How to scare off mosquitoesOn August 4, 2019 by Lavina Kang
Insecticides are always the first choice. However, if you prefer more natural options, we give you some tips to keep mosquitoes away without chemical agents.
With the heat of summer come the open windows, the dinners with friends in the garden, the swimming pools, the terraces and, unfortunately, also the mosquitoes, ready to spoil the party with their buzzing and biting, some of which, like the tiger mosquito, are potentially dangerous.
Mosquitoes are especially concentrated in humid areas and do not attack all people equally, but 20% of people are a pole of attraction for their bites.
How to repel mosquitoes indoors
There are many types of solutions for keeping mosquitoes away, some more effective than others and some more environmentally friendly than others.
Firstly, we have solutions based on the use of chemicals, such as insecticides or repellents. These products are quite effective, but only temporarily, and have the disadvantage of being expensive (at least the ones that are really effective), and that some of their components are very harmful to both the environment and to people and animals in the house.
Moreover, chemical insecticides are less effective outdoors, where they are eliminated by the action of the air in a matter of seconds, unless they are very powerful and therefore not suitable for household use.
Secondly, we have the repellents that are sold in pharmacies or supermarkets in the form of a bracelet, pendant, brooch… These tend to have more natural components, such as citronella extract, and are hardly harmful, although they can cause irritation in some people. Their effectiveness is real, although limited in time and, above all, in space, since, although they protect from bites, they do not prevent the low flying of insects that sometimes do not even let us sleep.
And, finally, there are the tricks for scaring off mosquitoes that have been used all your life and which are the ones that work best, are cheap and more effective. Among these tricks are the following:
- Hang bags or other containers filled with water on the doors and windows. This causes flies and mosquitoes to be reflected in a distorted way and create the impression of a possible predator. This same trick works for open spaces.
- You can also place mosquito nets on the windows or around any areas you want that are free of mosquitoes.
- The smell of vinegar bothers the mosquitoes. If you put containers with water and vinegar on the windows they will not enter.
- Homemade mosquito traps. To make them it is enough to cut a plastic bottle in half and invert the upper half before joining it again with the lower one, where we will have previously introduced a mixture of water, sugar and yeast. The mosquitoes will enter the trap attracted by the sweetness and will not be able to get out of it, so they will drown.
- Natural herbal repellent: mix 25 drops of mint oil, 15 drops of clove essence, 5 drops of lemon essence and 2 teaspoons of degreasing soap and use the resulting mixture as a cream.
But to avoid mosquitoes it is also important not to engage in a number of behaviors that attract them and to encourage others that repel them.
- Stagnant water is the ideal place for mosquitoes to deposit their larvae, so try not to leave containers of water open.
- Mosquitoes are attracted to sweet smells and/or floral scents, so avoid them. You should look for a neutral perfume, with a citrus or mint smell, which bothers them.
- Avoid having the light on.
- Foods rich in vitamin B, such as legumes and nuts, produce enzymes that mosquitoes will detect, so they won’t bite you. Garlic, onion, clove oil and brewer’s yeast will also help you avoid being bitten.
How to keep mosquitoes away from the outside
Keeping mosquitoes away from outdoor areas is much more complicated, but there are two foolproof systems that are also very ecological and useful in gardening:
- Use plants that are a natural repellent: Grandmothers have always planted geranium flowers on balconies and gardens (we have already given you the home remedies to take care of a geranium), as this plant, besides being pretty and requiring little care, repels flying insects. Other plants with a similar effect are basil (which can also be used for cooking), cloves, lavender and rosemary. And if you live in Galicia, you are in luck, as one of the few benefits of the eucalyptus forests is that the smell does not please the mosquitoes. And one of the most effective natural repellents is catnip, a plant that, according to some studies, repels mosquitoes with 10 times more power than any industrial repellent, and which we can plant in our garden.
- Maintain a population of natural predators: Although it is rare in the city, in the countryside it is common to maintain and accept as neighbours the animals that usually hunt flies, mosquitoes, moths and other insects. The three most efficient natural predators of mosquitoes are spiders, frogs and toads, and geckos. Since spiders end up being a nuisance to people and frogs and toads need water nearby, geckos are ideal. A garden with these types of animals is a garden free of insects.