Monday, April 26, 2010

Mosquito Repellent

I hate mosquitoes. Really hate them. Mostly because they love me so much. With a slow moving stream on the other side of the back fence, our yard is mosquito heaven. The buzzy little biters can track me down anywhere, though.

But I'm not fond of poisons either. As a result, the battle, which is just beginning for the season, shall be fought on many fronts.

We're building a nice big bat house. This project is just starting, but I'm documenting it and will share when we're done. One brown bat can eat up to 3000 mosquitoes in a night. Yeah, yeah, they fly away to do most of that bug grazing, but they're bound to eat some closer to home if we can entice them to come hang out (sorry) on our property.

I broke down and purchased the Repeller app for my I-Phone last fall. It's supposed to sonically repel insects. It might be my imagination (probably is), but it did seem to help. So I'll try it again this year.

When we were in Mexico all the restaurants had sticks of incense stuck into pots on the floor. It was a little stinky, frankly, but did keep the little buggers at bay. So I'm planning on doing the same in the evenings on the patio and porch.

And last but definitely not least, homemade mosquito repellent. There are quite a few essential oils that drive mosquitoes away.
  • lemongrass
  • eucalyptus
  • citronella (of course)
  • cinnamon
  • clove
  • basil
  • cedarwood
  • rosemary
To make a spray, add 2 teaspoons of any of the above, or a combination, to a cup of vodka. The alcohol dissolves the oil, allowing it to disperse in the solution. Then it quickly evaporates from your skin. Put in a spray bottle and apply at will.

Other good repellents are neem oil and castor oil.

The spray works for some, but I need something stronger. My solution is an oil applied directly to the skin, rather than a spray. Combine:
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of essential oils (clove and cinnamon are my favorites -- use what you like, but if you haven't use an oil before, test a drop diluted with carrier oil on your skin)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons neem oil
  • 1/ 1/2 teaspoons castor oil
  • with 1 cup of jojoba oil (you could use another, less expensive oil -- even a very light olive oil)

and apply to skin as needed.

Wish me luck.

3 comments:

  1. Are you encouraging people to smear or spray vodka and/or castor oil on their bodies? Do you play your April Fool's pranks at the end of the month?

    You should try my mosquito repellent remedy sometime, too. Just rub melted butter on your arms, legs and whatever else, then sprinkle oregano and parmesan cheese over that. Works every time!

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  2. Well, darlin', if your version doesn't drive the mosquitoes away, you could always toss it with pasta!

    (It's the bat house, isn't it? You're jealous.)

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