Here at One Green Planet, we love all living things, even the things that crawl and buzz. But we may not invest in a cockroach farm anytime soon, and we still need to at least deter the things that might seek to munch at us in the warmer months, like mosquitoes. Now, nothing about this post says we want to kill them off. We understand mosquitoes are part of the greater ecosystem and that they serve their purpose on this Earth that we respect. But that doesn’t mean we want mosquito bites every time we go outside at certain times of the day in the summertime!
And then there are real health risks of bites to consider: unfortunately, mosquitoes can transfer many insect-borne diseases, from malaria to encephalitis, depending on where you are in the world. Yet, that doesn’t mean we have to spray our bodies down with chemical-ridden potions with harmful DEET. There’s a better way, Green Monsters!
Consider the following tips:
1. When Outdoors, Wear Protective Clothing
Out simply, if you cover your skin well while outdoors at mosquito-heavy times, you’ll minimize bites. Wear loose, long-sleeve shirts and pants when you can. If it’s too hot, this obviously may not be an option, but consider it when, for example, camping in a humid environment and the sun begins to go down.
2. In the Summer, Steer Clear of Standing Water
Mosquitoes dig stagnant water, so don’t jog or camp or do other outdoor things at mosquito prime times near lakes, marshes, swamps, etc. Even small puddles can be mosquito hotbeds in the humid days. Pitch your tent elsewhere and jog yourself around a flowing body of water (or hit another trail) to avoid the nasty bites that may come if you don’t do so!
3. Don’t Exercise Outdoors During Prime-Time
Mosquitoes love a good warm body, so taking that jog when the sun is going down or coming up might work against you. Opt for an indoor exercise session, or time your workouts accordingly.
4. Invest in an Outdoor Screened Gazebo
If being out on your front or back porch with a drink as the sun goes down is your idea of summer perfection (and why wouldn’t it be?) and you don’t have a screened-in porch, consider investing in a gazebo that you can put your outside furniture inside of to help keep the little guys away from you. This option is the priciest, but if you can afford it, it will certainly help keep insects away from you without hindering outdoor fun at any time.
5. Whip Up Some Natural Mosquito Repellent
All you need is a few natural ingredients!
For one batch of this DIY natural mosquito repellent, you’ll need a few things:
- 3 tablespoons witch hazel. Witch hazel is a plant source.
- 2 tablespoons of natural oils of your choice: you can choose from olive oil, neem oil, argan oil, almond oil, etc. You just need something smooth and natural here, as this is your “carrier oil” which makes your mixture spreadable on your body. Neem oil in particular has been known to have insect-repelling qualities that may be of some enhanced help if you’re looking for the best option.
- 75 – 100 drops of pure essential oils. You might consider citronella, given its use in other products that repel mosquitoes (like candles), and if you don’t mind the smell. Tea tree oil has also been found to be helpful.
Mix these ingredients well in a spray bottle and apply before going outdoors, especially at mosquito-heavy times of the day, like the early morning or dusk time periods.
How do you (naturally) keep mosquitoes at bay in the summer months?
Image source: US Department of Agriculture/Wikimedia