Many insect repellants on the market today contain harmful chemicals that you don’t want on your skin or near your home. Fortunately, there are lots of effective, natural alternatives to keep mosquitoes at bay.
Lavender is one of the best natural insect repellant options because of its lovely scent. Combine about 30 drops of lavender essential oil with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and spread evenly on exposed skin. Not only will you smell great, you’ll be itch-free, too.
2. Natural Citronella Candles
Candles made of citronella, an essential oil, are widely-used to repel mosquitoes. However, most citronella candles are made with paraffin, a byproduct of petroleum. Not only is paraffin not a natural substance, but it is chemically treated and bleached during the manufacturing process. Paraffin candles also emit black smoke and toxic chemicals when burned, making them harmful both to the environment and to people.
The good news is that natural citronella candles are available so that you can take advantage of the benefits of citronella without the harmful substances. These citronella candles use beeswax and soy wax, which are natural and sustainable.
3. Neem Oil
Neem oil is made by pressing the fruits and seeds of the neem tree, which naturally grows in India and other areas of the tropics. It has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic traditional medicine. It is an essential oil with a wide variety of purposes, one of which is a natural insect repellant. Try mixing one part neem oil and one part coconut oil and spreading on exposed skin. Not only will it keep mosquitoes away, but it is believed to be nourishing for your skin as well.
Admittedly, garlic doesn’t smell quite as good as lavender. But it is a useful and natural way to get rid of mosquitoes because, just like you and me, mosquitoes don’t like the strong odor. Simply crush 2 or 3 cloves of garlic and boil them in water. Put the solution in a spray bottle and spray it in mosquito-prone areas.
While it may not be an ideal option for everyone, attracting bats to your outdoor space is an effective way to significantly decrease the number of mosquitoes nearby, because bats feed on mosquitoes. One bat can eat as many as 600 mosquitoes within an hour! You might consider this method if you have a professional outdoor venue, or if you have regular outdoor get togethers.
To attract bats to your outdoor space, install a bat house at least 10 feet off the ground on the sunny side of your house and away from bright nighttime lights. In addition to helping get rid of mosquitoes in your yard, you’ll be helping boost the declining bat population.
With so many easy options for keeping mosquitoes away from your outdoor gatherings, you’ll never again have to expose your guests or the environment to harmful chemical methods.
What natural methods do you use to repel mosquitoes?
Image via Flickr user Combust