This past 4th of July, I, like many people, spent nearly the entire day outdoors. We barbecued, played games, and enjoyed a few fireworks (and a few cold ones). Unfortunately, my friends and I weren’t the only ones out for a good time and a good meal, the mosquitoes were having a feast of their own…..on us! The only defense was to spray ourselves down with bug repellent. The smell and sticky feeling you got from the spray was almost as bad as the bug bites. Not to mention, most traditional bug sprays contain DEET, a chemical found in insect repellents that can cause skin irritation, disorientation, and dizziness with overuse. So, how can you keep the bugs away without having to use traditional bug sprays? This article from Project:Greenify, gives you a few tips on how to keep those pesky bugs away.
As summer rolls around, unfortunately so do the mosquitoes. Mosquito bites are not only annoying and cause intense itching but they can also cause diseases like West Nile. With so many bug spray options available, it’s hard to know which ones actually work AND are safe to use. Rather than using harmful spray options, try these natural and green mosquito repellents.
- Get rid of standing water. Standing water in your yard is a major breeding ground for mosquitoes. Buckets, clogged gutters, children’s outdoor toys…anything that can hold standing water is a target so be sure to dump out all collected water.
- Use a fan. Believe it or not, the wind created from a fan acts as a repellent and keeps away weak flying mosquitoes.
- Attract natural mosquito predators. Bats and birds eat mosquitoes as a part of their diets. Hang up nesters, bird feeders, etc. and use those animals to help as a repellent to your mosquito problems.
- Burn citronella candles on your patio. The citronella oil repels the mosquitoes.
- If you have a pond or lawn ornament in your backyard that features standing water, these can be major breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Change the water in birdbaths once a week and keep the water in ponds and pools moving. If that isn’t an option, you can use B.t.i. (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis), which is an eco-friendly product that will kill any mosquito larvae that hatch without harming birds, fish, pets or children (from the melindamyers.com website).
- Use a green repellent. There are many varieties of green repellants that are DEET free and they can usually be found online or in health food stores. Before you buy, make sure the bottle says the following: herbal, all-natural, DEET-free, non-chemical, non-toxic and hypoallergenic. Here are a few: California Baby Bug Repellent Spray, Bite Blocker and Buzz Away
- Make your own green insect repellent. Using a variety of essential oils such as lemon balm (citronella), lavender and rose geranium can do just the trick to keep mosquitoes at bay. Click here for some homemade insect repellent recipes.
- Eat your repellent. According to TheDailyGreen.com, drinking 1-2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar and eating lots of garlic can help repel mosquitoes. Also, vitamin B1 is supposed to help repel insects.