During the warmer months, you spend more time on your balcony, patio, or in your backyard, you'll most likely encounter mosquitoes at some point. And probably one thing we can all agree upon: they are a nuisance.
Although commercial mosquito repellents are readily available, many contain a chemical known as DEET that may have toxic side effects. Instead of relying on chemicals to repel mosquitoes, use common household items to get rid of the annoying insects.
Fabric Softener Sheets
Not only does tucking fabric softener sheets around your home leave a fresh scent but repels mosquitoes and other flying insects. Most fabric softener sheets contain linalool, a volatile compound found in lavender and basil plants. To humans, linalool has a pleasant, flowery scent. Mosquitoes are repelled by the odor.
Mosquitoes are repelled by the scent of vanilla extract. Make you own insect repellent by combining a tablespoon of vanilla extract and a cup of water. Rub the mixture over your exposed skin to keep insects from biting.
Applying lavender, citronella, tea tree, and other essential oils to the skin and hair naturally repels mosquitoes. Make a natural bug spray by diluting the essential oil with olive oil. Apply the solution to your entire body. If you already have mosquito bites, essential oils soothe the itchiness. Before bedtime, apply undiluted cinnamon or lavender oil to the bite.
Or ... With Those Essential Oils, Make Your Own Candle
Using essential oils instead of citronella, make a simple beeswax candle that looks so lovely, no one will ever guess that it's your secret weapon to keeping bugs at bay.
- Good Morning America: Secret Lives of Household Items
- EurekAlert; Fabric Softener Sheets Repel Gnats; Michael W. Neff; December 2010
- Reader's Digest: 6 Unusual Uses for Vanilla Extract
- CSU/Denver County Extension Master Gardener; Plants Help Keep Mosquitoes Away; January 2010
- Reader's Digest: 8 Foods to Defend Against Bug Bites
A southern California native, Dee Benjamin has been writing since 2005. She has written books reviews for Dorrance Publishing, Bethany House Publishers, NavPress, Zondervan and Nelson Publishing. Benjamin holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and ethnic studies from the University of California, Riverside.