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How to Prevent Mosquito Bites

As promised from yesterday’s article about relief for itching bites [1], I’ve compiled a big list of recommendations and home remedies for mosquito repellent suggestions (including some homemade bug spray recipes).

A few things to note first:

Something to keep in mind: Since some people seem to be a mosquito magnet while others around them don’t get a single bite, I have the suspicion that there could be a personal body chemistry factor involved. And that could explain why a remedy that works for one person, may not work for another.

I suspect that’s why some people swear by the Bounce sheet method, or the Avon Skin So Soft solution, while others have a different experience. Bounce nor the Avon SSS did a thing for me btw, but I did include them in the list below. I know a few people who SWEAR by them.

Basics:

Home Remedies, Bug Sprays & Tips

CitronellaLavenderCatnipEucalyptus*Pennyroyal*Tansy
BasilThymeCedarTea TreePeppermintLemongrass

*Seems to be strongly recommended.

If you’re interested in experimenting with making homemade mosquito repellents, here are a few different recipes that you can try.

Most of these have been sent in by readers and they’re all easy enough to make (thank you for sharing guys!). A few are made with assorted essential oils but there is one shared by Jennifer that uses simple ingredients (garlic cloves, mineral oil, water and lemon juice) so the expense is really minimal.

Here’s a tip sent in by Angela for her tried-and-true solution:

This is a recipe given to me by my aunt, I find that it stores well but should be used within the year.

1/4 cup vegetable oil mixed with these essential oils (mix and store in a spray bottle):

8 drops cedar
5 drops eucalyptus
4 drops lavender
2 drops rosemary
2 drops juniper
1 drop peppermint
1 drop cinnamon
1 drop clove

Here’s one from Mark:

I like this because it only needs a few items and it’s a breeze to put together. Make sure you shake it up for a few minutes each time before you use it. I hope your readers try it because it does work just as well as bought and it’s better to use on your body than those poisonous sprays that they try selling us in stores.

2 cups witch hazel
1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
20 drops citronella essential oil
20 drops lemongrass essential oil

Instructions: Mix in a spray bottle and shake well before use.

Jennifer sent this one in:

Mosquitoes hate garlic and so when I saw this in a magazine a few years ago I clipped it, tried it and found that it did a good job keeping me bite free.

Directions: Mince a few cloves of garlic then cover with mineral oil. Allow it to sit for at least 24 hours. Next you take a teaspoon of *just the oil* and mix it with 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Strain through a cheesecloth if you have any floaties then pour into a spray bottle. Shake before each use.

motherearthnews.com

Here’s another recipe from Mother Earth News that used to be online but I can no longer find:

Since the 1999 appearance of West Nile virus in North America, it’s more important than ever to keep these pests at bay. You can outsmart them with this homemade, Earth-friendly solution.

It couldn’t be easier to make, ingredients needed are any combination of these essential oils: basil, cedarwood, citronella, juniper, lemon, myrrh, palmarosa, pine, rose geranium and/or rosemary mixed with 190-proof grain alcohol (Everclear). Quantities: 2 1/2 tsp of essential oil mixed with 1 cup of the alcohol. The mixture of assorted EO’s makes this an effective option for fighting a variety of mosquito species and other insects.

Here’s one from another source no longer available online…

Yarrow Bug Spray

Fill a jar with fresh yarrow flowers and leaves (cut into small pieces) or use 1/2 jar full of dried yarrow. Cover with vodka, seal jar with lid and allow to brew for a week. Strain, fill a spray bottle 1/2 full with the infusion liquid then top up with water. Add a few drops of catnip essential oil (adjust as needed for effectiveness). Shake well before each use, may need to reapply every hour or so.

Plants That Repel Them

Break off leaves and crush them roughly, rub them all over your clothes and skin. Toss the bruised leaves around the perimeter of your deck or patio. Also plant these in pots and arrange them around the patio. You could also infuse these in water and then use that as a spray.

Commercial Products

*(other than DEET items)

Household Hacks

Items to Eat

*Daily

Apparently the smell that comes out of your pores from a steady diet of the below deters mosquitoes. The items aren’t meant to be combined, they’re just different suggestions.