Here are a range of natural mosquito repellents which are effective – ditching the need for the nasty chemical laden cocktails:
It is the perennial problem when summer comes around, how to avoid using the harsh commercial chemical repellents to avoid being eaten alive by pesky bugs. Mosquitoes find their victims by sight, heat and smell and detect in particular carbon dioxide and lactic acid (which we emit being warm blooded animals. Chemical based repellents merely mask these odors but have well documented side effects and contraindictions. Here we have easy and natural solutions, from natural oils, plants to have around your home and foods to avoid.
1. LEMON EUCALYPTUS OIL: Lemon eucalyptus, latin name corymbia citriodora is a tall tree, easily growing to 100 feet in height (but sometimes taller), is native to temperate and tropical north eastern Australia, but can be grown in any nice sunny spot. It has a similar but stronger smell to lemon verbena, lemon balm and even lemon thyme.
It has been shown to be effective as a mosquito repellent. You can find sprays containing this in natural or health food stores or you can make a homemade spray using the essential oil mixing it into a carrier oil such as jojoba. It is particularly effective when you spray on your pulse points. Also you could have the plant in your home or garden as the scent will keep the area mosquito free. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who actively promote chemical alternatives have been forced to admit that this plant can be just as effective as DEET (a controversial chemical used in traditional bug sprays).
2. LEMONGRASS AND CITRONELLA: Lemongrass (Cymbopogon) is a tropical variety of grass with a sweet, lemony scent widely used in cooking. Plant it in your garden or keep in a large planter pot to keep not only mosquito’s but other bugs away from your home.
Citronella oil is an essential oil extracted from the leaves and stems of different species of lemongrass. It is widely found in candles, incense, and oils for burners and has been proven to be extremely effective in repelling mosquitos. Again, it can be made into a body spray and can be bought in natural stores.
3. CATNIP: Think catnip is just for our feline friends – think again. Researchers from Iowa State University, found that Catnip Oil was found to be 10 times more effective than DEET at repelling mosquito’s (i). This is easy to grow on a window ledge or garden and you simply crush the leaves and rub the oil that is released directly on your skin. Sprays containing this oil can also be found in stores or it is easy to make your own: you need 2 cups of catnip leaves and 1 cup of rosemary leaves. Crush them together and leave in a jar; pour in some natural oil and leave covered in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks, gently shaking the jar daily. Use as needed and refrigerate.
4. LAVENDER OIL: Lavender essential oil not only smells great but is an effective mosquito repellent. Dilute in almond or coconut oil or organic soy oil.
5. GARLIC: Eat plenty – mosquitos’s hate it not just from the odor on your breath but also from the sulfur compounds that you emit through your skin.
6. TEA-TREE OIL: Tea tree oil is a great natural insect repellent. Make a homemade spray by mixing 2 oz of organic tea tree oil, and some water into a spray bottle. Mist the solution onto the skin and rub in.
7. WEAR LIGHT CLOTHES: Very simple, mosquito’s are attracted to darker colors as they manage to see them more easily.