This is Day 169 of the Green in 365 series!
By Hilary Kimes Bernstein of Accidentally Green
For years I thought that commercial mosquito sprays and citronella candles were the only ways to deter mosquitoes. Then I discovered a host of natural ways to prevent the pesky bloodsuckers. My family tried these techniques last summer. While we don’t live in the deep woods, I did notice that we weren’t bothered by mosquitoes. So we’re repeating the same methods this summer with hope that they’ll work again.
Did you know the scent of marigold repels mosquitoes? Fortunately most people aren’t bothered by the fragrance. I’ve lined our deck with pots of cheery yellow marigolds – not only do they look bright and summery, but they keep bugs away.
In addition to my pots of marigolds, I like to keep a container herb garden on our deck, too. Mosquitoes stay away from basil and rosemary, so I’ve planted several large pots of the two. (I happen to like cooking and baking with them, too. Catnip is another herb that mosquitoes can’t stand, thanks to nepetalactone, the essential oil found in catnip. Supposedly catnip is ten times more effective than DEET!
Other prevention methods
Aside from container gardening in our outdoor living spaces, here are other helpful ways to naturally prevent mosquitoes:
- Try to stay in a breeze or close to a fan.
- Avoid incandescent lights and candlelight – both attract mosquitoes.
- Eliminate standing water (including anything in buckets, gutters, kids’ toys, and planter saucers).
- Whack weeds and keep grass trimmed.
- Wear light-colored clothing; mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors.
- Try to be as artificially unscented as possible – mosquitoes are attracted to the scent of perfume, sunscreens and fabric softener.
We’d love to hear from you! How do you naturally prevent mosquitoes?
Find all the Green in 365 posts.
Hilary Kimes Bernstein is a Christ follower, wife, mama, and writer who blogs about making healthy decisions that honor God and happen to help the environment at Accidentally Green. She’s recently released her first eBook, First Bites: How To Instill Healthy Eating Habits During Your Baby’s First Year.
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