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Keep the Mosquitoes at Bay

beautiful-backyard-300x225With the onset of summer, comes the anticipation of warm, sun kissed days, enjoying hours of play and dining in the great outdoors, but with it, also comes the dreaded lure of mosquitoes. This summer, instead of safeguarding your family against mosquitoes with chemical based bug repellents that contain harmful toxins which have been linked to tremors, weakness, fatigue, muscle and joint pain and shortness of breath (1), try these organic options that are just as effective as chemical based products, and safe for the whole family.

Lavender Essential Oil as a Natural Repellent

Mosquitoes despise lavender. Add a few drops of lavender to strips of ribbon, then place the ribbons around open windows to deter mosquitoes from entering your space. You could also prepare a lavender body oil to rub on the skin, which will help keep mosquitoes from landing on you. Simply mix 30 drops of lavender oil with two tablespoons of vegetable oil.

Neem Essential Oil as a Natural Repellent

Neem oil is a natural insecticide. Rub on plants in surrounding areas or on the skin to help keep mosquitoes away. In addition to applying Neem oil or other natural repellent, wear loose fitting clothing to create an obstacle between you and the mosquitoes.

Lemon-Eucalyptus Spray

Lemon-Eucalyptus spray has been government-approved to be just as effective as DEET based repellents. To make your own spray, fill a small spray bottle halfway with boiled or distilled water. Top it off with witch hazel. Lastly, add 50 drops of lemon-eucalyptus oil. To apply, add a few dots on a cotton ball, then apply to skin. If you have sensitive skin, simply dab the repellent onto your clothing instead. Test a spot beforehand, to be sure it won’t damage or stain your clothes.

Citronella Candles

Citronella oil is one of the most proven, effective natural ways to ward off mosquitoes. Make your own citronella candles or purchase them from the store. Place various candles around the garden or patio to create a mosquito proof screen.

gardening-small-200x300Plant Mosquito Repellent Plants

Plants such as citronella, feverfew, catnip and lavender all have natural mosquito repellent qualities. Plant these plants sporadically around your yard for a natural way to keep mosquitoes at bay.

Make a Mosquito Trap

A C02 trap will help attract and trap thirsty mosquitoes. C02 is the air we breath out, and the same compound that attracts mosquitoes. There are several recipes for homemade mosquito traps on the internet or purchase one from the store.

Eliminate Standing Water

Open water sources such as pet bowls, bird baths, puddles and swimming pools etc. are breeding grounds for mosquito eggs. Eliminate open water sources to decrease the number of mosquitoes in the area. If you have a pond or other natural source of water with no natural outlet, filling it with native fish or goldfish will serve as a natural trap for mosquitoes, because these fish feed off mosquitoes and their eggs.

Incorporate a Fan

Mosquitoes are not very strong fliers. So, if you plan to spend time on an unscreened porch or deck, installing a ceiling fan will help shoo mosquitoes away.

Reduce Your Personal Attractiveness

Mosquitoes are attracted to the smell of heavy perfume. Eliminate strong perfumed shampoos and soaps to reduce your attractiveness to mosquitoes.

Grill Repellent

Mosquitoes can be a big problem while grilling. To help eliminate these pests as you grill this summer, try placing a few fresh stalks of rosemary or a sage stick on the hot coals to omit a mosquito deterring aroma.

Mosquito Curtains

A mosquito netted curtain will allow you to enclose your porch, patio, gazebo, garage, or awning etc., so mosquitoes stay out and you are free to enjoy your outdoor space.

So as you can see, there are various, fun and inexpensive organic ways to safeguard your family against pesky mosquitoes this summer. Select one, two or a few solutions for maximum protection, or try them all until you find a solution that is best for you.

References
Consumer Reports. Washington Post. (June 23, 2014). Chemical-Based Insect Repellents Work, But You May Want To Try Safer Alternatives. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/chemical-based-insect-repellents-work-but-you-may-want-to-try-safer-alternatives/2014/06/23/e676875c-d789-11e3-95d3-3bcd77cd4e11_story.html

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