, you can create a $5 mosquito trap using these simple materials:
- One small plastic container
- Scrap of screen
- 40x40x20 computer cooling fan
- 2 paper clips
- Power source such as ac/dc adapter, 9v battery, or a small 6v-9v solar panel
- 1/3 cup of brown sugar
- 1 cup of water
The trap works by releasing and spreading carbon dioxide, which mosquitoes are attracted to, into the surrounding air combined with the attractive smell of the brown sugar. Once the mosquitoes enter the trap, they will not be able to fly because of the turbulence created by the fan. They will then die or be trapped in the contraption. Watch this YouTube video for instructions on how to create your own trap.
Garlic – Eat it; Rub it On!
There are many hikers and outdoorsmen who swear by garlic. They say squeezing it to draw out the oil and rubbing it on their exposed skin helps keep the little vampires away.
A second way to use garlic is to increase your intake of garlic by adding it to your meals. If you put a substantial amount in your food even you will be able to smell it seeping from your pores when you sweat. Your garlic-rich sweat will repulse not only the mosquitoes but also your significant other. The choice is yours though. If you know you will be outside in mosquito territory, it might be worth it. It’s poison free and the smell eventually wears off.
Rid the Yard of Free Standing Water
ABCNews.com spoke to several scientists and reported that ridding your yard of free standing water, which is mosquito breeding grounds, is one of the best methods to protect yourself from their miserable bites.
The scientists told ABC that mosquitoes will breed in whatever is accessible to them. Their advice is to empty flower pots, air conditioner unit drain pans, and even to make sure water isn’t standing in tarp folds covering woodpiles or backyard equipment.
It only takes five to fourteen days for a mosquito to grow from an egg to adult, so if you are getting a lot of rain in your area, you need to drain everything about every five days.
Lavender is pleasant and relaxing to people, but this natural fragrance that we love is not loved by mosquitoes. The smell of any form of lavender is pungent and mosquitoes won’t tolerate it. Therefore, lavender can be used in many ways to keep mosquitoes away.
You can opt to spray lavender oil throughout your home, you can apply lavender scented oils to your face and other exposed parts of your body, use natural lavender body products, or you can plant it around your home. Stock up on lavender! It will be pleasant for more than one reason.
EcoSMART 33129 Organic Mosquito Fogger
This organic mosquito fogger is meant to be sprayed right onto the lawn. It is best if you heavily douse areas where mosquitoes thrive such as near garbage cans, low areas where water stands, or around compost piles.
If you are hosting an outdoor event, this plant based, non-toxic mosquito spray will give your guests up to eight hours of protection from the little buzzers.
It is safe to use around children and pets, and it’s safe for the environment because it’s a plant based formula product. EcoSmart is known for its green pesticide solutions.
EcoSmart fogger works fast and both kills and repels mosquitoes and other flying insects on contact. It can be found easily online and in local stores for a very reasonable price.
Every morning after you finish your pot of coffee, do yourself a favor and save your coffee grounds. AARP says that after the grounds age and dry for a month in an open container they can be used to sprinkle in standing and stagnant water around your house. This simple home remedy repels mosquitoes.
The coffee grounds also force any mosquito eggs in the water to rise to the surface where they become deprived of oxygen. This kills them before they hatch, thus naturally stopping the problem from where it starts.
Invite Bats to Your Yard
Batrescue.org states that a single, small brown bat can consume 1000 mosquitoes in an hour. Talk about organic pest control! You can attract bats to your yard by providing them shelter. One way to accomplish that is to install a bat house which you can find on the Organization for Bat Conservation’s website.
Bats also like having a water source nearby. If you have a pond in your yard, the bats will love it even more, probably because the ponds harbor mosquito meals and provide a drink.
Finally, bats love night blooming flowers such as yucca, evening primrose, and night-blooming jessamine. Remember that bats don’t suck your blood, but mosquitoes do.
DIY – Homemade Mosquito Spray
It’s simple and fun to make your own natural mosquito repellent, plus you know exactly what is going into your mosquito spray, and it’s not DEET. You can select from many natural products to mix together and make an effective mosquito repellent.
One example is this recipe from Eat Good 4 Life. The mixture is safe for you and your children because it is poison-free.
Keep in mind that natural repellents will have to be reapplied approximately every two hours to keep you protected. Make a big batch with your kids and take it with you wherever you go this summer.
Mosquito Netting for Outdoor Spaces
Does your family love living on the patio in the warm weather, but the summer brings too many mosquitoes? It may be time to enclose your family space with mosquito netting or screens. The screens are mosquito resistant since the pesky insects can’t get in. There is no need to spray your body with anything or have plants nearby because they simply can’t get to you.
There are many ways to enclose your porch area with netting from DIY projects that you can find on Pinterest to installing it yourself with a purchasable kit to hiring a contractor. You just have to know your own budget.
Either way, you can have a beautiful, bug-free outdoor space that every can relax in. Here is a website with several different options: https://www.mosquitocurtains.com/
Throw Some Rosemary in the BBQ
When the weather is warm, it’s time to fire up the barbecue and host outdoor parties. One of the worst parts of standing over the BBQ is the onslaught of mosquitoes!
Rosemary, as mentioned above, is a natural mosquito repellent. If you throw a few rosemary stalks on the coals while you are cooking, the aroma that is released will drive out the mosquitoes. Your food will have a little added flavor, and as an added bonus, you will not be eaten alive by mosquitoes while cooking for your guests.
California Baby Natural Bug Spray
California Baby Natural Bug Spray is an all-natural bug spray for babies 6 months older and up.
If you are too busy to make your own bug spray, this one is amazing and smells great. Its ingredients include citronella, lemongrass, and cedar essential oils which are known for their safe and effective bug repellent properties.
It’s the perfect natural alternative to toxic bug repellent with added chemicals; it’s completely DEET free! California Baby states that their natural bug spray does a double duty. It repels and helps to soothe existing bites with herbs that replenish the skin and only the finest quality oils.
FAQ’s About Mosquitoes
Are mosquitoes dangerous?
Since mosquitoes are carriers and transmitters of diseases, they most certainly can be dangerous – particularly to those with compromised immune systems such as the elderly, children and people who are already battling an illness. Most commonly, they carry and transmit malaria, west nile virus, dengue fever and the zika virus.
When will mosquito bites go away?
This varies from person to person, but the average time it takes for a mosquito bite to stop itching and start healing is 24 hours. The more you scratch the bite, the more your skin becomes irritated. If your skin gets irritated and a scab forms, the bite itself will take much longer to heal; however, the itching should still subside within 24 hours.
How can I stop the itching from mosquito bites?
Honey, aloe vera, rubbing alcohol and with hazel all work really well as natural home remedies to eliminate the itch from mosquito bites.
How long do mosquitoes live?
In general, male mosquitoes live between 5 and 7 days. Female mosquitoes can live up to 2 weeks and certain species can live even longer due to the fact that they hibernate throughout the winter. (1)
Why do I need to avoid standing water to minimize mosquitoes?
Standing water is the most common breeding ground for mosquitoes because they need moisture to lay their eggs. Puddles and other small deposits of water around your yard that have been still for over a week will most certainly be ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes during the warmer months.
What good things do mosquitoes do?
One of the most crucial roles for mosquitoes in nature is that they are food for other species! They provide a source of sustenance for bats, spiders, birds and several other species.
How are mosquitoes getting into my home?
It’s very easy for mosquitoes to get into your home – whether it’s new or old, big or small. They commonly find their way in through open doors and windows, little cracks in screens and bathroom exhaust vents. They’re known for hanging out in garages and finding their way in when you open and close the door to your home, provided you have an attached garage.
Can mosquitoes transmit HIV?
No, they cannot. Mosquitoes digest the HIV virus so it is not replicated in their system. Therefore, they cannot transmit the disease to humans who fall victim to their bites. In addition, the amount of blood passes from a mosquito to a human during a bite is so small that it’s impossible for a virus such as HIV to be transmitted.