Although summer is long gone, soon enough the weather will be warming up again and with it will come the usual hordes of blood sucking pests. Not only are mosquito bites extremely uncomfortable to deal with, they also in some cases carry dangerous diseases – so it is imperative that you protect yourself from these airborne irritants. Most mosquito control solutions involve applying mosquito repellents that contain chemicals like DEET which, it is now emerging, is harmful (toxic) not only to humans and to the natural environment generally. So if you want to avoid getting eaten alive by mosquitoes once the summer season hits again, and do so in a manner which preserves instead of destroys the biosphere, then we're here to help with these eco-friendly forms of mosquito control. Read on to find out more.
First, though, mosquitoes are attracted to the smell and heat of human skin, as well as the carbon dioxide we exhale in our breath and sweat at every moment. To deter mosquitoes from your person, the best solution is obviously to make your skin less attractive to mosquitoes. This is what conventional mosquito repellents do, they hide human scent from insects. On top of that the activities ingredients like DEET that reside in these chemicals are anathema to mosquitoes, repelling them to the same degree that carbon dioxide attracts. As we have seen though, DEET is toxic to the environment, so the question arises: are there any natural ingredients out there that repel mosquitoes and can be used in an eco-friendly mosquito repellent alternative?
The answer, fortunately, is yes! Here is one such recipe for an all-natural, environmentally friendly insect repellent.
Environmentally friendly insect repellent recipes
Simply mix 2 tablespoons olive oil together with 10 drops essential oil of either eucalyptus, basil, lavender, lemon balm or citronella, peppermint, rosemary, geranium or cloves. All of these natural ingredients are effective at repelling mosquitoes, and can be purchased in most cases at health food stores. Combine the ingredients in a glass jar, then stir and dab a few droplets onto your skin or clothing.
Meanwhile, for an eco-friendly anti-mosquito spray, take a half cup of rosemary and add to one cup of boiling water. Let steep for an hour, then once cool, refrigerate. Spray on yourself as required.
Here's another recipe for an anti-mosquito dab. Mix a half cup of crushed parsley with apple cider vinegar, refrigerate and then dab the mixture on your skin as required.
Lemon balm or citronella was mentioned above as a potential ingredient in an all-natural, eco-friendly mosquito repellent – this substance can also be used in candles that release citronella as a vapor, and which are also quite effective at repelling mosquitoes.
Quite apart from the mosquito repellents that you apply to your skin as a lotion or spray, there are plenty of other simple tricks and tips out there for deterring mosquitoes – that don't involve damaging the environment.
Other mosquito deterring tips & tricks
For example, when you are outside during peak mosquito season and hours of the day, you should always wear thick, long sleeved shirts and pants, with equally thick socks and shoes that you can tuck into your pants. Essentially the less skin you expose to mosquitoes, the more protected you are against them.
Another point: sources of still, standing water are a literal breeding ground for mosquitoes, so to avoid getting swarmed by mosquitoes in the summer, remove all such sources of water from your home – including wading pools, empty flowerpots, pet dishes, bird baths. If you have a swimming pool, cover it when not in use, and also remove any leaves form the surface of the water (they attract mosquitoes). If you must have a pool or pond in your yard, stock it with mosquito fish or some other native fish that eat mosquitoes. Also regularly cut back the grass and weed your garden, as these provide potential places of shelter for insects.
A few other suggestions: encourage bats onto your property by building a bat house. The reason? Bats eat mosquitoes. When you are sitting out on the deck, have a fan running nearby – the swirling, turbulent air makes it more difficult for mosquitoes to navigate a straightforward path to your skin.