4 Herbs to Repel Mosquitoes

We are in the midst of summer, right at the peak of bug season, and finding natural ways to repel them can be trying. DEET is the most common ingredient in bug repellents on the market but it can be harmful for children and animals and it’s not exactly great for you either, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Instead, finding a completely natural way to repel those infuriating bugs is ideal but you may not be sure of where to start. There are a lot of products on the market all claiming to be insect repellents but what if you want to make your own? Making your own bug spray can be incredibly satisfying. This way, you know exactly what’s going in it and have total control over the ingredients while keeping it all natural. Not sure which herbs are effective? There are lots out there that naturally repel insects, this article focuses on mosquito repellents such as:


  1. Citronella

  2. Catnip

  3. Lemon Balm

  4. Basil


Citronella


This classic plant is the main herbal ingredient in most bug repellents out there due to its effectiveness. It is such a wonderful, rich smelling herb, with strong lemon and citrus notes. Citronella has six different active chemical compounds that offer this natural repellent: citronellal, geraniol, geranyl acetate, citronellol, limonene, and methyl isoeugenol. Fill your gardens with this, place it in planters near your front door and it will surely keep the mosquitos at bay!


Catnip


Surprise! This kitty weed is ten times more effective than DEET! This little herb in the mint family is packed full of nepetalactone, the oil that gives it its unique smell, and is an incredibly powerful oil that will keep the mosquitos away better than any DEET filled product. A great way to keep mosquitos away from you in your outdoor garden space is to plant catnip in planters around the sitting area. You can plant it directly in your garden, but watch out, plants in the mint family spread rapidly and it can easily choke out your other plants! It’s best to plant it somewhere contained for easy maintenance and the added benefit of being able to easily move it around.


Lemon Balm


This perennial herbaceous plant is in the mint family just like catnip and is another potent herb against mosquitos. It’s found in a lot of different bug repellents and is a great addition to any herbal bug spray you create. Like citronella, it contains citronellal, geraniol, citronellol, and limonene. These chemicals are all very effective in keeping those mosquitos away!


Basil


This lovely cooking herb is another every day herb you likely already have that works incredibly well against mosquitos and other pests. Research done has shown that the potent scents produced by basil are highly effective in repelling mosquitos and completely safe to use on adults and children alike.


Mosquitoes aren’t just annoying, they’re also carriers of disease like Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever and Malaria. Preventing mosquito bites is important for anyone during the summer, but especially for those who live in areas near still bodies of water that are ideal reproducing grounds for mosquitoes. Having an effective way to repel them is key and there is nothing tame about herbal repellents and are in fact, oftentimes more effective against mosquitoes than DEET. Using essential oils derived from the four herbs mentioned added to a base of apple cider vinegar and you will have a powerfully potent bug spray that’s safe for you and your children!



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