They’re coming…and you need to be ready. Mosquitoes are the deadliest animal in the world. They aren’t terrifying to most people (unlike spider, wasp, or snake phobias), but you need to take them seriously. Arming yourself with natural mosquito repellant and making yourself less appetizing is the key to keeping these blood-suckers at bay.
If you live in an area that experiences hot weather (even part of the time), the chances are high that you’ve encountered these annoying pests. The moment it starts to get dark, they come out in force and start chomping on anyone they can.
Unfortunately, most mosquito repellants you buy in stores are packed with some of the most dangerous chemicals around. That you apply them directly to your skin gives the toxic compounds instant access to your bloodstream. A horrible recipe for toxic overload – particularly if you spend a lot of time outdoors or work outside.
That One Friend Who Never Seems to Suffer
You know the one. Everyone else at a party is slapping themselves and spraying on foul-smelling chemicals while geraniol candles (5 times more effective than citronella) are burning in 100-degree heat. Meanwhile, there’s that one person who doesn’t seem affected by the bugs at all! As if the mosquitoes don’t even notice they exist. How infuriating!
What makes that person less appetizing to a mosquito than you? How can they enjoy an outdoor event without leaving covered in blotches all over their arms, legs, and face?
You wouldn’t think mosquitoes have “discerning tastes” when it comes to humans, but they do. There are certain things that make them swarm – and many of them are preventable.
5 Tips to Stop Being a Blood Buffet
- Prepare for dusk to dawn. Mosquitoes hunt between twilight and dawn. If you’re going to be outside for a concert or barbecue, do what you can to limit your desirability. Your best bet is coating yourself in natural mosquito repellant because a bunch of people milling around together is a feast for these pests. You’d need a lot of geraniol candles!
- Beware the nice scents you wear. Soap, hair products, deodorant, lotion, perfume, and more all make it easier for mosquitoes to find you. If you’re preparing to spend the day outside, consider going scent-free to make you a little harder to track.
- Rinse away the sweat and grime. Just as these bloodsuckers love pretty smells, they also enjoy a good sweat and bacteria cocktail. After a workout, mowing the yard, or running errands, your body temp rises and you sweat. The more “seasoned” the smells on your body are, the more likely mosquitoes are to come after you.
- Blend with the scenery. The ability to scent their prey is what mosquitoes rely on most. However, if you’re wearing dark clothing in the daylight or bright clothing at night, you stand out on the horizon. It makes you easier to see. Along with color, covering more of your skin (difficult in high heat) with pants and sleeves is also a great help.
- Try not to move around too much. I’m kidding, of course! These bugs are relentless and if you work out of doors or spend a lot of time outside recreationally, you’re pretty much the perfect meal for mosquitoes. Your body heat is higher, you have lingering body odors (even when you can’t smell them – mosquitoes can), and you emit more carbon dioxide with heavier breathing. If you’re going to be outside for more than a couple of hours, make sure you coat yourself in natural mosquito repellant to keep from fighting them the entire time.
There are a couple of things that are impossible to control.
- Exhaling carbon dioxide. Exhaling tells mosquitos that a human meal is nearby. People who are pregnant, overweight, or larger emit more CO2 naturally. Adults give off greater volumes of CO2 so are more likely to be bitten than children. Pregnant women are twice as likely to be bitten than non-pregnant women.
- Internal body temperature. There was a time when scientists believed people with certain blood types were more likely to get bitten by mosquitoes. Now, they understand that it’s human body heat that draws them. As your blood warms, it’s closer to the surface (especially around your face, neck, and extremities).
If you’re one of those people who battles bug bites all summer long, know you’re not alone. It’s not helpless, however. If nothing you do seems to make you less appetizing, your best (and most effective) option is natural mosquito repellant. Protecting yourself, your kids, and your pets is critical…because mosquitoes (and ticks) are not just pests. They’re dangerous.
You can make mosquito repellant at home (in bulk) that is safer for topical application, less expensive, better for the environment, and much more effective on these persistent biters. It’s easy to mix up.
The recipe below makes about 16 ounces (2 cups) of non-toxic repellant. If you want to make more, simply multiply the ingredients. Making up a big batch of this at the start of summer (mosquito season) will help you remember to use it regularly.
100% Natural Tick and Mosquito Repellant
- 6 ounces witch hazel
- 6 ounces coconut oil
- 4 ounces castor oil
- 10 drops cinnamon oil
- 30 drops eucalyptus oil
- 30 drops geraniol oil
- Combine all ingredients in glass jar and shake well.
- Pour in spray bottle for application outside. If mixture starts to solidify, you can place in warm water or set in the sun for 10-15 minutes. Shake well to re-blend.
- Reapply every 3 hours for best results.
- Avoid contact with eyes.
Mosquitoes aren’t going anywhere and they’re more prone to carry disease now than ever before. They’re not just annoying. They’re quite literally the most dangerous and deadly animal in the world. Do everything possible to limit their ability (or desire) to bite you.
A Few Home Tips to Limit Mosquito Invasion
- Get rid of stagnant water where mosquitos breed
- Plant lemongrass, basil, mint, or rosemary around your yard
- Use screened enclosures where possible
- Use mosquito netting over cribs and strollers when outside
- Light geraniol candles instead of citronella (they’re so much more effective)
- Cover all exposed skin in natural mosquito repellant and regularly reapply
No one wants to spend the warm months covered in bug bites. Make yourself a less appetizing meal and if you forget any of the tips above…smack it!