Published on November 25th, 2019
Are you a Mosquito Magnet? If just the idea of warmer weather has you scratching, then you’ve probably already armed yourself with your insect repellent of choice.
Unfortunately, the most common ingredient found in most repellents is Diethyl Toluamide (DEET), which is yet another chemical substance brought into our homes.
While effective, that signature smell of DEET is certainly overpowering and some people may experience rashes or irritated skin following its use.
Eager to find a more natural solution? We can help.
First, some fun facts about mozzies.
Only female mosquitoes bite; they need additional nutrients to cultivate eggs.
They are attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale, as well as our body heat and bacteria on our skin. Each of us have a different mix of chemical compounds in our sweat, which perhaps explains why some people attract mozzies more than others.
Type O is the blood type of choice.
There is no evidence that you can eat or drink anything to make you less attractive to mosquitoes – bananas and garlic are a couple of the disproved theories.
Interestingly, some research suggests certain mosquito breeds may be attracted to beer. The why varied: some say it was the increase in carbon dioxide that fizzles out of a beer when opened; others say it’s the increase in body heat that occurs while consuming alcohol; while others jokingly suggested mozzies had evolved to attack people with slower reaction times.
‘Bug Zappers’ are not effective at eliminating mosquitoes.
How to Naturally Repel Mosquitoes in Your Home
Some plants produce scents that mosquitoes can’t stand. These include: Mint, Marigold, Lemon Trees, Basil and Lavender. Try some of these out today - they'll help with the mosquitoes and look amazing as well.
Citronella is a well-known natural ingredient that is great at repelling mosquitoes because it masks the scents that the little critters are attracted to. Citronella Candles are popular but you should invest in a good quality product. The Citronella formula needs to be correct for the product to work effectively and as with most things, you get what you pay for! Make sure you invest in a good quality candle for the best results.
We don’t recommend applying essential oils directly onto the skin, however they can be a great option if you have a diffuser at home. You’ll only need 10 or so drops of your favourite scent for the desired effect. Our picks? Lemon, lavender, tea tree, peppermint, basil and lemongrass.
They can do a fantastic job of repelling mosquitoes and will make your home smell wonderful as well.
Prepare Your Home
If you can, get a fan for your outside areas. Mosquitoes are weak fliers and a fan will blow around those human scents they are attracted to, making it tough for them to home in on their prey.
Check that your flyscreens aren’t damaged - you'd be surprised how many have holes in them. Ensure that doors to the outside aren’t left open during peak mozzie times. The pests like to breed in shallow water, so remove containers that are holding water, such as empty plant pots or buckets, from your backyard.
Plan Your Day (and your outfit)
Wear loose fitting and lightly coloured clothing if you’re out and about as mosquitoes are drawn to darker colours. Wear socks and shoes where possible. If you can, avoid going out at dusk and early in the morning. For most species, these are their preferred times of the day and you'll be highly susceptible at this time. They hide during direct sunlight hours as sun exposure dehydrates them.
How to Treat Mosquito Bites
Despite your best efforts, the mosquitos have found you and those all too familiar itchy bumps have popped up on your skin. They can be frustrating, particularly when you are trying to get to sleep on a warm summer's night. Here’s how to relieve that itch and speed up the healing process.
Aloe VeraThe antiseptic properties of Aloe Vera gel will help to reduce the swelling and help you heal quicker. Pop the gel in the fridge for 5 minutes before applying for extra relief.
Ice PackGently place on your bites for 10 minutes or so, to help reduce inflammation and take away that itching sensation.
Bi-Carb SodaThis alkaline powder neutralises the PH levels of your bites, relieving the itchiness. Make a paste with a little warm water and apply to the affected area. You’ll need to leave the paste on for up to half an hour before rinsing off. I used this trick recently with my young daughter and it worked a treat - no more itching (or complaining!).
HoneyJust a little honey will suffice on the spot. Honey has antibacterial properties, helping to fight infection and reduce inflammation.
Remember to visit a doctor if the bites appear infected or if you are feeling generally unwell.
Note: If you are in an area where mosquito-borne diseases are prevalent or if your local health district has advised to take precautions, you may need the chemical potency of products containing DEET to reduce the risk of contracting a serious disease. Visit your local health district website for more information.
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