Always a summertime pest, mosquitos and their bites can sometimes penetrate through whatever bug spray you’ve tried to arm yourself with. This can be problematic if you already don’t enjoy the smell and feel of bug spray or if you’re tired of being distracted by the discomfort these bites ensue, especially if your bites swell more intensely than normal.
In this respect, it can be helpful to learn other ways to improve your effectiveness at repelling mosquitoes. You can do so through essential oils and other natural products, in combination with available mosquito control treatments from your pest control company.
Natural Oil Mosquito Repellents
Certain essential oils have been shown to be unattractive to mosquitoes, or decrease their likelihood to lay eggs in areas with that scent. It’s important to note, however, that some people still exhibit allergies or sensitivities to these oils, and that they aren’t regulated by the FDA. They also shouldn’t be considered a cure or protection from mosquito-borne diseases, like malaria or yellow fever. Know your body, and keep that in mind when applying treatments.
When using essential oils, make sure you’re not applying them directly to your skin. You should dilute it with a neutral carrier oil so it’s not as concentrated. A good rule of thumb is 3-5 drops of oil per ounce of carrier oil. It’s also good to know that you’ll have to re-apply your solution more frequently than you might bug spray, usually every 1-2 hours. Here are some essential oils that have shown to help repel mosquitoes:
- Citronella oil
- Cinnamon oil
- Lemon-eucalyptus oil
- Tea tree oil
- Thyme oil
- Lemongrass & soybean oil
In addition to these, burning thyme or crushing fresh lavender and keeping that close can help double down on the mosquito protection.
Physical Mosquito Repellents
While arming yourself with different topical treatments that will help prevent mosquitoes from targeting you, it can also be helpful to create a physical environment that further repels them.
Here are some additional things you can use to save yourself from uncomfortable bites:
- Dress for the occasion. While it’s not the most comfortable, if you are able wearing longer sleeves and keeping covered as much as possible puts a formidable barrier between your skin and any pesky insects. Depending on how extreme your environment, wear hats and tuck your pants into your socks as well.
- Circulate air. If you’re sitting still like on your deck or by a pool, keeping a fan around can be helpful in creating airflow that prevents mosquitoes from landing on you.
- Eliminate standing water. This is critical to avoid larvae formation and an uptick in the amount of mosquitoes you encounter in your space. Mosquitoes can lay eggs and start growing in any amount of standing water, so make sure you’re cleaning out trash can lids, flower pots, or other yard items that might collect water. Change out bird bath water regularly, and make sure if you have a pool or pond that the water is circulating properly. This will help keep your space as mosquito free as possible.
- Change out your outdoor lighting. You can change any incandescent bulbs to yellow-toned bug lights if you can find them. This doesn’t attract bugs the same way, and should decrease further swarming after dusk.