Health & Wellness - Natural ways to keep mosquitoes away

Courtney Rupertus

Last summer, we published a wellness article about some of the downsides to using mosquito repellents that contain DEET, as it has been shown to cause headaches, weakness, fatigue, joint pain, shortness of breath, as well as skin and eye irritations.

While there are some occasions where using this type of product may be necessary, there are easy and healthier ways to try to repel these annoying patio pests.

Eat more garlic - When you ingest a lot of garlic, garlic oil is actually released from your pores acting as a barrier between your skin and mosquitoes. Garlic is a tasty super food in so many ways, so eat up!

Try Apple Cider Vinegar - ACV has become the new coconut oil in so many ways, as it’s being touted as the solution to nearly every problem. A number of sources swear by drinking a tablespoon of ACV twice a day to keep mosquitos away. Just be sure to dilute it with at least 1 full cup of water before ingesting.

Throw rosemary on the BBQ - Sometimes the smell of someone grilling is enough to bring the skeeters out, so you can either throw fresh rosemary sprigs right on the BBQ while cooking to enhance the flavor of your food, or do it right afterwards to allow the aroma to waft around the deck area.

Plant strategically - If you spend a lot of time on the patio this time of year, use railing planters or deck planters to decorate your outdoor space AND repel mosquitoes at the same time. Plants that can help deter mosquitos include: lemon grass, lemon balm, citronella, eucalyptus, rosemary, mint, catnip, anise, geraniums, marigolds, and lavender.

Citronella candles - Make or buy natural citronella candles to create ambiance on the patio as well as deter pests with the smell.

Use an outdoor fan - Create a gentle breeze on your deck by placing a fan outside, this constantly circulating air will make it harder for the mosquitoes to fly and land on you.

DIY repellent ribbons - Dip strands of ribbon in either lavender, tea tree, or eucalyptus essential oil to create nice-smelling and non-toxic ribbons that you can hang near doors, tables, or off your campfire chair.

Make your own bug repellant You can either make or buy a natural bug repellent that does not contain chemical additives to apply throughout the day. An easy one is using lemon eucalyptus essential oil diluted with either witch hazel or your carrier oil of choice.

Get rid of standing water - Something as small as a flowerpot sitting around with old water is enough to breed mosquitoes, so be vigilant. You can also use aged, dry coffee grounds to suppress wet areas that you cannot drain. The coffee grounds act as a natural oxygen suppressant and is nontoxic to the surrounding area.

Dress lightly and loosely - Wearing white clothing in particular has been shown to reduce mosquito activity, as well as long, loose clothing.

It’s easy to turn your patio area into a mosquito-free oasis, it just takes a little planning ahead!