Have you noticed that mosquitos are out in force now? Yikes! And while we certainly don’t want to spray pesticides in our yards or slather our skin with them, we absolutely want to take steps to not be a mosquito’s easy feast. Here are some tried and true ways to keep them out of your space and off your body:
For your yard
Be sure you have removed any areas of standing water, as this is where they breed. If you have a bird bath, you can change the water every 2-3 days by spraying it out with your garden hose or even use a fountain mechanism in the bird bath. The moving water keeps mosquitos from using it as a breeding area AND attracts more birds. Double win!
Plant herbs and flowers that mosquitos don’t like. These include Marigold, petunias, mint, catnip, lavender, basil, rosemary, and sage. Most herbs will have SOME level of repelling power for mosquitoes (and flies, too) plus they are super healthy and tasty for us to use liberally in our cooking and salads.
I saw these Murphy’s Naturals brand mosquito repellent candles and decided to give them a try. They worked! I set them up on the ground beside my patio workstation and wore shorts this morning as a test. Usually, I will get a bite or two on my legs, but not a single one this morning.
You can also buy an inexpensive box fan and use it when you’re sitting outside. Mosquitoes do not do well in wind and are repelled by the breeze, which has the added bonus of keeping you cool.
For your body
Wearing light-colored clothes can help. Mosquitoes are attracted by heat, and dark clothing absorbs more heat from the sun and attracts them. The light clothes don’t really repel them; they just don’t attract them as much. But hey, I’ll take any advantage I can get!
Essential oils from the same plants that repel mosquitoes can be used on your body in a spray. Mix 5 drops each of peppermint, thyme, and rosemary essential oils in a 3 oz spray bottle. Shake and spray liberally, repeating every 30-60 minutes if you’re outside for a long period of time.
Be sure you avoid floral scented products, because they attract mosquitoes. And while essential oils can repel them, ingredients listed as “fragrance” actually attract them. We certainly don’t need THAT!
What if you get bitten anyway?
Aloe vera gel to the rescue! Not only effective relief for sunburn, but aloe also works really well for the itching, swelling, and pain from mosquito and other insect bites.
Murphy’s Naturals also has a salve to treat bites, although I haven’t personally tried this. The base is made from soothing olive and sunflower oil, along with beeswax and cocoa seed butter. The active ingredients of eucalyptus, andiroba, chamomile, and tea tree oils are anti-inflammatory and also prevent bites from becoming infected.
Protecting your body from the toxic effects of pesticides in insect repellants does not have to leave you sporting polka-dot bite marks! Enjoy a non-toxic summer!
This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: I am not a medical doctor and nothing in this newsletter should be taken as medical advice. Discuss all medical issues with your own MD.