Get rid of mosquitoes naturally

09 Mar 2012

Mosquitoes are well-known but disliked pests that can spread disease, itchy discomfort and disturb your sleep. 

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: 

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.

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. 

Minty fresh

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. 

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

Citronella oil in torches in your garden.

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: 

  • Citronella grass: This is where citronella oil originates. It is a tropical plant that grows to be just under 2 metres tall, so it is not often a practical plant to include, especially in smaller gardens.
  • Catnip: Most commonly included in toys and treats for cats, Catnip is also an exceptionally good mosquito repellent – it is reportedly 10 times more effective than the chemical mosquito repellent, DEET.
  • Rosemary: Not only good for cooking with, Rosemary is a good looking and hardy plant that also helps repel mosquitos. It is also a water-wise choice of plant, which fares well in dry and even windy climes, and it can be easily propagated in pots.
  • Marigolds: Although Marigolds might have a slightly objectionable aroma to some, there is no argument that they can create the most wonderfully vibrant and colourful display! They are an excellent means of repelling mosquitoes, as well as some other garden pests, such as aphids and other vegetable-attacking insects. They are annuals that can be grown from seeds or seedlings, and are available in a selection of yellows, oranges and reds.

 – Antonella Desi

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