Of biting bugs, none are more notoriously annoying than mosquitoes. Not only do they prey on human blood and leave behind itchy red welts, they can also leave behind a risk of disease. Worldwide, these pesky pests are responsible for serious diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, and chikungunya, while the most common risk in the U.S. is the West Nile virus. These diseases can be transmitted to humans through mosquito saliva after an insect feeds on an infected person or animal and then bites you.
To prevent the risk of these diseases as well as the annoying itch of even the most harmless mosquito bite, many people turn to commercial insect repellents containing DEET. While these products are effective at deterring mosquitos, they can carry a number of their own health risks to humans, particularly children. Overexposure to DEET has been associated with headaches, memory loss, fatigue, weakness, muscle and joint pain, as well as tremors and shortness of breath.
If you are looking for ways to keep mosquitos away from you and your family without dousing yourselves in harsh chemicals, you came to the right place! Here’s a few recipes you can safely and naturally use to keep those annoying little blood suckers at bay:
DIY Repellent Sprays
There are a number of simple, effective, and all-natural sprays you can make to keep mosquitos away. Following are two that are especially easy to make:
Mix 1 teaspoon of lemongrass essential oil with 1 teaspoon of eucalyptus oil and four ounces of distilled witch hazel in a spray bottle. Spray on exposed skin as needed and enjoy the great outdoors DEET free!
Mix 4 drops each of citronella essential oil, lemongrass oil, rosemary oil, eucalyptus oil, and mint oil with ¼ cup of pure witch hazel. Apply liberally and laugh to yourself as those pesky predators want nothing to do with you!
DIY Repellent Body Oil
Another simple essential oil that is loved by humans but loathed by mosquitos is lavender. For a super simple body oil that will repel mosquitos, combine in a bottle 30 drops of lavender essential oil with two tablespoons of a carrier oil such as olive oil. Cap the bottle, shake well, and apply the oil to exposed skin. You will smell beautiful and be bug free!
In tropical areas where malaria is a big problem caused by mosquitos, nature’s repellent isn’t far away. Neem oil, extracted from the Neem tree is harvested in the same climates and used to naturally keep mosquitos off and thereby control the spread of the disease.
There are two simple and effective ways you can use neem oil:
Apply to the skin as a personal protectant
Burn it, by simply adding it to your citronella candles, tiki torches, or even kerosene lamps.