Ways to control mosquitoes during the summer

People are always looking for ways to control mosquitoes during the summer, and while traditional bug sprays will always be popular, many people are looking for more natural and organic mosquito control solutions. Fortunately, there are a few solutions out there, many of which won’t require you to spray yourself with a harsh repellent.

Clearing Breeding Grounds

One of the most effective methods of controlling mosquitoes near you is to eliminate any potential breeding grounds. Mosquitoes breed in places such as pools of standing water and compost piles, and they hide in dense brush for most of the day. Clear out any pools of water near your gutters and eaves, throw away any piles of dead leaves as you clean them up, and keep your lawn mower if you want to avoid a mosquito problem on your property.

Mosquito-Repelling Plants

Some garden plants such as rose-scented geraniums and lemon balm make for great natural mosquito repellents. Both of these plants contain citronellal, geraniol, and geranial, all of which have been used in mosquito repellents. Catnip has also been known to be ten times more effective at keeping mosquitoes at bay than store-bought repellents that contain DEET, a common go-to mosquito control solution. Many gardeners have also reported that crushing basil leaves, lemongrass, and lemon thyme and rubbing it on exposed skin can keep mosquitoes away for up to 30 minutes at a time, but this is based on anecdotal evidence.

Essential Oils

If you want to wear a mosquito repellent on your skin or clothes but don’t want to use a DEET bug spray, there are many essential oils such as basil, catnip, clove, lavender, and lemon balm that are great at keeping mosquitoes away. Most of these will work well on their own in small quantities, but you can try combining them for a more effective repellent. Mix 2 1/2 teaspoons total of any two essential oils that repel mosquitoes with one cup of 190-proof grain alcohol in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously. Dab a small amount on your skin and clothing for an all-natural and effective mosquito repellent.