“Anyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room.” – Christine Todd Whitman
Mosquitoes are such pesky insects that even the biggest animal-lover around will look for ways to get rid of them! There are many species of mosquitoes and they tend to thrive in humid, tropical regions which explains why we find so many of them in this country! While they’re present throughout the year, the menace tends to worsen during the rainy season. As soon as the first rains fall, you’ll find people scurrying around looking for natural ways to prevent mosquitoes!
Mosquitoes can spread many serious illnesses like dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and more recently, Zika. Besides these, mosquito bites can trigger allergic responses in some people and as you and I know very well – they can be incredibly annoying!
You can easily get yourself a chemical mosquito repellent from your local store, but the fact remains that they may contain many harmful substances. An ingredient that has recently come to light as possibly dangerous is DEET, which is essentially a pesticide. DEET is now known to have many health and environmental hazards, and experts don’t recommend using it as a permanent solution. Another problem is that such repellants work for the first few hours, after which they become ineffective.
The only solution then is to opt for natural ways to prevent mosquitoes so that they go far, far away from you – and stay far away!
10 Natural Ways to prevent Mosquitoes
1. Essential Oil Bug Spray
One of the most effective ways to get rid of mosquitoes is by making your own bug spray with essential oils. Essential oils have lovely aroms and make your home smell good, but for some reason are hated by mosquitoes. You can make a spray by mixing a little of any of these essential oils with water in a spray bottle:
- Lemon Eucalyptus
- Tea Tree Oil
This bug spray is fine to use on kids aged three and above, but be sure to do an allergy patch test first. Never use the undiluted oil directly. If you’re still in doubt, spray it on curtains and furniture instead to keep your kids safe without affecting their skin.
2. Citronella Candles
Citronella is known to be hated by mosquitoes and a good way to maintain a mosquito-free atmosphere is by lighting a citronella candle. You can make one yourself by following the tutorial at Home Talk. All you need is candle wax, citronella oil and candle wicks. Just light them up in an area with high mosquito risk and they’ll all fly away.
3. Mosquito Repellent Plants
There are many plants which repel mosquitoes and common ones that work in our country are holy basil (Tulsi), lemongrass and mint. Thyme and rosemary are also effective. Place these plants in your garden or in your veranda and you’ll be able to sit out and enjoy the rain without getting bitten!
Camphor is a strong-smelling substance that is often used in religious rituals or in moth balls. Place a few camphor balls or cubes in a bowl with a little water and place it in the corner of the room. Within a short while, the vapors that emerge will chase mosquitoes away. Replace the water when needed – the effects last for a few days.
5. Herb Smoke
Burning herbs like rosemary and sage releases their potent vapors which are very effective in chasing mosquitoes away. If you’re having an outdoor event or are spending time in your garden, burning these herbs in a safe place is a good way to stay safe from mosquito bites. Exercise caution by ensuring nothing nearby catches fire and that there are no kids nearby.
6. Mason Jar Repellent
This mason jar repellent is a pretty way to bring in some color while chasing away mosquitoes! Tiphero has the full tutorial on making this all-natural repellent. You need lemons, rosemary, lemon eucalyptus oil and a tea candle, besides a mason jar. You can use this both indoors and outdoors and is also a good way to make the room smell great!
7. Lime and Cloves
This technique is similar to creating a pomander. In general, mosquitoes don’t like citrus fruits, especially limes and lemons. Slice limes in half and press in as many cloves as you can into the fruit – fleshy side up. Place on a plate and watch the mosquitoes fly away from the combined aroma of lime and clove, while you breathe it in!
8. DIY Mosquito Trap
The Indian Spot has a really easy tutorial to make a DIY trap that catches both mosquitoes and flies! All you need are very basic materials like a plastic bottle, apple cider vinegar and liquid detergent. Within less than half an hour, you can set up your very own trap to catch pesky bugs!
9. No Standing Water
Mosquitoes are notorious for making their home anywhere they can find stagnant water. They can breed in as little as 1 tbsp of water in as little as a week. Thus it is extremely important to empty birdbaths, pot trays and other water containers periodically. Keep unused pots and things upturned so they don’t hold water. Don’t leave trash like empty coconut shells which may become mosquito breeding grounds.
10. Physical Barriers
The most basic way to keep mosquitoes out is to – keep them OUT! Wear long sleeved clothes and full pants to keep arms and legs safe. Close windows and doors in the early evening which is when mosquitoes tend to barge in. Use a mosquito net at night, especially over babies’ cots and kids’ beds.
As you can see, there are many ways to prevent mosquitoes that don’t include chemicals of any kind. Try out a few methods and remember to keep changing them periodically so that the mosquitoes in your area don’t know what to expect. Keep them on their toes guessing – they’ll never know what you’re up to next!