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As much as I love being outside, working in my garden, there’s one thing I don’t like. Mosquitos.
I hate feeling a sting and looking down to see a mosquito on my wrist or arm. Worse is seeing them flitting about my head or hearing their high pitched whine and knowing what’s about to happen. They have their place on the earth, but I don’t have to like mosquitos.
For years I kept cans of insect repellent near the back door, to use as I headed outdoors. However, it always caused an internal struggle. Get bitten by mosquitos? Or douse myself with chemicals?
It’s no longer a struggle. After spending three years diligently cleansing my body and liver from toxins, I don’t want to spray them back onto my skin.
It’s easy, I’ve discovered, to create my own DIY natural mosquito repellent.
Mosquitos Can Smell You
Did you know mosquitos use their senses to find you?
The insects are attracted to the carbon dioxide humans and animals exhale. They vaguely see us as they dart our way. And once they get close enough, the warmth from our bodies helps them zero in on our location.
There is also some indication that mosquitos use their antennae to detect sweat, a common human occurrence on a muggy summer evening.
Why do mosquitos like to bite us anyway?
It’s only the female mosquito that bites. She uses protein and iron rich blood in the formation of her eggs. The bites itch because the body creates histamine as a reactive response to the mosquito saliva injected to slow blood clotting.
Are there smells mosquitos don’t like?
Yes! And we can use their dislike of certain scents to our advantage.
Scents Mosquitos Hate
These aromatic herbs are natural mosquito repellents:
- lemon balm
I’ve grabbed a handful of lemon balm leaves, as I weeded in the garden, crushed them, and rubbed them on my arms to deter mosquitos. It helps!
Better still is to make a DIY natural mosquito repellent, using a combination of herbal scents that keep the little pests away.
DIY Natural Mosquito Repellent Recipe
For this easy to make spray, combine:
- 1 cup lavender water
- 30 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
- 20 drops citronella essential oil
To make lavender water, boil one cup of water. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh or dried lavender flowers and 2 dried cloves. Let steep until water cools. Strain liquid into a dark glass bottle with a spritz top.
Add lemon eucalyptus and citronella essential oils. Shake well before each use. Apply to exposed skin every two hours while outdoors. Use within six months.
Lavender is near the top of the list for scents mosquitos dislike. Lemon eucalyptus and citronella both have strong citrusy scents that mosquitos avoid. In fact, lemon eucalyptus is very effective in repelling mosquitos, right behind DEET and picaridin, and it’s not toxic.
Vary the recipe if desired by creating basil water or lemon balm water as the base, instead of lavender water. Other essential oils that are effective in repelling mosquitos include peppermint, thyme, geranium and cedar.
You can create your own DIY natural mosquito repellent based on personal preference for scents by combining the herbs and essential oils in different ways.
Enjoying Spring and Summer Evenings, Mosquito Free
Mosquitos are certainly pests. And their bites create itchy bumps that can be maddening. The little biters can pose a health concern as well.
While it’s rare, mosquitos are known to carry diseases such as West Nile Virus, Zika, malaria, encephalitis and various fevers. Protecting ourselves from bites, while protecting our bodies from the toxins found in commercial insect repellents is possible, happily.
The end result of DIY natural mosquito repellent?
Backyard parties, quiet times in the garden, kids playing, walks in nature, all without the distraction of wondering when that dang mosquito is going to land and bite.
Do you have a favorite homemade mosquito repellent? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Backyard Garden Series
Other posts in the Backyard Garden Series:
- Spring Garden Tips
- 13 Easy Herbs to Grow
- 10 Super Easy Perennials to Grow
- Ecological Garden Hacks
- 10 Low Maintenance Annuals to Grow
- Growing Clematis Babies
You can pick up dark glass spritz bottles and lemon eucalyptus and citronella essential oils by clicking on the images below.
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