How to deal with mosquitoes naturally
It's mosquito season again here in North America. This is the time of year when people rely on pesticides for their yards or they use synthetic insect repellants. Many of us are under the false impression that this is the heavy-duty approach and everything else is "not hardcore enough."
There are numerous downsides to outdoor pesticide treatments and synthetic insect repellants. Pesticides create insecticide resistant bugs, and the active ingredient in most commercial bug repellants is DEET. Unfortunately, they're many known health risks associated with DEET, which has been linked to neurological damage, cancer, and environmental damage. Chemicals are less effective than natural methods, which are cheaper and pose little to no health risk.
A Wealth of Options
There are many natural methods for mosquito control. You can grow the right kind of plants in your yard, and mosquitoes will leave you alone. You can make some changes to your diet to make yourself far less appealing to mosquitoes. Another tried and proven tactic is to create bird, bat, or frog habitats, which work well to keep mosquitoes and other bug populations down. Finally, you can use essential oils, the ultimate non-toxic, all- natural mosquito repellant to keep the dastardly bloodsuckers away.
Take Away The Mosquito Habitats
You also don't want to make it easy for mosquitoes to reproduce. Remove anything that collects and pools stagnant water- that's where they lay their eggs. Tires, buckets, pet bowls, birdbaths, gutters, and the like are potential breeding pools for mosquitoes. Eliminating these breeding spots is an essential step if you wish to be taken off the menu.
The easiest solution, and my favorite, is to use your green thumb against mosquitoes. All you need to do is grow the right plants. There are several dozen tested and proven plants that repel mosquitoes, and many are beautiful and easy to grow. You can use flowers such as marigolds, and ageratums (also known as floss flowers). Or you could use plants such as catnip, lavender, mint, or citronella. There are so many plants that repel mosquitoes they are too numerous to list here. For a more complete list click here (gotta link it later)
There are many essential oils that repel mosquitoes and other biting insects. To avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and other pests including ticks, biting flies, and midges, you'll need a combination of essential oils for complete protection. The following essential oils repel mosquitoes:
- Rose geranium
Remember to try a little essential oil on your skin to test for an allergic reaction before you apply the oil all over. Don't use essential oils straight out of the bottle. You can mix drops a few drops of essential oils with coconut oil as a carrier oil, which also doubles as a sunblock. Coconut oil is also good for the skin.
They Know What They Like
Predators and parasites both prefer their prey to be in less than optimal health. When we are in optimal health, our bodies are teeming with beneficial bacteria, killer white T-cells, and all of our other natural defenses.
Diet plays a huge role in both health and micro-bio diversity. Artificial preservatives dramatically change our micro ecologies in harmful ways, some of which we don't yet fully understand. If mosquitoes seem to like you, you might find it surprising how much less they'll like you if you're eating a truly healthy diet. It's helpful to know mosquitoes don't like garlic, onions, leeks and vinegar. If you eat enough of these foods, mosquitoes will like you a lot less.
We hope you take the extra time to make it more difficult for mosquitoes to make a meal out of you or your friends and family. One of the best end results of repelling mosquitoes is the knowledge that you're doing your part to reduce their population the natural way, by starving them out of the blood they need to reproduce. Donating blood should be reserved for fellow people in need, not these vile pests.