You’ve all had an encounter with those small, tiny creatures giving you bumps on your skin – mosquitoes!
The swelling, the redness and the uncontrollable itching – it is just enough to ruin your outing for a barbecue!
Although tiny, mosquitoes are creatures that can ruin the whole atmosphere. Moreover, they can carry diseases, such as the Zika virus, West Nile virus, malaria, dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya. Needless to say, mosquitoes are a menace!
While most people turn to insect repellents to drive these creatures away, you need to know that many commercial repellents contain toxic pesticides (DEET and others) that are extremely harmful for your body and your environment.
The best and safest solution to drive away these pesky insects is to go natural! Here are four effective natural home remedies for getting rid of mosquitoes and prevent them from biting you.
- Method 1: Use Citronella Oil/Plant
- Method 2: Use Vodka and Essential Oils
- Method 3: Use Camphor
- Method 4: Use Listerine
Method 1: Use Citronella Oil/Plant
Citronella oil is obtained from the Cymbopogon genus plant family. It works effectively to mask scents like carbon dioxide and lactic acid that appeal to insects. It does not kill mosquitoes, rather it repels them from the skin.
Things you’ll need:
- Citronella oil (biopesticide)
- Rubbing alcohol (natural insect repellent)
- Spray bottle
Step 1. Mix citronella oil and rubbing alcohol
- Fill ¾ parts of a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol.
- Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of citronella essential oil to the spray bottle.
- Put the cap on the bottle and shake the liquids well to blend them thoroughly.
Step 2. Spray the citronella mixture on exposed skin
- Spray the solution on the exposed areas of your skin and in your surroundings to deter insects and mosquitoes.
- Citronella oil lasts for a maximum of 20 to 30 minutes, so reapply as needed.
Method 2: Use Vodka and Essential Oils
Vodka and essential oils together produce a very strong aroma that is non-tolerable for mosquitoes. Unable to withstand the fragrance, the mosquitoes automatically go elsewhere.
Things you’ll need:
- Vodka (insect repellent) – 5 to 6 oz.
- Peppermint essential oil (very strong aroma) – 12 to 15 drops
- Eucalyptus essential oil (natural repellent) – 15 to 17 drops
- Spray bottle with water
Step 1. Pour vodka into a spray bottle with water
- Fill half of a spray bottle with water.
- Add 5 to 6 ounces of vodka to the spray bottle.
Step 2. Infuse the fragrance of essential oils
- Add 15 to 20 drops each of peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils.
- Put the cap on the spray bottle and shake it well to thoroughly mix the liquids.
Step 3. Spray the solution where you want to repel mosquitoes
- Spray the solution on the affected areas.
- Reapply whenever necessary or at least every 2 hours.
Store the solution in a cool place, away from heat or sunlight.
It is best to use a dark-colored spray bottle because essential oils tend to oxidize when exposed to sunlight and thus lose their benefits over time.
Method 3: Use Camphor
Camphor is a white or transparent, flammable solid from the wood of the camphor laurel tree. It has a strong odor that is difficult for insects and mosquitoes to tolerate, thus driving them away.
Single-Step Treatment: Place camphor-infused water in affected area
- Fill half of a wide-mouth bowl with water. Add a few camphor tablets to the water.
- Place the bowl in a corner of your room or any other mosquito-infested place.
- Change the water in the bowl every other day. Also, you will need to use new camphor tablets every 5 to 6 days, as the camphor evaporates during this time.
Method 4: Use Listerine
Listerine contains eucalyptol, a compound often used in botanical insect sprays that helps drive away mosquitoes and insects from your surroundings.
Single-Step Treatment: Spray Listerine on your exposed skin
- Just pour some Listerine into a plastic spray bottle. Do not dilute the Listerine, lest its eucalyptol content becomes negligible.
- Spray the solution on the exposed areas of your skin as well as your surroundings. Reapply when the mosquitoes reappear.
- Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so eliminate stagnant water in and around your home.
- Plants like basil, lemongrass, horsemint, mint, marigold, lavender, geranium and a few others act as mosquito repellents. Grow them in and around your place to deter these pesky buggers.
- Garlic has a pungent smell that provides another effective remedy for driving away mosquitoes and flies. Infuse a few crushed garlic cloves in mineral oil for 24 hours, strain and add 2 teaspoons of dish soap to the liquid. Spray this in your garden to avoid the breeding of mosquitoes.
- If you happen to live in a mosquito-prone area, cover yourself to the maximum with long sleeves and pants.
- Avoid excess use of fragrance-containing compounds like deodorants, cosmetics and shampoos as they attract mosquitoes.
- If you have pets or birds, make sure to frequently change the water you keep in a bowl for them. Also, cover it when not in use.
- Close all the doors and windows just before sunset, as mosquitoes usually enter during and after the sunset.
- Use mosquito nets to secure your sleeping area.
- Mosquitoes are attracted to light, so try using sodium lamps or yellow bug lights in and around your house so as not to draw in mosquitoes.