Natural Mosquito Repellent Recipes
Mosquitoes are Bastards
When it comes to enjoying summertime activities, we all know that we can expect uninvited guests. Ants, Flies, Bees etc. (all of which have a significant role to play in the way we live)
Of these three, I hate Flies the most by far. I'm not here to discuss flies, however. I'm here to discuss the most hated of all. The one I left off of the short list above. Yes, I'm speaking of.... the mosquito.
There our only a few things in this life that I truly despise. Of these things is the mosquito. I hate these little nasties with a passion. I know for a fact that I am not alone on this matter, and wanted to share some information on how to prevent these odious little creatures from invading the space inside and outside your home.
Not only are mosquitoes annoying, ugly, stupid, pesky, and worthless, they could also pose a potential health threat to you and your family. Imagine that! Something so small and naturally annoying can also pose a threat to your health! That's just plain unfair! Now, when I mentioned worthless, I didn't say it out of sheer anger or disgust. Mosquitoes really are useless and have no scientific data to prove they have any sort of impact on our earths eco-system. That is reason alone not to care much for these little a-holes.
The good news is there are plenty of products these days that can temporarily repel these nasty little buggers. The problem with these products is that they are very temporary, and not well tolerated by some with sensitive skin. What I really want to focus on this article is prevention .
What is more annoying than mosquitoes?
Is there anything?
How to put a hold on the reproduction of Mosquitoes
It is important to be on the lookout for small, standing bodies of water around your home during the warm months (Inside AND Out). As we all know, water can be found in anything from your pet's water bowls, flowerpots, glasses of water, birdbaths, fountains and many other places/things. This is normal of course, but you need to make sure that you are changing this water frequently. The reason for this is because mosquitoes lay eggs in stagnant water. (gross) It takes only two weeks from the time they lay their eggs (up to 200 at a time) for full-grown adults to form!
Changing your water isn't feasible for those of us with small ponds in your backyard. If you have one, see to it that you stock it with mosquito fish (i.e. minnows)
Minnows prey on mosquitoes, and will greatly reduce the population of these little nasty mosquitoes. If minnows are not accessible, or you just do not want to get them for your pond, you can get a product called BTI. BTI stands for Bacillus thuringiensis israelinsis. It is very important for you to not only learn how to pronounce the full name of this bacteria, but to also learn how to spell it. Haha, I kid you. I felt the need for a little comic relief there! Anyway, BTI is a bacteria that is harmful only to newly hatched insects. It is perfectly safe if your dog or cat gets into the water, and we all know that pets like to drink water from anywhere other than their water bowls for some odd reason :)
The one thing you want to be sure of, is that you are small body of water is isolated. If it is part of a marshland, or it is a really large body of water, you'll want to stay away from it as it could affect other insects that have a positive impact on the ecosystem. Ask a local retailer for their opinion on the matter if you are unsure.
Stave off Mosquitoes with the Power of Essential Oils
Not only do many essential oils smell wonderful, but some do a bang up job in repelling these insects! That's a true win-win situation! I will explain here how to combine completely natural ingredients, and make a very effective mosquito repellent. The mixture is very simple and consists of essential oils (very fragrant and nice smelling) along with carrier oil or alcohol.
Here are some effective essential oils for keeping the 'M' words away:
- Cinnamon oil (note - Tigers also dislike cinnamon)
- Lemon eucalyptus oil (My favorite)
- Citronella oil
- Castor oil
Okay, now that you know which essential oils are effective, let's talk about how to combine them as these oils alone won't be too effective. When making mosquito repellent, a good rule of thumb is to mix the repellent so it's 5-10% essential oil, so mix 1 part essential oil with 10-20 parts carrier oil or alcohol.
This is the majority of the mixture. This stuff will hold it all together and make the mixture easier to apply directly to the skin and coat more evenly. Here are the most effective Carrier Solutions:
- olive oil
- sunflower oil
- any other cooking oil
- witch hazel
There are a couple of different formulas you can make for your natural mosquito repellent. In general, what you are doing is diluting an essential oil that the mosquitoes find either distasteful, or confuses them. These oils I mention above don't mix with water, so you'll need to add them to other oils or to alcohol. It's important to use an oil or alcohol that is safe for your skin. Also, don't go overboard with the essential oils. The oils are potent and go a long, long way. It could also cause skin irritation if you use too much. If you are pregnant or nursing, do not use any mosquito repellent, natural or otherwise, until it's been deemed safe to do so by your physician.
Ratio of Essential Oils to Carrier Oils
- 10-25 drops (total) of essential oils
- 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil or alcohol
This will create enough repellent for approximately 10 people. You can easily half this recipe for a smaller crowd. Just make it 5-12 drops of essential oil to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil or alcohol!
Mosquito and insect Repellents for Larger Crowds
Outdoor parties and barbecues are quite common in the summertime. That being said, it would be hard to imagine everyone bringing their own bug spray to a party. (even though some do)
One very easy solution to keep mosquitoes and other annoying pests out of the air during a festive event is to use a bug zapper. Modern technology has vastly improved these devices. Not only are they silent, but can attract bugs from sizable distances! This would probably be the most effective tool for someone hosting a party/barbecue with large crowds.
Bug Zappers these days are very effective and energy-efficient. Some zappers effective in controlling one full acre can run on a single 15 W bulb! That is truly amazing!