Hot humid weather is an invitation to mosquitoes to set up house in any one of our homes. And with Austin, Texas just getting into the hot summer season, I thought the best thing to share with my Austin Gardeners this week is how to prevent mosquito bites naturally organic and on the cheap.
- Clear out any standing water. Do not let water accumulate outside in gutters, pots, trash bins, etc. You want to keep water from standing still because mosquitoes will use the water to lay larvae eggs and duplicate.
- Use mint flavored mouthwash in a spray bottle to spray around your home and your plants to keep the mosquitoes away- this is an old home remedy that really works!
- You can spray PAM or any other spray oil in water to kill the larvae and avoid them from duplicating. The oil stops them from reproducing.
- Mix a DIY home-made bug spray made out of Neem Oil (1 tablespoon) and 1 gallon water to spray on plants.
- Another Mix at home DIY spray is tea tree oil and water which you can also spray around your home.
- Yellow bug lights (use the energy saving ones, the work great!) found at your local grocery store, Walmart, Target, HEB, etc.
- Mosquito nets
- You can rub dryer sheets on your body to scent yourself up; the mosquitoes do not like the scent and will stay away from you.
- Citronella candles.
- You can also use some of the melted citronella candle wax and mix it in with some lotion or sunscreen to create a DIY mosquito repelling lotion.
- You can also eat up some fresh garlic, garlic capsules, rub fresh cut garlic on pulse points, or even puree some garlic and mix in with water to spray on plants and on yourself (you might smell a little funny, but the bugs will stay out of your way).
- Take an extra dose of vitamin B1 when you know you will be spending a lot of time outdoors (this is Thiamin; always speak to your doctor before taking any extra vitamins or supplements).
- If you can stand it, wear long sleeve pants and tops when outdoors to prevent mosquitoes from biting.
- Wear the color “white” when outside, mosquitoes tend to stay away from this color.
- Attract blue martin birds and dragonflies to your garden. They love to eat mosquitoes!
- Austin is proud to be a Bat city…you can place bat houses around your taller trees to attract bats to your home. These bats can eat thousands of mosquitoes every day! You got to love those Austin Bats!
- Garden your way into a mosquito free yard by planting mosquito repelling plants around and near your door way and sporadically around your garden. Plants to use to repel mosquitoes are: Mint (any kind, but I especially like pennyroyal mint), basil, catmint, rosemary, yarrow, marigold, vanilla scented geraniums, garlic, lemon balm and citronella plants.
These are all natural tips to help keep you mosquito free! Hope you stay bite-free this summer!
Photo: AP/ J Pat Carter