When temperatures soar above 50 degrees, we want to open windows, have dinners with friends in the garden, and enjoy our swimming pools or porches. Unfortunately, mosquitos like the warmer temperatures, too. They are so ready to spoil the party with their buzzes and their bites.
Whether you have kids, pets, or simply don’t want to surround yourself with harmful chemicals, there are some effective ways to keep mosquitos away from you naturally. Here is a sneak peek of 5 examples:
- Install a fan to blow them away
- Use essential oils in your homemade mosquito sprays
- Avoid sweet aromas
- Get rid of stagnant water
- Don’t drink beer
Read the full article to get more natural ways to repel mosquitos and to get details about each one!
Mosquitos are especially concentrated in humid areas and don’t attack everyone in the same way. Actually, only 20% of the people are a pole of attraction for their bites.
If you or your family members suffer a lot, you might decide to use chemical products, like mosquito-repelling sprays, that keep these pests away. However, you should know that many of these products can be harmful to your health. Most importantly, they are not safe for little children and nursing mothers.
Firstly, why do mosquitos bite us?
It is reassuring to know that of the 3,500 mosquito species, only 200 bites. So, which ones tend to bite us? It’s the females, not the males, that are the problem. Our blood, in particular the protein in our blood, is useful for the maturation process of their eggs. Each mosquito is able to suck up two or three times its weight in blood.
Mosquitos locate their prey with their sense of smell, seeking the carbon dioxide that we reject. Plus, mosquitos normally get attracted to the hottest body. No, they don’t think you’re sexy but they love your warmth.
Not everyone is susceptible to mosquito bites, though. Some people are rarely stung while others attract mosquitos like magnets. A few things determine our vulnerability:
- Heat (study from 2017)
- Blood type
- Body odor
Studies showed that mosquitos may tend to bite people with blood group “O” twice as much as they bite those with type “A” (study from 2019).
In addition, a study from 2016, study from 2015, and one from 2011 tested whether or not body odor plays a role. There were correlations between body odor (skin compounds, genetics, and bacteria) and mosquito preferences.
Why do pregnant women seem to attract mosquitos?
Several studies (i.e. from 2000 and 2004) have proven that pregnant women are bitten by mosquitos twice as much as non-pregnant women. Why? Pregnant women exhale more carbon dioxide than non-pregnant women. They are also warmer than people who aren’t pregnant. And of course, especially pregnant women shouldn’t use chemical repellents. It is really important for them to opt for natural solutions.
Knowing you are one of the ones mosquitos seem to love, pregnant or not, let’s look at natural ways to keep mosquitos away!
Simple tricks to repel mosquitos naturally
There are numerous ingredients and objects that you have on hand in your home and that are perfectly valid to drive away these tiny creatures. Some are more effective than others and some are more environmentally friendly than others. For example:
Use plants that are a natural repellent
You can effectively repel mosquitos naturally from your garden, patio, and porch by growing certain plants. Simply plant herbs or flowers that these insects hate.
Mosquito-repelling herbs include:
- Lemon thyme
- Lemon balm
Mosquito-repelling flowers include:
- Common lantanas
In addition to being beautiful and requiring low-maintenance work, these plants can repel flying insects. This is a powerful way to create a mosquito-free yard naturally.
If you plant these flowers ahead of the high season, this can be an effective way of dealing with the mosquito problem. It’ll be rewarding and completely worth your effort because it creates a beautiful garden.
Use old coffee grounds
Here’s a natural way to repel mosquitos that offers a sustainable solution to your daily coffee consumption. Instead of throwing away your used coffee grounds, reuse them in your garden.
Sprinkle used coffee grounds over your garden beds and/or the floors of your deck or patio. Or, place them in bowls in desired areas.
Coffee grounds also repel other pests and give nutrients to the soil. So, it’s a perfect way of recycling.
Create your own breeze – install a fan (or more)
Ever wondered why mosquitos don’t attack much when it’s windy? The reason for this is simple: mosquitos are weak flyers who find it hard to fly in a breeze over 2 mph.
So, without having to wait for windy days, use a fan to repel mosquitos naturally (and to keep you cool). It’s a smart way to keep mosquitos away, particularly on your patio and porch. Installing an electric fan in strategic spots like these will make it almost impossible for them to attack you.
Invest in citronella candles or torches
Some people swear by these scented light sources as a natural mosquito repellent. Although citronella candles alone will not reduce your mosquito population, they will keep them away from you.
Citronella plant oil in candles is readily available in grocery and home improvement stores. Look for candles made with good essential oil and soy wax. They come in different sizes, shapes, and colors, so you can choose the ones you like best according to your preference.
You can even build a virtual citronella wall by placing the candles around the perimeter of your porch or patio. However, while effective, the smoke from the candles can be uncomfortable. So, try them out before committing to redecorating and see if this solution works for you.
Try burning mosquito incense
Mosquitos hate the smell of aromatic plants. You can take advantage of this aversion and repel mosquitos naturally by burning incense.
Mosquitos will avoid any area where incense is burning. So, set this solution up on your porch or whenever you plan to have a great time outdoors.
The most powerful mosquito incense contains eucalyptus, cloves, or the aforementioned citronella. Read the labels and opt for natural products that are 100% safe for you!
Maintain a population of natural predators
You can reduce the population of mosquitos around your garden by attracting their natural predators. Birds and bats are natural mosquito killers that feed on them to help you control their population. Find out how you can swiftly attract them below.
Set up bat houses
Bats are very effective in creating a mosquito-free yard. Brown bats, in particular, can feed on large quantities of mosquitos in a very short time.
You can install a bat house of any size or form. Your backyard can be a good spot, they don’t have to be in the rafters of your home. And after you’ve installed one, you can relax and let the bats work for you!
Create a bird-friendly habitat
Maybe you’re a bit skittish when it comes to bats – no worries, I totally understand. There is another flying animal that loves mosquitos: birds. Species of birds like swallows and purple martins are natural mosquito killers, who would love to have either adult mosquitos and their larvae as a meal.
To create a bird-friendly environment, get a variety of bird feeders and welcome these flying creatures. Although birds are not as effective as bats, they can still be helpful.
Note: You should ensure that the birdhouses or feeders are not increasing standing water. Standing water of any kind hosts a perfect breeding place for mosquitos.
Natural homemade mosquito repellents
Homemade mosquito repellents can be another quick trick against these insects. Home remedies that repel mosquitos involve adding certain dried herbs or flowers to boiling water. Here are some plants you can use below:
You likely already have some of these ingredients in your pantry or spice cabinet.
The procedure for making your homemade mosquito repellent is very simple: add your desired herb to boiling water and let it steep for some time until it gets to normal room temperature. Then add the cooled herbal mixture to 8 oz. of witch hazel. Voila, your homemade mosquito repellent is ready. Simply put the mixture in a spray bottle and keep it handy while you are outside.
Use mosquito-repelling essential oils
Another home remedy that repels mosquitos involves using essential oils. Essential oils represent a far better mosquito repellent option when compared to chemical solutions that might cause skin irritations, health issues, and environmental problems.
You could use any of these essential oils below:
- Greek catnip
- Tea tree
- Lemon eucalyptus
Note: Do not apply essential oils directly on your skin. And make sure you are not allergic to any essential oil you decide to use.
You can add essential oils to your repellent spray (above) or dilute it with almond oil. Some people prefer to add essential oils to their lotions.
Once you have found a perfect oil that works for you, stick to it and enjoy your mosquito-free adventure.
Things you should avoid when repelling mosquitos
Instead of focusing solely on repelling or even killing mosquitos, consider ways to establish and sustain a mosquito-unfriendly environment.
Avoid containers with stagnant water
As mentioned, stagnant water is the ideal place for mosquitos to deposit their larvae. So, try not to leave open containers with water on your property.
Standing water attracts adult mosquitos looking for good spots to lay eggs. Without standing water, there’s less of an opportunity for mosquitos to reproduce and increase their population in your area.
To start, look around your yard for any containers that might collect water and empty them immediately if they are full. Then, make it a habit to turn containers upside down if you can’t, re-think your garden design or add larvae-killing pallets.
For example, in our garden, we have a shelf with lots of pots and planters. For the longest time, we didn’t notice that smaller pots were full with water and mosquito larvae. It’s worth investigating where those little pests might find a suitable home.
Your gutters are another spot you should check out. Ensure that they drain properly and aren’t blocked by leaves, branches, or debris.
Although you can’t always fully eliminate stagnant water in your yard, it will help with reducing their population. However, it may not completely get rid of mosquitos because you cannot control your neighbor’s yard.
Do not leave food scraps
The remains of food may attract insects. If you do not clean the terrace table or the patio floor well, insects will want to get to those crumbs or bits of food.
Avoid sweet aromas
Did you know that sweet smells attract these pesky insects? Avoid colognes, perfumes, candles, or air fresheners that have a sweet or floral scent. That way you won’t invite them to come to your backyard gathering.
Turn off the light
Insects are attracted to light sources. That’s, by the way, another reason why citronella candles are effective as natural mosquito repellents. So, avoid keeping your garden lights on, as much as possible. And when you are not outside, remember to turn them off.
Ways to keep mosquitos away from you
Eat foods rich in Vitamin B
One personal natural mosquito repellent? Consume foods rich in vitamin B. These foods produce enzymes in your body that mosquitos hate so that they won’t want to bite you.
Vitamin B rich foods include legumes, mushrooms, onions, almonds, and garlic. Also, eat products rich in Vitamin C such as fruits.
Wear light colors
Light-colored clothes may help to ward off mosquitos. Cover as much of your skin as possible. Long sleeves and long pants are preferred to prevent bites.
Enjoy garlic-infused foods or make a garlic mosquito repellent
Mosquitos despise the smell of garlic, so enjoy it in your dishes. You can also apply some on your skin or sprinkle it around your patio and porch. And, you can use it to make a spray that’ll repel mosquitos.
Try this simple natural mosquito-repelling spray:
- Biodegradable dish soap
- 4 cloves of crushed garlic
Put the beer aside!
Apparently, you can become a mosquito magnet when enjoying beer outdoors. Research has proven that the consumption of alcohol attracts more mosquitos. So, if you cannot do without an ice-cold beer in summer, you may have to sit inside, under your covered patio, or use a repellent.
Putting it all together
We’ve mentioned these 17 natural ways to repel mosquitos:
- Plant plants that mosquitos hate
- Sprinkle old coffee grounds
- Create a breezy environment
- Use citronella candles
- Burn incense
- Set up bat houses
- Invite birds
- Natural repellent sprays
- Essential oils
- Get rid of stagnant water
- Don’t leave food scraps
- Avoid sweet aromas
- Keep it romantic without bright lights
- Eat Vitamin B
- Wear light colors
- Consume or use garlic
- Stay sober
Keep experimenting with these possibilities until you find the perfect natural option to help you avoid those harsh bites. With these tricks, it’s possible to have a mosquito-free adventure throughout the warmer months without relying on toxic products.
Oh, and if you enjoy the outdoors with your dog? Please don’t use chemical insect repellent on them. Some ingredients like Picaridin and DEET can cause irritation, seizures, and vomiting. So, you shouldn’t use it on your dog or allow your dog to lick your skin if you go the chemical route.
Meanwhile, have you already received your unfair share of mosquito bites? Are you looking for procedures that’ll help you soothe the pain and make it more bearable? Here, we have an article that’ll be very helpful for you.