Mosquitoes first appeared over 100 million years ago, and they’ve been terrorizing living things ever since. These annoying insects have a tendency to “bug” vertebrates in search of blood, and in doing so they often transmit nasty and deadly diseases like the West Nile Virus, malaria, and yellow fever. As their bites can be deadly or just simply annoying (we’ve all felt that unrelenting itch triggered by their saliva), we frequently find ourselves searching for ways to keep mosquitoes away from your home. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that we can keep the mosquitoes at bay without the use of bug spray:
1. Add citronella, lemongrass, lavender, or marigolds to your herb garden
Who doesn’t love gardening?! Citronella looks and smells great, and it is a scent that’s often infused into mosquito-repelling candles and torches. Other plants include insect-repelling properties, a natural defense that keeps bugs at bay. Lavender, for example, contains linalool, an ingredient that’s often found in insect repellents. Marigolds contain pyrethrum, another repellent you just might find being sold over the counter in bug sprays. However, it does take a significant quantity of these plants to produce enough fragrance to deter insects.
2. Light citronella candles when you’re outside
Not only do these produce a delightful fragrance, but citronella candles produce smoke that keeps bugs at bay. While there is little research to explain if the mosquitoes are repelled by heat or if smoke impacts their olfactory senses, smoke is used all around the world to repel insects.
3. Recycle coffee grounds
Are you a coffee drinker? You’ll be delighted to learn that the EPA suggests recycling your used coffee grounds by sprinkling them onto the soil. Coffee grounds are a splendid fertilizer, and their strong scent is despised by many insects. However, research has yet to suggest that coffee is 100% effective against adult mosquitoes. We do know that following rain, coffee-infused water can kill mosquito larvae and inhibit breeding.
4. Diminish standing water
As you know, standing water presents the perfect environment for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. While you may not see any stagnant water around your yards, there is very likely standing water trapped between the clogs in your gutters. LeafFilter Gutter Protection keeps your gutters free of clogs and accepts as much water as your gutters can handle, ensuring your home is protected against damage related to clogs and keep mosquitoes away.
5. Use essential oils
Essential oils often contain insect-repelling ingredients, and some can even provide topical relief following bug bites. Many studies have identified lemon eucalyptus oil in particular as a spectacular repellent, comparable in its effectiveness to DEET.
6. Build bat boxes
Bat boxes make an incredible addition to your backyard habitat. Bat boxes provide shelter to these nocturnal critters, and they’re comparable to a bird box in appearance. A quick Google search will reveal tips on how to build one and where to hang it. Providing safe housing for bats just might attract them to your property, and these nighttime predators will immediately begin dining on the smorgasbord of mosquitoes lurking around your home.
7. Add rosemary to the BBQ
Firing up the grill or having a bonfire? Toss in a bit of rosemary. Its smoke is particularly unpleasant to insects, but it produces a pleasant incense that you and your guests will enjoy. If you’re barbecuing, you will find that rosemary also adds a hint of flavor to your meal.
For millions of years, mosquitoes have been nothing short of pests. However, the modern age has presented many life hacks that keep mosquitoes away from your home. With these tricks, you’ll finally enjoy a summer free of bug bites.