Nothing is worse than having to go through the day with an uncomfortable red bump all over your skin or to wake up in the middle of the night because of the uncontrollable itching that mosquito bites can bring. Scratching these bites can then cause bleeding which can lead to dark spots that may eventually leave permanent scars on your skin.
What’s worse is that mosquitoes can vector severe diseases such as malaria, dengue, encephalitis, and yellow fever. That’s why it’s very important to try and keep them away especially from children. However, from the smell alone, you can already tell that store-bought insect repellents are not short on chemicals. In fact, most of them contain a toxic pesticide known as DEET which is linked to a number of human health problems including memory loss, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, and more. If you want something safer, here are ten natural ways to keep mosquitoes away.
1. Wear protective clothing
Whenever possible, wear protective clothing outdoors especially when you’re going to places with dense foliage. Loose, long-sleeved shirts and pants are best for minimizing mosquito bites.
2. Neem oil
Neem oil, an extract of the Neem tree native to India, acts as a natural insecticide used to keep harmful insects away from plants. It works on humans too without any adverse effects, making it a great indoor mosquito repellent. A study shows that mixing a one-to-one ratio of coconut oil and neem oil makes an effective solution that will keep mosquitoes away for at least eight hours. Just rub the mixture on all exposed skin on your body.
3. Citronella Candles
One of the most effective natural mosquito repellents is citronella essential oil and the best way to take advantage of this is by using it to make a homemade candle. The aroma that the citronella candle will give off is effective enough to keep mosquitoes away. Light some of these candles on your outside patio to make an impenetrable barrier for mosquitoes.
4. Get rid of stagnant water
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water so whenever it’s possible, get rid of them. Empty out rain gutters, bottoms of flowerpots, or any place where water collects.
5. Coffee Grounds
Stagnant water is the most viable breeding ground for mosquitoes. To keep the eggs from hatching and to prevent further breeding of mosquitoes, sprinkle some coffee grounds on any stagnant water you can find around your house if it’s not possible or if it’s difficult to simply get rid of the collected water.
Garlic has a particular pungent odour that is effective for keeping mosquitoes away. Crush a few cloves of garlic, boil it in water, then spray the water around your home or on your skin to ward off mosquitoes. However, take note that spraying it on your skin will leave the odour of garlic on you which might discourage other people.
7. Rosemary on the barbecue
Mosquitoes can strike while you’re outdoors barbecuing. As a solution, throw a few stalks of rosemary on the hot coals to give off an aroma that would effectively repel mosquitoes while adding a delicious flavour to your food. So next time you’re planning a barbecue with family and friends, bring some rosemary.
Camphor is an easy, effective, and environment-friendly way of getting rid of mosquitoes in your home. It was also found to be the longest-lasting mosquito repellent solution compared to other natural solutions. Start off by closing all doors and windows to keep the scent from escaping. Then, light the camphor and leave it for about half an hour. You should come back to a mosquito-free room.
9. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is not only effective for skin and hair treatments, it is also an effective natural mosquito repellent. Rub some tea tree oil on your skin or add a few drops of it to a vaporizer so the scent would drive mosquitoes away.
10. Plant mosquito repellent plants
There are actually a number of plants that have mosquito repellent properties including catnip, lavender, feverfew, and citronella. Just plant them on your garden to keep mosquitoes away.