We all look forward to those beautiful summer days when the temperature rises and we can spend more time outside. The appealing combination of good weather and great activities is enough to pull us out of our homes into the great outdoors. But what happens when we are greeted by thirsty, blood-sucking mosquitoes? How does one combat these persistent little critters, whether you are a home-owner or camping away from your residence?
1. Citronella Candles
Every homeowner should keep several citronella candles on hand. When you have friends over for the evening, or want to enjoy a family meal outdoors, you can light these up and frighten away your pesky visitors. Citronella candles repel mosquitoes and reduce mosquito landings when used.
2. Get Rid of Standing Water
It is well known that mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Any bodies of water that remain standing for four days or more are at risk, so be sure to rid your property regularly of any of these.
3. Zap ‘Em
Every homeowner with a mosquito problem should consider purchasing a bug zapper. This doubles as a lamp and uses electricity to kill the mosquitoes that are drawn to the light.
4. Plant It
There are several plants you can put in your garden and around the areas you congregate when outdoors that will help repel mosquitoes. The list includes citronella grass, lavender, lemon balm, marigolds, catnip, and basil. Some are beautiful while others are even edible.
5. Avoid Certain Foods
Mosquitoes have been studied and appear to be drawn to people who consume a great deal of sugar and processed foods. Avoid these when summer rolls around and you will be less likely to be hunted by these critters.
6. Herbal Solutions
Mosquitoes do not like the smell of either rosemary or sage. Sprinkle a combination of these over the fire when camping and watch the mosquitoes disperse. You can also take sage and rub the leaves directly onto the skin.
7. Spray It On
Many mosquito repellents can be bought over the counter, but nowadays many people are avoiding chemicals when necessary. If you are looking for a more natural bug repellant, try mixing a variety of essential oils that are known to repel mosquitoes. These include essential oils of pine, lavender, sandalwood, citronella, eucalyptus, geranium, lemongrass, and peppermint.
Mix more than one to create an all-encompassing bug spray. Add a total of 10-25 drops of the oils to a 4-ounce spray bottle, then fill with water. Shake immediately before every use, as the oils will settle on top of the water quickly.
8. Take a Drink before Your Hike
No, not alcohol. Your drink of choice during mosquito season should be 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. This is known to change your body chemistry in a way that is helpful for repelling insects.
9. Chase Them Away with Garlic
Garlic is known to have a repellent effect on mosquitoes when consumed. You can eat it fresh or buy capsules. Pop a few before your next outdoor excursion and watch the mosquitoes fly away, not towards you.
10. Cover Up
When you know you will be in an area with many mosquitoes, wear long-sleeved, light-colored clothing. This will decrease your chances of being bitten.
Mosquitoes can create some of the worst moments of our summer. Take these simple steps to reduce the time you spend swatting and slapping these pests away. With a few of these ideas, you can keep away mosquitoes – whether at home or on the road.