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How to Naturally Keep Pesky Mosquitoes Out of Your Home

How to Naturally Keep Pesky Mosquitoes Out of Your Home

Are you one of those people that mosquitoes just love? If you’re anything like me, just the thought of these pesky little creatures has you itchy.

Your medicine cupboard likely already has insect repellent or chemical sprays to fight the mosquito monsters this season. Unfortunately, these items are yet another chemical-laden substance for our homes.

The most common ingredient in repellents is named Diethyl Toluamide (DEET), and its smell alone is enough for you to be looking for some more natural alternatives.

We may have a solution for you.

Before we begin, I want to share some freaky facts about mozzies.

They prefer Type O blood.

Females are the only ones that bite because they require those additional nutrients in your blood (eek!) to cultivate eggs.

There is no solid evidence that foods (such as bananas or garlic) can make you less attractive to mosquitoes.

There is some research suggesting that certain mosquito breeds may be attracted to beer. We found a few reasons why – some research said it was the increase in carbon dioxide that fizzles out of a beer when opened; others said it’s the increase in body heat that occurs while drinking. Some research even jokingly suggested mozzies had evolved to know to target people with slower reaction times!

As humans, we have a different mix of chemical compounds in our sweat – it’s that bacteria and the carbon dioxide we exhale which mosquitoes are drawn to. Explains why they prefer some people to others!

Contrary to belief, ‘bug zappers’ are not effective and may in fact, kill other insects that are helpful to your garden.

How to Naturally Repel Mosquitoes

A Citronella Candle

You may not know that citronella is a great mosquito repellent because it masks the scents that they are attracted to. You can buy these candles from many home improvement or décor stores but bear in mind, that you will need to buy good quality. For it to be effective, the Citronella formula needs to be just right and cheaper varieties are unlikely to be the best.

Invest in Plants

This is an easy one and something that could also spruce up your outdoor space. Certain plants create scents that mosquitoes aren’t big fans of. Try planting some mint, marigold, lemon trees, basil or lavender.

Get Your Home Organised

I highly recommend a fan for your outdoor area, even if it’s just a smaller one. As weak fliers, mosquitoes need to home in on human scents to find their next victim. Extra air blowing those scents around will make it tough for them to track you.

Assess the fly screens around your home and make sure they aren’t damaged. Make sure the kids aren’t leaving doors open during those peak mosquito times (usually at dusk).

Mosquitoes breed in shallow water, so make sure any puddles of water, buckets holding water or old plant pots are removed from your backyard.

Embrace Those Essential Oils

You should not be applying essential oils directly to your skin – instead put around 10 drops into a diffuser. Go for oils such as Tea Tree, Peppermint, Basil, Lavender and Lemongrass for the best results.

Be Prepared

If you are heading out, wear shoes and socks as well as light, loose clothing – mosquitoes are attracted to darker colours. Try to avoid going out at dusk and early in the morning as this is the preferred time of day for many species.

How to Best Treat Mosquito Bites

So, you’ve tried to keep them out but the mozzies have found a way, and those familiar bumps have appeared. We have a few tips to stop the itch and help you to heal a little quicker.

Ice Pack

You just need to gently place this on your bites for around 10 minutes, as the cold reduces inflammation and can take that itching sensation away.

Bi-Carb Soda

This one works because it neutralises the Ph levels, which relieves itchiness. You can make a paste by mixing the powder with a little warm water and apply it as needed. Note that you do need to leave the paste on for about half an hour before you rinse.

Aloe Vera

An oldie but a goodie! Take the gel out of the leaves and put it in the fridge for 5 minutes or so before you put it on your bites. Aloe Vera has antibacterial properties that help reduce swelling.

Honey

You only need a little here, as the antibacterial properties in honey will help to fight infection and inflammation.

You should visit a doctor if the bites are starting to look infected or if you are feeling unwell.

Remember: If you live in or are visiting a region where mosquito-borne diseases are common or if your local health district has advised to take precautions, the chemical potency of products containing DEET may be needed to decrease the chances of contracting a serious disease.

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