Natural Mosquito Repellent

Well it is mosquito season here in the desert.  The mosquito abatement lady is running around desperately trying to save us all from the west Nile virus.

It seems that when the sun starts to go down giant clouds of mosquitoes come out to play..... and we all hide in the house so we don't get carried away.

There are a few natural things you can do to keep them away.

Avoiding sugar: some say that sweet blood attracts mosquitoes. Mosquitoes actually do rely on sugar from plants as their main source of energy. Female mosquitoes only suck blood when they are about to lay eggs. Otherwise, male and female mosquitoes get their food from flowers.
Avoiding bananas: This goes along with the sugar theory, but the consumption of bananas is blamed in attracting mosquitoes.
Eat garlic: Many people claim that regularly eating raw garlic keeps the mosquitoes away. Of course you have to weigh the pros and cons here. You may keep the mosquitoes away with garlic but you may also keep your friends and family away too.
B Vitamins:  B vitamins, especially thiamine, can deter mosquitoes.

Herbs high in thiamine include: alfalfa, bladderwrack, burdock root, catnip, cayenne, chamomile, chickweed, eyebright, fennel seed, fenugreek, hops, nettles, oatstraw, parsley, peppermint, raspberry leaves, red clover, rose hips, sage, yarrow, and yellow dock.
Foods high in thiamine include:  Brown rice, egg yolks, fish, liver, peanuts, peas, pork, poultry, rice bran, and wheat germ.

For some thing topical try this spray.  You will be so happy you did! 

Yarrow Catnip bug repellent
  1. Yarrow (either fresh or dried flowers and leaves)
  2. Alcohol (vodka works fine)
  3. Catnip Essential Oil
  4. Water

If you are using fresh flowers fill the jar all the way full.  If you are using dried herbs fill it only half way.

Fill the jar with vodka and let set for a week or so.

Then strain out the yarrow and fill spray bottles half way with the liquid.  Top them the rest of the way off with distilled water.
Place a few drops of catnip essential oil in the spray bottle. Catnip essential oil has been shown to be more effective than DEET at deterring mosquitoes. You could also try using lavender or sage essential oils.

There you have it! A wonderful mosquito repellent.  This works best when applied every few hours. 
There are many variations to this recipe so I encourage you to experiment with what works best for you.
You could simply make a tea out of yarrow and use that as a spray. This will not keep as long as an alcohol extraction.

There are a variety of essential oils that you can use besides the ones listed above.

Have a safe and fun summer!

1 comment:

Kara said...

Wow. I didn't know this. Good information.