09 Mar 2012
Mosquitoes are well-known but disliked pests that can spread disease, itchy discomfort and disturb your sleep.
However, not everybody is comfortable using chemical repellents to get rid of them – here are some tips on how to do it in a more organic manner:
Check out your environment
Check the outdoor areas surrounding your home for any stagnant water and if you find any, dump it or flush it.
Stagnant water comprises any water that is left standing for more than a few days, creating the perfect breeding ground for mosquito larvae. Some of the most common culprits include old tires, unfiltered fishponds, water features and empty flowerpots.
If you do not want to empty the water, such as in a water feature for example, then you can sprinkle a little bit of chlorine in the water to get rid of any pesky larvae. For fishponds, put in a filter to get the water moving, and add some fish – they will eat the larvae.
Once you have done what you can to control your outdoor environment, here are some natural remedies that will help even further:
Garlic doesn’t just work on vampires
Garlic powder is a completely natural way of repelling mosquitos – it can be bought in bulk from most grocery stores. Simply sprinkle it around your garden, especially around your patio or porch area.
Half fill a spray bottle of your choice with Listerine mouthwash, and then fill the other half with water. Give it a shake and use as a body and air spray to keep mosquitoes at bay.
Citronella in all forms
Citronella oil is an excellent mosquito repellent that can be used in a number of forms. It can be used in torches in your garden. Alternatively, you can burn either homemade or store-bought citronella candles both inside and outside your home – giving off a romantic ambience and a lovely aroma, and repelling mosquitoes at the same time.
Using a few drops of oil in a burner with water is a great way to chase mosquitoes out of your room and enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.
Another very useful idea is to mix some citronella oil into your jar of aqueous cream – this makes an all-natural, moisturising and very affordable mosquito repellent that can be applied as often as you like. This is a great solution for kids and those with delicate skins.
Promote the dragonfly population
Dragonfly larvae, otherwise called “nymphs”, feed on mosquito larvae, and adult dragonflies feed on adult mosquitoes – they are nature’s best mosquito repellents.
Encourage them to populate your garden by creating a comfortable environment for them. Including a small pond with a shallow and a deep end is a great start – make sure that there are plants growing out of the water and that there are plenty of flat rocks surrounding the water’s edge.
Plants that repel mosquitoes
There are a variety of plants that contain oils that repel mosquitoes. However, the problem is that these plants don’t release this oil if they are left undisturbed – the leaves have to be crushed for the oils to be released.
As such, if you would like to use these plants as natural mosquito repellents, then it is advisable to plant them in high traffic areas, such as around stepping-stones on a walkway for example. Alternatively, the leaves on these plants can be picked, crushed and rubbed onto the skin.
Mosquito repelling plants include:
– Antonella Desi
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