It's that time of year again. The mosquitoes are out in full force hunting their next victims. All that time having fun in the sun is definitely worth it, but we can enjoy it more with just a few homemade tricks to keep those pesky blood-suckers from sneaking up on us.
We all know that repelling mosquitoes is important. The itching their bites cause is no fun, but more importantly, we need to be aware that mosquitoes can be transmitters of disease.
Mosquitoes can carry several different viruses that have the potential to cause serious illness. West Nile virus is the most likely disease we'd come into contact with from mosquitoes here in North America, but malaria, dengue fever and a couple of forms of encephalitis are also worth noting.
In this article, we've detailed a few of our favorite DIY ways to repel mosquitoes naturally and reduce our risk of illness.
First, A Few Notes On Essential Oils Safety:
The particular mix of essential oils in our bug spray is generally considered safe for use with children 6 months and up. For more information, please see this helpful article on safe essential oils for babies and children.
Never apply the potent undiluted oil directly to the skin.
Always choose 100% pure essential oils and be sure to use certified organic when available to make sure you’re not absorbing or inhaling extremely concentrated amounts of harmful chemicals or pesticides used during the growing process.
Always keep essential oils out of reach of children.
In our bug spray, we combine ingredients that are well known for their insect repellent properties. Essential oils are potent repellents, and bugs absolutely hate apple cider vinegar. Neem oil is a cold-pressed oil like olive and grapeseed, and is an effective insect repellent used around the world for millennia.
- 16 oz or larger spray bottle
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup organic apple cider vinegar
- 15 drops organic neem oil
- 15 drops organic lavender essential oil
- 15 drops organic lemon essential oil
- 15 drops organic pine essential oil
- Place all ingredients in spray bottle. Shake gently to combine.
- Store in a dark place until ready to use. Apply as needed.
Our insect repellent candle is an excellent way to help create a mosquito-free environment as you spend time outside. The essential oils work wonders at keeping pests at bay.
- Pint mason jar (16oz)
- 2 cups beeswax pastilles
- Lead-free wick
- Popsicle stick
- 40 drops organic citronella essential oil
- 40 drops organic lavender essential oil
- 40 drops organic cinnamon essential oil
- Cut the desired length of wick, and place vertically in mason jar so that it touches the bottom.
- Secure the wick in place by wrapping it around the popsicle stick and laying that across the top of the jar.
- Melt the beeswax pastilles in a double boiler over medium-low heat.
- Remove from heat and add essential oils. Stir gently to combine.
- Pour mixture into mason jar coating the wick in the process, and allow to cool and harden completely.
A smolder roll is a simple bundle of herb sprigs wrapped in twine that's lit and then allowed to smolder. The smoke released from the herbs is an effective way to repel mosquitoes.
- 1 bunch dry sage, rosemary and/or lavender sprigs, or a pre-made smudge stick
- Natural twine
- Fireproof container, or smudge pot
- Bundle together several dried sage, rosemary and/or lavender sprigs and wrap with twine in several places over the length of the twigs.
- Light one end of the bundle, allow to burn enough to start smoldering then blow out the flame.
- Place in an open fireproof container like a smudge pot, tin can or mason jar, making sure the smoldering tip is exposed to the air.
- Let smolder outdoors as long as desired, and extinguish when done.
NOTE: Make your own dried herb sprigs by bundling fresh trimmings and hanging upside down for 3 weeks.
Soda Bottle Trap
Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide which is what we produce every time we exhale. It's like a beacon of light for the buggers to follow that leads directly to their next meal. For this method, we use sugar and yeast to create the perfect carbon dioxide decoy that tricks mosquitoes and traps them inside, never to be seen again.
- 2 liter pop bottle, empty and rinsed clean
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp yeast
- Cut the bottle into 2 pieces an inch under the beginning of the cone on top.
- Combine sugar and lukewarm water, stirring to dissolve. Pour into the bottom of the larger half of the bottle.
- Sprinkle yeast on top of the water.
- Place the other part of the bottle (the cone) upside down just above the liquid inside the larger half of the bottle.
- Use outdoors at least 10 feet from the gathering area.
Harnessing the power of nature can be an effective weapon in your bug repellent arsenal. Strategic planting provides an added layer of protection around your yard that helps keep flying pests away.
- Pyrethrum daisies
What are your favorite methods of keeping mosquitoes away?