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Natural Mosquito Repellent

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Natural Mosquito Repellent

There are natural alternatives to hash, chemical insect repellents made with DEET. Mosquitoes are attracted to the following items:

Natural mosquitoe repellents

  • Dark Clothing: Dressing in light colors will help to keep you cool and will not attract mosquitoes as much as darker clothing.
  • Carbon Dioxide: Some people tend to naturally give off more CO2 than others and will naturally attract mosquitoes. Exercise and sitting in the heat will cause you to give off more CO2 as well. Open flames (candles, fire-pit) also give off CO2 and should be placed at a distance at night, in order to avoid attracting mosquitoes.
  • Fragrances: Fruity perfume or heavy cologne will attract Mosquitoes.
  • Skin Temperature: Mosquitoes favor cool skin.
  • Moisture: They also like moist skin and sweat.
  • Dusk & Dawn : Mosquitoes are more active during dusk and dawn. Head inside for 30 minutes, just as the sun goes down, then back outside when it's dark, for those starlit nights.

Natural insect repellents use the essential oils from plants as a base. Common plant oils include:

  • Citronella Oil
  • Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
  • Cinnamon Oil
  • Rosemary Oil
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Clove Oilcloves

These plants can be used simply by crushing the leaves and stems and rubbing the oil on key areas like behind the ears and knees, inside the elbows and on the ankles. One of our favorite patio restaurants, hangs bags of crushed cloves around their patio all summer. It helps to keep both bees and mosquitoes away from the paying guests. If you apply mosquito repellent to your clothing, it will usually last longer, than directly on your skin. Check a small piece of clothing first to ensure the repellent doesn't stain.

 

Here's a recipe from GreenPlanet:

Easy Natural Insect Repellent - 1

  1. Take a large handful of a couple kinds of the plants listed above (different mosquitoes are repelled by different plants, so it's best to use a mixture).
  2. Place the plants in a food processor and chop them well.
  3. Carefully add two cups of boiling water, steeping the chopped plants like tea.
  4. Once the liquid has cooled, strain and refrigerate.
  5. When you're ready to use, pour the cooled repellent into a spray bottle and apply liberally and frequently.

Here are a couple more examples, using Catnip, from eHow:

Easy Natural Insect Repellent - Catnip

catnip

  • Use catnip oil to make a spray. Mix about a half-teaspoon of essential oil of catnip with 1 cup isopropyl alcohol and 1 cup water. Shake well and spray lightly on clothing, arms and legs. Do not use on children, pets or people sensitive to catnip.

  • Brew a catnip and vinegar spritz. Crush 2 cups catnip leaves and add to 3 cups white or rice vinegar in a quart jar. Seal and store in dark cupboard. Shake every day for 2 weeks. Strain mixture into clean jar and refrigerate. Use as a light spritz on clothes, arms or legs. Some say the vinegar keeps the mosquitoes away, other say the catnip does the work.

  • Gather 2 cups catnip and 1 cup rosemary leaves. Crush the leaves by using a rolling pin or scrunching them with your hands. Put the leaves in a clean jar and cover with 2 cups unscented body care oil or vegetable glycerin. Store in a cool dark cupboard for 2 weeks. Shake the jar lightly every day. After 2 weeks, strain out the leaves and pour the oil into a clean jar. Refrigerate and use the catnip body oil as needed.

 

One final reminder: natural alternatives initially may be just as effective as DEET-based sprays, however they do not last as long. Reapply often, especially if you are sweating.

 

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