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Natural Ways to Deal With Mosquitoes

By Susan Patterson (spattersonJuly 19, 2013

Enjoying the outdoors is difficult when you are being eaten alive by pesky mosquitos. These nasty bugs can make yard work harder, a camping trip miserable, and an afternoon hike intolerable. Chemical sprays and repellents are hard on your body and the environment. Here are some natural ways to deal with mosquitoes.

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Create an Unfavorable Environment for Mosquitoes

The best way to keep mosquitoes out of your outdoor living spaces and garden areas is to keep them as unfriendly as possible for these bugs. Mosquitos love water and will hover anywhere near a stagnant water source. Dump out any sitting water and try to keep things as dry as possible. Make sure your garden ponds have fountains or pumps to keep the water moving, and put fresh water in bird baths regularly. Mosquitoes also love to hang around thick plant growth. Cut down on the number of mosquitoes by keeping plants neatly trimmed, and the lawn well-mowed. Set up a fan wherever you are sitting. This will blow mosquitoes away from you and make your outdoor experience more pleasurable. If you are still having trouble, you can always set up a mosquito net around your seating area or purchase a screened gazebo.

Make Yourself Unfriendly

According to research, thiamine (B1) creates an odor on your skin that female mosquitoes find offensive. Taking a B1 supplement may be a great way to keep mosquitoes, at least the females, at bay. Eucalyptus oil and lemon oil rubbed on the skin will also keep mosquitoes from landing on you. Add a few drops to some vinegar and simply spray it on. Be prepared to reapply, however, after getting wet or sweating. Eating garlic can also make you taste bad to mosquitoes. Add garlic to a few meals before heading into the great outdoors for best protection.

Quick Fixes

If you are in a pinch and need protection fast there are a few things you can purchase to help your mosquito problem. Citronella candles can be found at most stores. Burning these candles can help prevent the mosquitoes from coming near a certain area. Some natural mosquito repellents are available on the market. These do not contain harmful chemicals and can be helpful for short term relief. Be sure that you read the ingredients thoroughly to be sure that the product is natural before you use it.

Protect Your Outdoor Living Spaces With Mosquito Repellant Plants

If you have an area where you like to gather with friends and family, consider erecting a sort of living barrier using plants that mosquitoes are not fond of. Citronella, the most common ingredient found in insect repellents, is easy to grow in containers which can be set around your living area, or in the ground. These plants have a very strong aroma that masks the attractants that mosquitoes use to find you. This perennial can grow up to five feet in height, so be sure to give it plenty of room. Marigolds are attractive little border plants but are highly offensive to mosquitoes. Plant several pots of these little beauties in and around your outdoor space. They will brighten up the space and keep send a warning to mosquitoes to move on. Another great repellent plant to consider is horsemint, also known as beebalm. The strong odor of this perennial plant confuses mosquitoes who have a hard time finding you. Beebalm is fast growing and shade tolerant.

  About Susan Patterson  
Susan PattersonSusan is a contributing writer for Dave's Garden. She is a Master Gardener and a sustainable living researcher who is always on the lookout for ways to simplify and make environmentally conscious decisions. With a background in nutrition and extensive knowledge of whole foods and wellness, Susan incorporates sustainable living practices that will improve the health of her family while reducing their carbon footprint

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