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A Guide on How to Keep Mosquitos Away
Mosquitos are pesky little things that bite down and leave red marks on your skin. (Which I hate with a burning passion!). That being the case, I researched far and wide to know the best ways to keep mosquitos away. Aside from that, we will also talk about how to repel mosquitos and how mosquitos can be harmful to us. Please just read on if you want to stop these pesky things from biting you. I’m sure these tips will be helpful since I tested these out myself.
What Are Mosquitos?
Mosquitos are pesky little things – well, that’s my description. But according to the CDC, mosquitoes are common, flying insects that live in most parts of the world. There are over 3,500 types of mosquitoes worldwide. Unlike what most of us might believe, not all mosquitos bite people or animals.
Common Types of Mosquitos in the U.S.
The three common types of mosquitos are Aedes, Culex, and Anopheles.
The Aedes mosquito bites during the day, and their preferred hosts are humans! Yikes!
This type of mosquito bites at night while their preferred hosts are avian. But they will still bite humans, although not as often.
While the last type of mosquito common in the US is the Anopheles. This type of mosquito bites indoors and outdoors. This mosquito prefers human and mammal hosts. This is the mosquito I’m pretty afraid of since it brings malaria.
How Can Mosquitos Be Harmful?
Mosquitoes can be harmful in several ways! Here are some of the most significant harm mosquitoes may bring:
Mosquitoes are “notorious” for transmitting various diseases, including malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, Zika virus, West Nile virus, and chikungunya! These diseases can cause severe illness and even death in some cases.
Some people may experience an allergic reaction to mosquito bites. These allergic reactions can cause swelling, itching, and hives. In rare cases, a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis can occur, which can be life-threatening! So better use the tips provided to avoid those pesky mosquitoes!
Discomfort and Annoyance
Even if mosquitoes do not send a disease or cause an allergic reaction, their bites can be uncomfortable and itchy. Mosquitoes can also be a significant annoyance when trying to enjoy outdoor activities. When I was young, I always got mosquito bites from playing outdoors. It would cause red bites to appear, which are irritating and very itchy! My mother would always tell me to stop scratching my bites, but I couldn’t for my life stop. That’s why I have an extreme aversion to them.
Mosquito-borne diseases can have a significant economic impact on affected communities. They can cause lost productivity, increased healthcare costs, and reduced tourism. They may seem minor but can significantly threaten human health and well-being. That’s why taking all the steps for a mosquito-free home is vital. Trust it from me, “a person who got dengue,” mosquito bites are no joke.
How to Keep Mosquitos Away: Two Ways
Since I want you to have choices, I will include two ways to repel mosquitos. The first is the natural method, and the second is the artificial method.
1. Check for Stagnant Water in Your Area
One of the reasons why stagnant water is a reason for the propagation of these insects is they can complete their life cycle. Mosquitos lay their eggs in the stagnant water, hatch, and eat the matter in the stagnant water. Mosquitoes live in stagnant water since it has leaves, grass, and other food. Aside from this, stagnant water is warm, making it conducive for breeding. Please check your pets’ food bowls, birdbaths, and other areas where water can stay. Regarding your pets’ food bowls, always replace the water to prevent them from breeding.
2. Citronella – the Best Essential Oil
Use Citronella if you want your house to smell good and repel mosquitoes. Citronella is an essential oil that comes from the lemongrass plant. Citronella repels mosquitoes by masking the scent of carbon dioxide and lactic acid that humans and animals produce. These two scents attract mosquitoes, and citronella repels mosquitoes by masking said scent. If I could describe the scent of citronella, it simultaneously smells like an orange and a lemon. It is quite fragrant, and the scent lasts for a long time. What you can do is use an essential oil diffuser. Buying a candle is also great if the smell of pure citronella is too much for you.
3. Use Garlic!
Did you know that garlic is a natural mosquito repellant? Well, I didn’t realize this before too! That’s why I will share a quick and easy guide to using garlic to repel them.
DIY Garlic Mosquito Repellant
- Get some cloves of garlic
- Mince them well
- Once minced, soak the minced garlic in mineral oil and let it rest for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, remove the garlic bits and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice
- Strain with an old towel or cheesecloth
- Then place it in a used cologne bottle or spray bottle
- Spray this repellant in your house, which you think is prone to mosquitoes. I love making this repellant whenever I am on a budget! You can use extra cloves of garlic used before cooking to save more!
4. Plant Some Lavender or Mint – or Even Both!
In an article published by Healthline, they discussed how crushed lavender produces a fragrance and oil that can repel mosquitoes. They also discussed how an animal study from 2002 on hairless mice found lavender oil effective at repelling adult mosquitoes. The scent of lavender is distinctly floral, with a light scent. Unlike other floral aromas, lavender will always be one of my favorites because of its calming and wonderful floral notes. Planting a lavender plant in your garden is an effective way to repel mosquitoes. Also, you will worry less when your kids play outside since the lavender plants will act as a repellant. If the scent of lavender is not for you? Why not go with mint? Mint is a beautiful herb that also has fantastic mosquito-repelling properties. Planting a mint plant is not also perfect for repelling mosquitoes, but they are also used in food. The smell of mint smells refreshing and, for me, smells a bit like toothpaste.
5. Use Eucalyptus Oil
According to the CDC, eucalyptus is an effective oil to deter mosquitoes away. Mix one part lemon eucalyptus oil with ten parts sunflower oil and spray in areas where mosquitoes may breed.
6. Make a Cinnamon Oil Spray!
Did you know that you can also use cinnamon to deter mosquitoes? Well, if not, then now you know! According to several studies, cinnamon oil prevents mosquitoes due to its strong smell and potent chemical properties. The oil contains compounds such as cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, and linalool, which repel insects.
- 1/4 cup cinnamon oil
- 1/4 cup witch hazel or vodka
- 1/2 cup water
- Spray bottle
- In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon oil and witch hazel or vodka until well combined.
- Add the water and stir to combine.
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
- Shake the bottle well before each use.
- Spray cinnamon oil on exposed skin and clothing, and avoid the eyes and mouth.
Note: Test a small skin area before applying to ensure you are not sensitive to the cinnamon oil. Before using it all over your skin, you should test it on your wrists. Also! Remember that this cinnamon oil spray on its own cannot deter mosquitoes. You can use it with other tips on how to keep mosquitos away.
7. Care for Mosquito-Eating Birds
There are certain types of birds that eat mosquitoes. If you want to learn more, I wrote an article on “Birds that Eat Mosquitoes and other bugs,” which you might find helpful.
1. Insect-Repellent Spray
Insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or lemon eucalyptus oil can effectively repel mosquitoes. Could you follow the instructions on the label when applying these products? There are some sprays out there that don’t smell very pleasant! So you can choose one with no scent or with a smell you prefer. Since we have pets, we only use the spray when walking our dogs. Although it says in the packaging that the spray is safe for kids and pets, I wouldn’t say I like taking any risks.
2. Mosquito Traps
Mosquito traps use a variety of mechanisms to lure and trap mosquitoes. Some traps use carbon dioxide, heat, and light to attract mosquitoes, while others use chemicals to mimic the scent of humans or other animals. Some mosquito traps have a distinct odor; usually, the cheaper ones smell bad. So if you want to buy mosquito traps, try smelling them out first. I had an incident where I purchased a mosquito trap, which didn’t smell delightful! I had to throw it away immediately and buy a new one, so I learned from my experience.
3. Electric Bug Zappers
Electric bug zappers use UV light to attract mosquitoes and other flying insects, then electrocute them upon contact. If you want to make using electric bug zappers fun, you can play a game of who can zap the most bugs! Although do note that the bugs may smell when zapped. It smells a bit smokey, so keep that in mind if you want to buy an electric bug zapper.
4. Mosquito Nets
Mosquito nets create a barrier between humans and mosquitoes, particularly while sleeping. This net is made of mesh fabric, usually white. When I was young, my mother would use a mosquito net for my bed to keep mosquitos away. I loved having a mosquito net because it looked like a bed for a princess. A mosquito net is a great way to prevent mosquitoes if you have children at home. I’m inserting a picture of my mosquito net as a kid so you know what I’m talking about.
5. Insect Repellent Lotion or Spray
Insect repellents can be in the form of a spray or a lotion. Before, I preferred using a rush since it doesn’t stick to your skin that much. But now, I recently used the sticker type of insect repellant on my children. It comes in various shapes and sizes, with different sticker options too. It works wonders; you don’t need to apply it directly to the skin.
Now You Know How to Keep Mosquitos Away
I hope you learned a lot about how to keep mosquitos away! As I always quote, “Prevention is better than cure.” It’s better to spend more on preventing life-threatening diseases than having one. I cannot stress enough how mosquitos can be harmful, so take my tips to heart. I also hope you can apply the information on repelling mosquitos in your homes. Always stay healthy and safe, everyone! So that you know, until your next site visit.
This short video description shares all-natural ways to keep mosquitoes away. The video highlights a recent study that found mint and garlic repellents to be highly effective against mosquitoes. In addition, the video mentions lavender oil as another all-natural mosquito repellent that has been found to be 93% effective indoors and 58% effective outdoors. The video gives a quick tip on how to use lavender oil for protection, suggesting viewers apply a few drops onto their skin and rub it in.
Video Credit: @BRIGHTSIDEOFFICIAL
What is the best method how to keep mosquitos away?
The best method is the method that works for you. I always say, “Use the best method for you.” There are a lot of tips, and I mean A LOT! But it’s always good to remember that we all have different problems and live in other areas. That’s why it’s best to at least test out all the tips provided above and choose the best that works for you.
Should I worry about mosquitoes?
Definitely! As someone who got dengue, I can’t stress how important it is to ensure a “mosquito-free environment”! Although mosquito bites may seem like a minor convenience, you can get life-threatening diseases. Trust me, I know.
Did I get bitten by a mosquito? Should I worry?
No, and yes. No, because, in general, mosquito bites, while irritating, are harmless. See a doctor if you feel nausea or any aches and pains.