Eight natural ways to keep mosquitoes at bay

Here are some useful tips to keep mosquitoes at bay:

Use mosquito nets

Invest in a good-quality, super-fine mesh, machine-washable, lightweight mosquito net that you can hang to surround your bed at night or bring with you on your outdoor adventures. Some designs have an opening that overlaps to close so you don’t need to crawl underneath the net.

Mosquito nets offer effective protection while you sleep against bites from mosquitoes and other bugs that may carry diseases.

Use fans

Mosquitoes aren’t strong fliers because their wings lack range and the sweep of their wings is extremely shallow.

You can take advantage of this weakness with a few well-placed fans in your bedroom to help keep you cool at night and leave mosquitoes grounded so you can get some undisturbed sleep.

Use essential oils

Mosquitoes are quite picky when it comes to fragrances. Here are some of the essential oils that mosquitoes avoid. You can use a diffuser to fill the air around you with these mosquito-repelling scents.

Cinnamon bark oil. According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, cinnamaldehyde, the active component in cinnamon, is effective at inhibiting the growth of yellow fever mosquito larvae.

Lavender essential oil. If you have a lavender plant already growing, you can crush some of them to release the essential oil inside.

Lemon eucalyptus oil. This is the only plant-based repellent recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent mosquito and tick bites. The key ingredient is said to be stronger in concentration than the base plant itself.

Peppermint essential oil. Research published in the Journal of Medical Entomology suggests that high concentrations of peppermint oil could help repel mosquitoes.

Pine oil. A study published in the Journal of Vector Borne Diseases reported that pine oil exhibits strong repellent action against mosquitoes and can provide 100 percent protection against Anopheles culicifacies (malaria vector) for 11 hours and 97 percent protection against Culex quinquefasciatus (house mosquitoes) for nine hours.

Grow the right plants

Here are some of the best mosquito-repellent plants that will keep you comfortable outdoors. Note that many of them double as delicious kitchen essentials and are great additions that can beautify your home.

Basil – Grow basil near your outdoor dining area to keep mosquitoes away from you during mealtime. As a bonus, you can pluck and tear a fresh garnish for your meals.

Catnip – Use catnip as a garden filler or grow them in small pots with other houseplants to keep mosquitoes at bay. Get some catnip leaves and crush them into small pieces to release their natural oil. Rub the oil on various rags or similar fabrics and spread these outside to let catnip do its magic.

Citronella – A classic mosquito-repelling plant, citronella is great when grown in individual pots near doorways or in porch corners to create a strategic border around gathering areas. Citronella blocks the scent receptors of mosquitoes: with their scent gland affected, mosquitoes won’t be able to find a proper food source and will stay away from the area.

Garlic – Garlic plants can also be planted around flowers and herbs to repel mosquitoes and keep rabbits out of your garden.

Lavender – A stunning and sweet-smelling way to line your front walkway, lavender can protect against mosquitoes.

Lemongrass – Lemongrass is an effective mosquito deterrent for your entire yard.

Marigolds – A colorful and long-lasting addition to your backyard landscaping, plant marigolds in pots so you can easily move them closer to seating areas during the summer months.

Mint – Plant mint near your front or back steps for aromatic and pest-free entry areas. You’ll also love being able to walk out and pluck a couple of leaves for when you need them for desserts, drinks and salads.

Rosemary – Plant rosemary in small pots and place them on your dinner table, porch ledge or window sill to create a natural mosquito barrier.

Sage – Grow sweet-smelling and useful sage on your kitchen windowsill to repel mosquitoes if you prefer to leave the windows open all summer long.

Eliminate any standing or stagnant water

Mosquitoes reproduce in aquatic habitats, which means they lay their eggs in water. Removing all sources of stagnant or standing water is critical for reducing the mosquito population.

Use colors

According to scientists at the University of Washington, there are certain colors that repel mosquitoes and others that attract them. Their study published in Nature Communications revealed that mosquitoes’ sense of smell (olfaction) influences how they respond to visual cues/colors.

This color preference only occurs in the presence of carbon dioxide (CO2), which you exhale when you breathe.

To reduce the possibility of a mosquito biting you, consider wearing white, blue or green. Lighter colors are less interesting to mosquitoes than darker shades like navy, black, red or orange.

Use screens

Install screens on your doors and windows that let you crack them open at night to help cool your space without letting mosquitoes find their way in. Make sure your screens are installed flush against the edges and always monitor them for damage. Don’t forget to wash both sides of your screens with soapy water as needed.

Shower before bed

Mosquitoes are attracted to the smell of sweat. If you’ve worked out a sweat during the day and climb straight to bed, you’re pretty much ringing the dinner bell and leading them straight to you – their next meal. Take a shower before you go to bed to wash away residual sweat.

Remember that any residual sweat in your sheets could also be a contributing factor. Replace your bedding regularly, and remember to give the actual duvet and your pillows a wash every so often.


September 22, 2023


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