Summer time brings a breath of warm fresh air. It allows those of us who enjoy the weather to spend the longer summer days enjoying ourselves mingling and dining outdoors. Unfortunately, the summer days also bring the nasty problem of those blood sucking pests called mosquitoes.
Many people do not mind using chemical mosquito repellents but there are others who prefer not to use those types of products. Many adults do not enjoy the thought of spraying down their bodies in heavy chemical repellents, especially around food when dining outdoors. Parents may also fear that the harsh chemical mosquito repellents could be just as dangerous for their children as the actual mosquitoes themselves. The good news is that there are other ways to repel mosquitoes other than by using Deet or OFF to keep the pests at bay. These natural and homemade mosquito repellents can be used in the backyard or at the beach to keep those unwelcomed summer bugs away from the skin.
One important thing to keep in mind is that mosquitoes are really turned off by the smell of citrus. Almost any homemade mosquito repellent can be made by incorporating citrus into the mix. Most people do this by using citronella oil. If you are dining or enjoying some time outdoors, then place lit citronella candles around the perimeter of the area you’ll be in. The candles will repel a wide variety of insects. So this is an effective yet inexpensive way to repel mosquitoes. The candles can be purchased at just about any home wares store or sporting goods store.
Citronella oil can also be purchased in liquid form and applied to the body. However, it’s best to add citronella oil to some type of body oil instead of applying it directly to your skin. The body oil will moisturize your skin while making it harder for the mosquitoes to penetrate the skin. There are a few great and time-tested body oils that are typically used as a base for adding the citronella to.
Some great time-tested body oils that sell for less than $10 per bottle are Skin So Soft made by Avon, Baby Oil made by Johnson and Johnson and Neutrogena Body Oil. To make an effective insect repellent, just mix two or three drops of citronella oil into a handful of the selected body oil and apply it to your exposed skin. The powdery scent of the body oil combined with the lemony scent of the citronella oil will make this homemade repellent very fragrant. Humans will like the smell but the mosquitoes will not likely come near it. And since citronella oil is derived from lemongrass, it’s safe for adults and children to use.
Other natural repellents
You can also mix a combination of soybean oil, geranium oil and coconut oil to make an effective mosquito repellent. In some countries, the oil from the leaves of lemon eucalyptus trees is distilled and used as a repellent. Some people also use the essential oils from allspice, basil, cajuput, catnip, cedar, cinnamon, garlic, lavender, neem, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, rosemary, thyme or verbena. There are also numerous manufacturers that use these natural ingredients in their products. So these commercial products are an option for those who don’t wish to hassle with making up their own homemade repellents.
Although these natural repellents have been used for centuries, they are not necessarily the most effective ones available on the market. The chemically-based repellents such as Deet have tested to be more effective and longer-lasting than the biopesticide repellents. Most of the natural or homemade repellents have to be re-applied frequently in order to maintain several hours of protection. However, none of the commercial chemically-based repellents are 100% perfect either. They also come with many disadvantages and some require frequent re-application also.
However, you most likely will want to obtain the same results while avoiding the harsher chemically-based commercial repellents. You can do this by combining the various homemade natural repellents. For instance, apply the homemade body oil repellent and set out citronella candles too. Since many of the commercial products contain these natural ingredients, it’s much less expensive to just use homemade mosquito repellents.