Summer is the season for outdoor living, but when mosquitoes ruin your relaxing backyard, what are you to do?!? Relax and turn to Nature! Take back your yard and your summer with these Natural Ways to Repel Mosquitoes!
The power of plants is truly amazing. When it comes to repelling insects, like mosquitoes, there are a variety of plants you can chose. You need to know how to use these plants as some can be used on your skin, while others are better suited to be plant in high traffic areas.
Plants to use on your skin
Some plants work better when you crush them and apply them to your skin. The scent they release work to repel mosquitoes. Simply pick a few leaves, smash them in the palm of your hand, and rub over your skin and clothing.
- Lemon Balm
- Lemon Grass
Other ways to repel mosquitoes
Some plants should not be rubbed on your skin or need to be planted in containers
Citronella can cause skin irritation, so it should not be rubbed on your skin. Instead, use the plant in your landscape or plant in containers around patio areas. Citronella can be turned into candles if you harvest the oil. You can make citronella oil by trimming your plant and cooking it in olive oil in your slow cooker over night. There are many simple tutorials to be found on the internet for this process and the process of making the candles.
Lantana is another great plant for repelling mosquitoes. There have been studies in Tanzania as to it’s effectiveness against mosquitoes. The down side to Lantana is that it has a tendency to spread. I would advise this plant be placed in containers to control it’s growth.
Vanilla extract can also be used to repel mosquitoes. Dab a bit of vanilla extract on your wrists and other pulse points before heading out to enjoy your yard.
Make a garlic spray
Vampires aren’t the only ones afraid of garlic! There are many commercial companies out there offering natural mosquito yard spraying. Guess what? They are using garlic! And you can make your own! Scale up the directions for larger yards.
To make your own garlic spray you will need to mince up a few cloves of garlic. Place your minced garlic in a container and pour in enough mineral oil to cover the garlic. Place a lid on your container and let it sit for at least 24 hours. This infuses the oil with the garlic. When you’re are ready to spray, remove the garlic and add 2 cups of water and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Strain your spray through some cheese cloth and transfer your spray to a spray bottle.
Now head out and spray your yard and patio areas. Yes, it will smell like garlic and so will your yard. Don’t worry the smell dissipates but the effects will linger even through a few rain showers because of the oil.
Provide habitat for preditors
By providing homes for toads, or as we like to call them Toad Abodes, you encourage toads to not only reside in your yard and eat insects, but tadpoles that develop from eggs laid by females feed on mosquito larvae. Toads are a two edge sword in the fight against mosquitoes! These little homes are super easy to make and place.
Things to remember
Mosquitoes love puddles and stagnate water. Make sure to keep your property clear of these water issues by addressing drainage issues and keeping items that might collect water empty. Something as simple as a forgotten child’s Frisbee can provide an area for mosquitoes to lay and reproduce. If you own a dog, even if it lives inside the majority of the time, be aware that mosquitoes transmit heartworm. Heartworm has been on the rise the last few years, so educate yourself and protect your pets.