The greatest pest of summer is definitely mosquitoes. They might be an excellent food for bats and birds, but they are really annoying for people, as their bite is most likely worse than their bark, especially for people who are allergic to them.
Numerous people have tried using toxic chemicals for getting rid of these bothersome insects, but they should know that there are some natural ways as well that can help them keep these insects away from them and their blood.
Just like all biting insects, mosquitoes are also attracted to some smells in the human skin, like sweat. However, there are plants that can help you cover your natural body odor and thus help you repel the mosquitoes and smell pretty pleasant in the same time.
1. Lemon balm
Lemon balm is an herb that belongs to the mint family. It has characteristic white flowers and gentle, citrusy aroma. Besides for its natural healing properties, this plant is great because it keeps insects at bay. Still, you should know that lemon balm is an invasive species and thus you should be careful if you want to plant it in your garden.
This plant also belongs to the mint family, and it is popular for having drug-like effects on cats. However, it is also popularly used as a means for repelling insects naturally.
Besides being delicious and therefore widely used as a spice, especially in pasta, this herb is also very efficient against mosquitoes. Namely, a study form 2009 showed that basil is toxic to the larvae of mosquitoes.
This beautiful plant has a distinct and very pleasant aroma, so it is frequently used in aromatherapy thanks to its relaxing properties. If you rub lavender essential oil onto your skin, you will be efficiently protected from mosquitoes.
The concentrated peppermint oil is commonly used as insect repellant and there is a good reason behind that. This oil has been proven to be highly efficient when it comes to keeping mosquitoes at bay, as well as to killing mosquito larvae.
This perennial plant is also known as ‘mosquito plant’ thanks to its strong smell that resembles the smell of citronella and keeps mosquitoes away. When you rub this plant onto your skin, it is less effective compared to other plant, studies say. Still, if you do not have another one at hand, it will do in a pinch.
7. Sage and 8. Rosemary
If you burn these plants, they release a smell that is not pleasant to people, as well as to mosquitoes and it drives them away as long as they feel the smoke. If you plan a summer bonfire, make sure you take some of these herbs with you and toss it into the fire.
The commercial bug sprays can be replaced by many other non-toxic alternatives. There are organic bug repellants produced by many companies, as well as electric bug zappers, which are also fun to use.
In the end, if you cannot find the right solution and the mosquitoes still attack you and bite you, you should try and use calamine lotion. This lotion is a real life saver which will prevent hard scratching and thus save you from the scars and infections that often accompany the mosquito bites.