25 Ways to Repel Insects
Whatever the season insects can be intriguing but give us all an uncomfortable feeling when they buzz around our ears, harass lights while we are trying to concentrate, or crawl in places we’d rather they stay away from. A further issue is that many of the popular dispersal methods come from products with harmful chemicals that should only be used when an exterminator is absolutely necessary.
The following is a rundown of twenty-five natural ways to repel insects that are worth taking note of instead of dousing the home or office with substances detrimental to your own health.
Some are plant based, easy to grow and can be used in many different ways such as making essential oils, crushing the leaves and putting them in sachets around the house or smearing the leaves on your skin or clothing. (If you use them remember to try a few drops on one part of the body to make sure you are not allergic. If you are ok apply and reapply every one to two hours.)
Others are simply practical steps to help avoid and repel various types of pests:
- Mint: Unless you want it to take over the garden keep it in containers when growing at home. If you don’t mind it spreading it will not only provide ample leaves for tea throughout the year but will help keep away many insects, most notably mosquitoes.
- Basil: Easy to keep alive it will grow in various climates and acts as a natural pesticide when planted next to certain vegetables like tomatoes. Repels flies and mosquitoes.
- Thyme: Repels insects and breaks stuffy odors.
- Cedar: Moths hate cedar, which is why many old closets used to be made of this wood. Cedar chips in sachets placed in dressers will work but the chips need to be replaced every so often.
- Citronella: One of the best non-toxic forms of mosquito control available, many products use it in their ingredients though there’s nothing
as pure as the real thing. Citronella candles are widely used but always remember to be careful not to leave fire unattended.
- Garlic: Eating garlic or food with a lot of garlic has been known to ward of mosquitoes since they can’t stand the smell and it stays with the body for a while.
- Eucalyptus: It’s known to be as effective as low concentrations of some of the chemical bug sprays on the market.
- Rosemary: This herb needs little water and makes a great addition to the landscape. It repels mosquitoes, mites, and other annoying pests.
- Lavender: Like Rosemary lavender is an amazing herb to grow and has many uses including repelling mosquitoes, fleas, and moths.
- Peppermint: Repels ants, aphids and a host of other bugs. People love to make peppermint tea but did you know you could take the tea and spray it on plants as an insecticide!
- Cloves: Oil of cloves is a very effective mosquito repellent.
- Catnip: There has been a debate in recent years over the power of catnip in repelling bugs. Nevertheless it’s potent and should be taken advantage of.
- Tea tree oil: Among its many uses is a repellent against fleas and safe to spray on pets
- Marigolds and other flowers: They work to deter insects including cutworms and parasitic nematodes.
- Treating: Treat clothing with any of the relevant natural methods listed above.
- Fans: Put on a fan where you are sitting or sleep.
- Scents: Don’t wear sweet or fruity smelling perfumes.
- Colors: Don’t wear dark clothing; mosquitoes are attracted to it.
- Cover up: Wear long pants and long sleeves.
- Body odor: Don’t run outside when you are perspiring which will attract mosquitoes.
- The extremities: Keep hands and feet covered as best as possible; they are the coolest part of body i.e. the extremities, and most susceptible to bites.
- Ultrasonic devices: they have mixed reviews but worth trying out.
- Incense: Works for some and not for others.
- Vitamin B1: No conclusive proof it works but like eating garlic it’s said to secrete a smell through the skin that people can’t sense but that insects dislike.
There are many natural products on the market which are said to work great and don’t contain the harmful DEET chemical in most bug sprays. If necessary try them out and if none are available and there is a risk of mosquitoes carrying a disease or virus in your area don’t hesitate to use whatever protection you can find.
Submitted by Guest writer Jakob Barry writes for Networx.com. He covers various eco-friendly home improvement topics including insect and commercial pest control