Topic: anyone have a recipe for an all natural mosquito repellent?
July 19, 2019 / By Keitha Question:
i live in southern GA, and the mosquitos are really bad this time of year. what can i make to keep them from biting me? i was using a chemical repellent(similar to OFF!) but would like something that is better for me and the environment. thank you!
Indy | 7 days ago
Catnip Mosquito Repellent w/ Rosemary
Last year, several members of the Iowa State University Department of Entomology presented the results of a study on common catnip. Among their conclusions was the fact that an essential oil in catnip is 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than potent chemicals such as DEET.
Grow your own mosquito repellent
By ANN LOVEJOY
SPECIAL TO THE POST-INTELLIGENCER
The news is full of horror stories, including the spread of the West Nile Virus by mosquitoes. At the same time, a news item landed on my desk that seems to promise a simple, natural way to fend off the little buggers.
DEET is currently the most common active ingredient in commercial mosquito and bug repellents. Unfortunately, many studies indicate that DEET is also a dangerous chemical for humans, especially children. A study carried out at Duke University Medical Center revealed that DEET can cause brain-cell death and may trigger behavioral changes indicative of neurological damage in rats after frequent or prolonged use.
In an effort to find a safer alternative, the scientists investigated several plant essential oils that were commonly recommended as insect repellents by organic gardeners. Catnip ranks high on the list of natural bug-busters and evidently with good reason. In the Iowa study, the researchers noted that small doses of catnip oil were at least as effective at repelling mosquitoes as 10 times larger doses of DEET (which was used at typical recommended application rates for commercial products).
While the researchers don't know why mosquitoes don't like catnip oil, they do know a good thing when they see it. Recently, the Iowa State University Research Foundation applied for a patent for the use of catnip essential oils as compounds. Within a few years, we'll probably see many safe, non-toxic mosquito repellents on the market.
In the meantime, why not grow some mosquito repellent of your own? If you have a sunny, well-drained patch of lean garden soil, try planting some catnip. The plant you need is a perennial herb called Nepeta cataria. Closely related to ornamental catmint, or Nepeta faassenii (or N. mussinii), catnip is generally grown as a cat-pleasing or medicinal tea herb rather than for its looks.
Catnip is far from ugly, but its gentle blue flowers are definitely out-produced by its masses of softly hairy, gray-green foliage. Like most herbs, it prefers well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. If you garden on heavy clay, you may succeed better with catnip and other herbs if you give them a mounded bed or grow them on a slope to improve winter drainage.
The first year you plant catnip, you may need to water it a time or two, especially if next summer is as hot and dry as this one has been. However, fall-planted herbs, including catnip, often need very little water the following summer. Fall and winter rains can help plants create deep, strong root systems that increase the natural drought resistance of catnip and many other herbs.
Don't feed your fall-planted herbs, but do mix some compost into their planting soil. A mix of half compost, half native soil is usually just right. Top off the soil with a light blanket of compost (2-3 inches) to help feed those actively growing roots through the cool months.
Even in spring, don't feed your herbs with anything but compost, or at most a mild all-purpose organic fertilizer such as Whitney Farms 5-5-5. Adding too much fertilizer can cause lush overgrowth in many herbs, leading to dilute or low-quality essential oil production. In some cases, herbs such as creeping thymes can be killed by commercial fertilizers, so when in doubt, use only a very mild fertilizer and apply it at half the suggested application rate.
This summer, I experimented with making both catnip vinegar spritzers and catnip infused oils. Both did a fine job of keeping mosquitoes and no-see-ums at bay during our warm summer evenings. If you would like to try this yourself, here are the simple recipes I used:
CATNIP MOSQUITO SPRITZ
MAKES ABOUT 3 CUPS
* 2 cups catnip, stemmed
* 3-4 cups mild rice vinegar
Rinse herbs, roll lightly with a rolling pin, then place them in a clean quart jar and cover with vinegar. Seal jar and store in a dark cupboard for two weeks.
Shake jar lightly every day or so for two weeks. Strain into a clean jar, seal and refrigerate for up to 6 months unused.
To use, spritz on exposed skin and around outdoor dining area.
CATNIP AND ROSEMARY MOSQUITO CHASING OIL
MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS.
* 2 cups catnip, stemmed
* 1 cup rosemary, cut in 6-inch sprigs
* 2 cups grapeseed oil or any light body-care oil
Roll herbs lightly with a rolling pin and pack into a clean jar. Cover with oil, seal jar and place in a cool, dark cupboard for two weeks.
Shake jar lightly every day or so for two weeks. Strain into a clean jar, seal and refrigerate for up to 8 months unused.
To use, rub on exposed skin.
Other Methods I have used and or researched:
Eat a healthy diet with mostly raw vegetables and most fruits. Eating meat attracts mosquitoes.
*Avoid bannanas, chocolates, yogurt as they attract mosquitoes
*Wear long pants and socks with closed shoes during mosquito season
* Vitamin B Complex will help prevent bites
* Avoid dairy as dairy plugs up the elimination system
* Bathe with unscented soap and shampoo to avoid attracting mosquitoes
* Avoid wheat products if the virus infection is coming on
*Use catnip, rosemary, and neem oil to spray on exposed areas of skin (I would add lavender for aroma improvement)
*Make a bath with the above essential oils
*Avoid going out of doors during the greatest risk times at dusk and dawn, or at least cover the legs, arms, and feet during the early moring and evening
*Avoid sugary drinks and alcohol
*Eliminate standing water in your area(put a few drops of neem oil or catnip oil in pools of water to prevent eggs from hatching)
Grow Your Own Mosquito Repellent
Garlic is good, but it if you eat to much, it makes your blood thin and that can be dangerous. (I Eat a ton of garlic, and bruise very easily). If you want to take an odorless garlic supplement, those will help. The Mosquito does not like the taste of your blood. Brewers yeast tablets also work. You Can make a spray of Tea Tree Oil & water (available at your local pharmacy or health food store) Best not to use it full strength(I do), because it can be irritating. I usually put some in a lotion (unscented) and then use as normal for outdoor time. Tea tree oil can be used to treat many many things and also on your pets and children. Please read this info and it may be helpful. Hope this answers your question. If not let me know and I will give more advice.
I have heard that garlic does work, like the previous responder said. The only problem is that it repels loved ones as well!! For the really natural, the yarrow plant easily expels its repelling properties by rubbing it on you and your clothes.
Of course the more mainstream include lemon oil, citronella etc. When I am visiting the wilderness, I leave my pride at the border and wear a mosquito net. Not pretty, but very safe and effective.
For your yard, you could plant lemongrass and yarrow.
Don't know how to repelle the mosquitos... I've been told if ya would to put chewin' tobacoo on the bite, that'll take the itch away and might get rid of the bite faster... and it doesn't really have any bad effects on you (atleast I don't think there is) and its harmless to the environment.
Eucalyptus oil. It is approved as a repellent in helping prevent the West Nile Virus. You can also plant the Eucalyptus plant in your yard to help keep the mosquitos away.
suck on matches, the sulfer from the matches is a automattic, bug killer, not just mosquito !! Works great