With summer coming on fast, mosquitoes are starting to make their yearly appearance. I’ve been out getting the garden set up recently and, as usual, I’m the first one to get bitten.For some reason, mosquitoes love me. I either smell delicious or I have incredibly sweet blood, which I’m going to blame my father for. As long as one of us is around, no one else in my family or my town will be bitten. All the little buggers just flock to us.
Now personally, I don’t care much for traditional mosquito sprays. Part of it is that I have fairly sensitive skin, and the other part is they are chalk full of chemicals! However, I also don’t want mosquitoes all over me, all the time. I’ve been experimenting with natural ways to keep mosquitoes away for a few years, and I’ve found a few things that work for me. Hopefully, they’ll help you out as well.
The main difference for me between plants and essential oils in getting rid of mosquitoes is that there are some scents I don’t care to wear.
Lemongrass is a favorite of mine and I do have it as an essential oil (but it’s super strong and usually gives me a headache when I try wearing it) and as a plant. I plant it around the outside of the yard to keep mosquitoes away.
Wild bergamot is one of the most well-known options for keeping mosquitoes away. It has a mild, pleasant smell, but it can be a little irritating for some people’s skin. If you want to use it, mosquitoes will avoid you like the plague, but you should probably dilute it first. If you want to grow it in your garden you certainly can, and simply carrying the leaves around will also help repel mosquitoes.
If you want a plant that does double duty, plant basil. Basil is amazing in the garden. It keeps mosquitoes away, yes, but you should also try and plant it close to tomatoes in the garden. It will keep mosquitoes away from you, tomato worms off your plants and it makes your tomatoes taste better.
These oils are usually my go-to options in the summer. I don’t wear much perfume, so these can play double duty. Mosquitoes are incredibly sensitive to smells, and as a result, there are several scents that repel mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes hate lavender, but I love it. It’s one of my favorite scents to wear, especially if I’m going out in the evening. A nice relaxing scent is perfect to keep you calm, while also keeping you free of pesky bites.
You’ve probably seen people lighting citronella candles to keep mosquitoes at bay. While that is an option, you may not want to carry a candle around with you the whole night. Using it as an oil makes it mobile instead.
If I’m feeling a bit more daring, this is a good, clean scent to wear. Most people have difficultly placing it, and I think more people ask me about it than any other scent. If you don’t like the smell, this is a really good base oil to mix with others. I like it straight, but it’s also really nice when mixed with lemon or orange scents.
Mint is a great plant, because it keeps all manner of pests away and because it’s incredibly easy to keep. However, it spreads like a weed! Since mosquitoes and other bugs don’t like the smell, I add a few drops to a glass spray bottle with water, shake and spray on my clothes before I go outside. I love the peppermint smell and it gives me energy if I’m wanting to go outside and garden after a long day at work. I also use this mix to spray on window screens where spiders often get between the window and screen. Spiders hate the smell of peppermint as well!
In addition to plants and essential oils, try these kitchen staples in your garden to keep those mosquitoes at bay.
You’ve probably heard that coffee grounds make for a good fertilizer for your soil, but they also keep mosquitoes away. If you find stagnant water on your property, sprinkle some grounds in. It will force any mosquito eggs to the surface, where they will die before hatching.
This is a weird trick, but many people swear by it. Eating raw garlic is supposed to help keep mosquitoes away! Of course, it might keep> people away as well, so be careful with it. I don’t really like raw garlic, so I cut a clove into small chunks and swallow them like pills.
No matter what options you use, some of these will definitely make a huge difference. Even for someone like me, who gets attacked by mosquitoes the second the sun comes out, these natural remedies work.