When the weather is warm, everyone wants to spend time outdoors, but no one wants to hang out with mosquitoes or other annoying bugs. In an effort to deter insects from feasting on our flesh, many people coat themselves in various sprays and lotions loaded with potentially dangerous toxins. Fortunately, you don’t have to opt for these chemical baths; there are natural alternatives.
You can make your yard less pleasant for insects and send them packing by incorporating deterrent plants. Try citronella plant (often called a mosquito plant) in a pot on your patio, or marigolds and lemon balm around your garden area.
Catnip is another good plant to add to your landscaping. One study from Iowa State University indicated catnip was 10 times more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitos.
Apply Natural Repellents to Your Skin
Essential oils can often be great natural mosquito repellents, either used in lotions or diluted and sprayed on. These essential oils have shown the most promise in keeping insects away:
- Lemon eucalyptus
- Rose geranium (especially good for ticks)
Change Your Diet
Mosquitos are attracted to the odors your body produces. Warm bodies produce more alluring scents and put off more carbon dioxide. NBC News says this is why mosquitos really like pregnant women or anyone who is outdoors and working out. It’s time to use some homemade mosquito repellent.
The Mayo Clinic reports that adding vitamin B-1 could change your scent to make you less appetizing to mosquitoes. Eating more garlic is also said to be effective at deterring bugs (and vampires). NBC News reports you may also want to reconsider that summer brew—mosquitoes are more attracted to people after someone drinks one can of beer.
For the most part, we have to learn to coexist with insects in the summer, though taking a few steps to dissuade them from biting could make your summer season more bearable without requiring you to slather yourself in unknown chemicals.