Summers are synonymous with outdoor fun. But with those long days and lightning-bug filled nights come the unwanted annoyance of mosquitos. Thankfully we have many options to protect ourselves from these biting pests but many of them are created with chemical components that some people prefer to avoid. If you’re seeking a more natural approach to keep these pesky insects at bay, continue reading for a variety of options for natural mosquito repellents.
Understanding Mosquitos and Repellents
Mosquitos are more than annoying. They can also be dangerous thanks to the diseases carried by some species. The problem is, you can’t tell if a mosquito is about to transmit disease just by looking at it, so prevention is your best protection. Mosquito repellents make it harder for the mosquitos to locate their target: us. They work by masking the heat, carbon dioxide, body odor, and sweat that comes off our bodies and attracts the mosquitos to us.
Types of Natural Mosquito Repellents
There are several types of natural mosquito repellents that are most effective and have become pretty popular:
Plant-based oils: Essential oils derived from some plants are known to repel mosquitos. When applied to the skin or used in diffusers, they can help make you less attractive to mosquitos. These oils include citronella, lemongrass, eucalyptus, and tea tree oils.
Mosquito-repelling plants: Certain plants, such as marigolds, lavender, basil, and rosemary, are known to have mosquito-repelling properties. Having these plants in your garden or indoors can help keep mosquitos at bay.
Homemade mosquito repellents: Go the DIY route, with repellents that often include a mixture of essential oils and a carrier of oil or alcohol, allowing the substance to be spread or sprayed on your skin. For instance, a combination of citronella, eucalyptus, and coconut oil can serve as an effective natural repellent.
Commercial natural repellent products: Natural mosquito repellents are now available from many manufacturers. These products contain plant-based ingredients and are available in various forms, like sprays, lotions, and bracelets.
Efficacy and Limitations of Natural Mosquito Repellents
Natural repellents can bring peace of mind to the user and can be very effective, but for how long? Research suggests that the effectiveness of natural repellents is usually a shorter duration when compared to synthetic options. The success of a natural repellent can also vary based on the species of mosquito so reapplication is necessary, especially when spending extended periods outdoors.
How to Use Natural Mosquito Repellents Safely
Despite being made of materials derived from nature, these repellents should still be used with care. Essential oils should always be diluted before application, because direct contact can cause skin irritation. Some individuals, particularly children and those with sensitive skin, might experience adverse reactions. Always do a patch test before fully applying a new product.
For pet owners, not all natural repellents safe for humans are safe for pets. Always consult with a veterinarian before applying these products on your pets.
Should You Go Natural?
While natural mosquito repellents can be a good alternative for those seeking a chemical-free option, it’s important to understand that they might need to be applied more frequently and their effectiveness can vary. However, when used correctly, they can certainly provide a level of protection against Mosquitos.
Get Help from a Professional Pest Control Service
The best prevention is a mosquito control strategy with a multi-pronged approach: reducing breeding sites, using repellents, and professional pest control services.
Here at Moyer Pest Control, we believe in comprehensive pest control strategies that incorporate a blend of solutions tailored to each individual’s needs. Whether it’s professional pest control services, advice on using natural repellents, or tips on mosquito-proofing your home, we’re here to help.
Reach out to us today to learn more about our resistant-proof Moyer Mosquito program. Call 215.309.8598 or visit emoyer.com/mosquito.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Natural Mosquito Repellents
Do natural mosquito repellents work as well as synthetic ones?
Natural repellents can be effective, but their protection often lasts for a shorter time compared to synthetic repellents like DEET. They typically need to be reapplied more frequently.
How often should I reapply natural mosquito repellents?
Natural mosquito repellents generally need to be reapplied every 1-2 hours, or as directed by the product instructions. However, this can vary depending on factors such as the specific ingredients in the repellent and the intensity of mosquito activity.
Are natural mosquito repellents safe for all ages?
Most natural repellents are safe for all ages. However, certain essential oils might not be suitable for young children. Always consult with a healthcare provider to ensure the product is safe for use, particularly for infants and younger children.
Can I use natural mosquito repellents on my pets?
Some natural repellents can be used on pets, but it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian first. Certain essential oils can be toxic to pets even if they’re safe for humans.
What are some easy-to-make homemade mosquito repellents?
An easy homemade repellent can be made by combining 10 drops each of citronella and eucalyptus oils with about 30 mL of a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil. Shake well before applying to the skin.
Can I use natural mosquito repellents indoors?
Yes, natural mosquito repellents can be used indoors. Some options, like citronella candles or oil diffusers with mosquito-repelling essential oils, are specifically designed for indoor use.