Here’s how to avoid mosquito bites this summer
Rubbing chemicals on your skin to keep mosquitoes away sounds dangerous. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural ways to repel mosquitoes without using DEET and other toxins on your body. If you have dry ice or coffee grounds on hand, use them to repel mosquitoes. Consider other natural solutions to scare away mosquitoes and help yourself smell better this summer, too.
Make your own spray
One of the best home remedies to get rid of mosquitos is to make your own bug spray. Follow these easy steps:
- Fill a clean spray bottle halfway with distilled water.
- Fill the rest up with witch hazel.
- Add about 50 to 60 drops of your favorite essential oils, such as rosemary, clove or eucalyptus. Shake the bottle well.
If you’re in a pinch, use vanilla extract as a spray. Add two teaspoons of vanilla into one cup of water. Mix in a spray bottle. The vanilla scent covers up your body odor and stops mosquitoes from bothering you.
Fan them away
A fan helps keep away mosquitoes and keeps you cool at the same time. An oscillating fan outdoors on your deck or patio quickly blows away the little bugs. Its cool breeze makes the area more comfortable for guests.
Aromatic pinon wood burning in an outdoor fire pit can deter mosquitos. Citronella and other strong herbal candles help keep mosquitos away. The bugs don’t like the smell or the sight of fire.
Wear the right clothes
Wear clothes mosquitos don’t like. Go with light colors instead of black, dark blue or red. Looser-fitting clothing that covers more of your skin can reduce the number of bites you suffer. A light-colored hat keeps the buzz off your head, too.
Grow a garden
Mosquitos avoid many plants, herbs and flowers. Grow rosemary, lavender, basil, catnip, mint, marigolds, lemongrass and feverfew where mosquitoes gather. Make your garden friendly for birds and bats. Birds like purple martins and swallows love to eat mosquitoes. Bats may also quickly eat your mosquito population.
Repel with oils
Mosquitos don’t like the strong smell of essential oils, such as eucalyptus, Indian lilac, citronella, clove and lavender. Apply small amounts of essential oils to your skin. Put a few drops of oil on candles before they burn. Spray a mixture of peppermint oil with water into the air with a mist bottle. Add a few drops of geranium oil to your shampoo to keep bugs away from your head and neck.
Eat this, not that
Mosquitos like the smell of carbon dioxide when you exhale. Mask your breath by eating garlic. Reduce the number of bananas you eat in the summer — mosquitos love their fragrance. Beer, a summertime favorite, is also a mosquito magnet.
Even when you try to repel mosquitos and bugs, you might be bitten or stung. If your bites become infected or won’t go away, get them checked. Visit mercy.com to make an appointment with a primary care physician or specialist.