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How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes, Rats and House Insects Naturally

Updated on May 23, 2017
SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

I have been a College teacher and a journalist. As a freelance content writer, I research the subject to write without prejudice and malice.

The blood sucking mosquito
The blood sucking mosquito | Source

Introduction

The bites of mosquitoes and insects damage the skin and cause several diseases. Some insects also cause infections and irritation.

The people use different repellents to get rid of insects and mosquito. But the topical application of chemical repellents is harmful to the skin. Whereas the electric or burning repellents adversely affect the lungs and are harmful to those having respiratory problems.

The two most common chemicals used in mosquito repellents are Permethrin and DEET or N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide.The former is a neurotoxin, while the latter is a highly toxic pesticide. About 15-20% of these chemicals percolate into the blood streams through the skin and cause neurological problems, reproductive disorders, nervous and genetic disabilities with tremors, restlessness, skin irritation and even the damage to brain cells.

These chemicals are not suitable especially for children and pregnant women. Besides the mosquitos and insects are becoming immune to these chemicals.

On the other hand, the natural repellents are safe for health and are easily available. The oils of lemon grass, lemon eucalyptus, catnip, neem, soybean, and citronella etc. are the best natural repellents. These oils are used with carrier oils like coconut, soy or almond oil.

The plant of Catnip or Nepeta cataria
The plant of Catnip or Nepeta cataria | Source

Catnip or Nepata Herb

The herb nepeta cat-aria, also known as catnip, catswort, or catmint is a species of the genus nepeta. The entire feline family especially cats enjoy sitting near this ornamental house plant and hence the name catnip.

It contains nepetalactone which is the main constituent of several commercial repellents. It is eight to ten times more effective than DEET or other available repellents in the market.

The catnip oil is extracted from the herb through steam distillation. It acts as a mosquito, bug, aphid, termite, cockroach and flies repellent.

The oil is applied on the exposed parts of the skin before going out in the mosquito or insect prone places.

Cymbopogon or Lemon Grass, or Citronella Grass or Fever Grass
Cymbopogon or Lemon Grass, or Citronella Grass or Fever Grass | Source

Citronella Oil

The citronella or Cymbopogon nardus oil is obtained from the leaves and stems of different species of lemongrass is used as a non-toxic bio-pesticide. It is also used in perfumes and mosquito repellent soaps. It was the shortage of citronella that inspired the discovery of DEET during the times of World War II.

It is also used as a food flavoring due to its citrus flavor and the herbal tea is used for a cough and nasal blockage. The plant attracts the bees and keeps the garden insects at a bay. The citronella oil is used as a preservative and the presence of the plant in the fields helps in the growth of tomatoes and broccoli without the use of pesticides. In India, the lemongrass oil was used to keep the brittle palm leaf manuscripts soft in ancient times.

It is commonly used in natural or herbal mosquito repellents. The anti-fungal properties of citronella oil kill the termites and are effective against leeches or head and body louse. This herbal oil is less effective than catnip but it saves the skin from the bites of mosquitoes and insects. It has been verified that the citronella oil is very effective on the mosquitoes causing dengue fever, but it needs to be re-applied after each hour.

Put essential oils in a spray bottle with 90 ml of water and or alcohol especially vodka and shake the bottle before use.

 Garlic cloves
Garlic cloves | Source

Garlic Oil

The mosquitoes dislike the flavor of garlic and are thus driven away from it. The garlic paste could be applied on the insect or mosquito bitten area to alleviate the pain and inflammation.

To prepare the garlic oil just infuse four cloves of garlic overnight in a cup of warm, not hot olive oil and put the lid on the container. The oil is used and the residue is discarded.

The garlic oil could be applied on naked parts of the body. The smell of garlic disappears in half an hour, but the mosquitoes remain away due to their strong sense of smell about ten thousand times more than humans.

Those allergic to garlic should not use this remedy as contact dermatitis; a common inflammatory skin condition caused by coming in contact with garlic oil has been reported in some cases.

Lavander Oil

It is a sweet scented analgesic and antiseptic oil used in medicines to reduce tension, migraine, anxiety, depression, nerve exhaustion, hypertension, indigestion muscular pain and respiratory or urinary disorders. It is completely natural and has a sleep-inducing effect. The lavender oil was used to protect clothes and linens from the infestation of moths and other insects in ancient times.

Lavander oil is less viscous in comparison to almond and coconut oils and is the best mosquito and insect repellent. The insects remain away when the lavender oil mixed with aqueous cream is applied on the skin. But it needs to be reapplied after every two hours. Mixing it with citronella and eucalyptus oils makes it effects lasting.

It is also used in natural mosquito repellents and gives best results when diluted in carrier oils like apricot, almond, coconut oil etc. Add about 25-30 drops of lavender oil to three tablespoons of coconut oil and apply on the skin.

It nourishes the skin and has no side-effects like synthetic repellents.

The smell of crushed lavender flowers and its oil can also be used to keep the mosquitoes and insects away. Rub the crushed flowers and then apply the lavender oil to repel the mosquitoes.

Soak a ribbon with few drops of lavender oil and hang it around the open door or window to keep the mosquitoes away.

Plant the herb in the garden to keep the surroundings free from insects and mosquitoes.

Margosa or Neem Oil

The margosa or neem tree is known as Indian Lilac and has several health benefits. In the garden, the margosa plant helps in pollination and absorption of nutrients. It has no ill effect on beneficial insects like butterflies, bees, and even the earthworms.

The margosa oil extracted from the seeds of the neem is like a curse against fly, mosquito, flea, tick and insects. It saves from malaria, dengue fever, plague and Lyme disease.

For overnight protection against mosquitoes, prepare the mixture of 18-20 drops of neem oil in half a cup of coconut oil and apply on the exposed skin. Avoid applying the neem oil on cuts or wounds.

The mixture of coconut oil and margosa oil gives complete protection from mosquito bites.

The kerosene lamp containing 2% mixture of neem oil keeps the mosquitoes away from the living room.

Lemon Eucalyptus Oil

The lemon eucalyptus oil is not the blend of eucalyptus or lemon. It is more effective than DEET as its strong smell disturbs the sense of direction of mosquitoes and insects. The lemon eucalyptus oil is commonly used in Europe, Australia, Asia and Latin America. It needs to be reapplied like citronella for lasting effects.

A mixture of 35 percent lemon eucalyptus oil in base oil gives 95% protection against mosquitoes for three hours.

The application of lemon eucalyptus oil is the best option against mosquitoes and insects for those disliking the smell of citronella oil. The soft pleasant smell and feel on the skin make the Lemon eucalyptus oil the preferable mosquito protection for sensitive skin and irritable sense of smell.

Add 8-10 drops of Lemon eucalyptus oil in half cup of coconut oil and apply on skin.

One part lemon eucalyptus oil could be added to 10 parts of sunflower oil or witch hazel or aqueous cream to prepare the application of it.

The most effective Mosquito Repellent

The natural insect repellent essential oil could be prepared by mixing 50 ml of soybean or coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract with 10 drops each of the catnip, neem, citronella, lavender, lemon eucalyptus oils. The oil could be sprayed on exposed skin, curtains and clothes for effective protection against mosquitos.

Soy Oil

The organic soy oil is considered to be an important option against the infection causing insects and mosquitoes.

It acts as a moisturizer and is as effective as DEET, but needs to be reapplied after 4 hours.

It is very effective against insects and mosquitoes when used with lemongrass oil. The tropical application of soy oil retards the growth of hair.

Cinnamon Oil

The cinnamon oil can kill the mosquito eggs and larva.

Add a teaspoon of cinnamon oil in 100 ml water and spray it on skin, clothes, household items, plants or standing water.

It is the natural mosquito and insect repellent.

Thyme Oil

Thyme oil is very effective against malaria causing mosquitoes.

Add 4-5 drops of thyme oil to every teaspoon of coconut oil or any other base oil like olive or jojoba or sesame oil.

The thyme oil spray can be prepared by adding 5-6 drops of it in 50 ml water.

Black Pepper Oil

Black pepper or Piper nigrum is an excellent mosquito repellent when 5 to 6 drops each of catnip, citronella, lavender, neem, and black pepper oil are mixed in 100 ml base oil and the contents are rubbed on the skin.

It keeps the mosquitoes at bay and also acts as a moisturizer.

Precautions to Use Natural Repellents

1. Never use 100% pure essential oils on your skin; always dilute it. In skin applications, it is better to use no more than a 5% concentration of essential oil. It is better to use one part of the essential oil with 10-20 parts of carrier oil.

2. Always buy the high-quality oils from a natural food store for best results on skin.

3. Test the repellent on a small patch of skin for 24 hours to see if it causes any irritation because of skin allergies or oil sensitivities.

4. Apply the repellent oils on the face with hands and always wash the hands with soap and water after the application. Avoid these getting into the eyes, nostrils, mouth, open sores, wounds or cuts.

5. Conduct a patch test on clothes for stains and do not use soy or coconut oil base for articles of clothing, but these oils are best for skin. Some oils may permanently stain the leather, vinyl or similar fabrics.

6. Avoid the use of natural mosquito repellent oils on children below 3 years as they may rub the eyes or lick the treated skin.

7. The oils are not DEET but are not to be ingested.

8. Consult the family physician before using these oils.

Evasive Measures

1. Instead of using poisons, it is better to follow some evasive measures.

2. Avoid using perfumes, fragrant sunscreens, creams or body lotions, as the mosquitoes get attracted to sweet flowery smells.

3. Always cover the arms and legs with tight fitting light colored clothes made of tightly woven materials as the mosquitoes get attracted to dark articles of clothing.

4. Burn citronella candles and incense near doors and windows to keep the mosquitoes and insects away.

5. Use mosquito nets of the thin mesh without leaving any entry point for mosquitoes.

The Lotus Nelumbo nucifera Flower
The Lotus Nelumbo nucifera Flower | Source

Planting the Mosquito Repelling Plants

Another good option to keep away the mosquitoes is to plant the insect repelling plants in the garden near the house. Lotus or Nelumbo nucifera is an effective mosquito repellent and kills the mosquito larvae too. It grows in water and is a good option to keep the mosquitoes away.

There are some of the plants which are excellent and natural repellents, as they give off an unpleasant smell which drives way the mosquitoes and other insects. The following plants, shrubs, herbs, and trees could be planted in the backyard.

Tan­sies

Feverfew

Marigolds

Eucalyptus

Mint or Mentha

Cit­ronella Grass

Bee Balm or Monarda

Tea Tree or Melaleuca

Gar­lic or Allium sativum

Wormwood or Artemisia

Cat­nip or Nepeta cataria

Cedars or Thuja species

Tansy or Tanacetum vulgare

Catmint or Nepeta faassenii

Basil or Ocimum americium

Vanilla Leaf or Achlys tri phyla

Cloves or Syzygium aromaticum

Pitcher Plant or Nepenthes alata

Nodding Onion or Allium cernuum

Lemon Balm or Melissa officinalis

Lemon Thyme or Thymus vulgaris

Mexican Marigold orTagetes Lucida

Lavander or Lavandula angustifolia

Lemon Verbena or Aloysia tri phyla

Snow-brush or Ceanothus velutinous

Sweet Fern or Comptonia peregrina

Wild Bergamot orMondarda fistulose

Rosemary or Rosmarinus officinalis

Floss Flower or Ageratum Coumarin

Cadaga Tree or Eucalyptus torelliana

Stone root or Collinsonia Canadensis

Thai Lemon Grass or Cymbopogon citrates

Pineapple weed or Matricaria matricarioides

Lemon Scented Geranium or Pelargonium crispum

Ultrasound Scares Away the Mosuites and Rats

The mosquitoes, fleas, house fly, spiders, a cockroach can hear sounds from 300 Hz to 44,000 Hz. The sound beyond this level irritates them and they are forced to run away from the sound source or hide behind the shelters.

Similarly, the rats can hear high-frequency sounds which are beyond the audible range of human beings. The hearing range of rats is between 200 Hz and 80 to 90 kHz, and the frequencies beyond this range scare away the rats.

The ordinary rat traps put near the nest holes of the rats are generally not very effective. The only long term solution is to use ultrasound signal generator. The high-frequency ultrasound waves scare away the rats, but those with the younglings will take some time to abandon the place, as the young ones become old enough in a month or so.

The use of ultrasound generator is a very effective as a mosquito or cat repellent and it can even stop the dogs from barking. The sound generated by each repellent unit can cover an average size room up to 400 square feet.

The audible range of the upper frequency of several animals is higher than that of the human beings and they can hear those sounds which are inaudible for men. The human adults can’t hear the tones above 15,000 Hz.

Caution
Avoid the long-time use and the use at the mega-volume for ultrasound.
Do not use earphones or headphones.
Discontinue the use of ultrasound when the adverse effects including the headache etc., appear.

Audible Range of Different Species

Species
Audible Range in Hertz
1. Dog
60-45,000
2. Bat
2,000-110,000
3.Cat
45- 64,000
4. Horse
55- 33,500
5. Mouse
1,000- 91,000
6. Whale
1,000-123,000
7. Human Being
15- 23,000

How Ultrasounds Travel

The high-frequency ultrasound waves are called sound but these waves behave more like light waves than sound.

Consider the sound speaker as a floodlight to get the idea that how the ultrasound waves travel. They radiate outward in the shape of a cone and throw shadows behind solid objects like furniture etc., and cast little illumination in the room as is done by light.

The ultrasound waves get reflected by hard surfaces and are absorbed by soft ones. The ultrasound bounces more effectively in the rooms containing hard surfaces as is found in the kitchen.

Banana Peel for Mosquito and Insect Bites

The peels of banana are beneficial for the treatment of mosquito bites, scars, swells and itching sensations. Apply water and sanitize the part of body affected by mosquito bite. Hold the peel tightly and open up the inside part. Rub it softly on the swollen skin for 10-15 minutes to heal the swelling and get relief from the itching sensation of mosquito and insect bite.

House Insects

Burn few seeds of nigella stevia or kalonji and let the smoke remain in the room to get rid of house insects.

Marigold

The flowers of marigold repel the mosquitos.

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    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image
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      Sanjay Sharma 23 months ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Thanks Anita Saran for the visit and the compliment.

    • Anita Saran profile image

      Anita Saran 23 months ago from Bangalore, India

      Sanjay, this is a very informative and well-written hub. Thank you for sharing!

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image
      Author

      Sanjay Sharma 2 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Thanks aviannovice for the visit and the comment. I completely agree with you. The organic things are far better than the chemicals.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I do favor natural and organic. Thanks for this very effective piece for those of us that don't agree with the use of chemical agents.

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image
      Author

      Sanjay Sharma 2 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Thanks peachpurple for the visit and the comment.

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image
      Author

      Sanjay Sharma 2 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Thanks DDE for the visit and the comment. I myself have tried some of these remedies and have found them effective.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      thanks for th tips, i overtturn cans and tins , make sure no water, and change the toilet water too. Must buy catnip, voted up

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A useful hub. In the summer time we do have these problems. To keep these creatures out is the best idea and you suggestions are so helpful.

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image
      Author

      Sanjay Sharma 2 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Thanks CrisSp for the visit and the comment.

      Instead of killing, the spray of lemongrass oil will keep the fruit flies away. Add 10 drops of Lemongrass essential oil in a spray bottle containing 50 ml of hot water and spray on windows, doors etc. It has a nice refreshing smell.

      You can try the following to get rid of them.

      Take the mixture of 500 ml milk, 100 gram raw sugar, 50 gram ground pepper in a pan and simmer for 10- 15 minutes. Add 2-3 drops of dish soap to it. Put the mixture in a shallow plates and place it around the house. The fruit flies are drawn towards the mixture to get drowned in it.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      This is awesome and much as I love spring and summer, I don't like mosquitoes and other bugs alike specially, fruit flies. We always have them in the summer and I trap them with apple cider vinegar but my hubby hates the smell of it. Any other tip to actually get rid of these pests?