Spring is one of my favorite seasons (I have four favorites) because I get to see and help life come back to a desolate landscape. I love planting seeds and watching them become beauty and food.
Spring also happens to be one of my least favorite seasons (I also have four least favorites) because one of the forms of life that renews itself is those annoying little insects that will never leave you alone unless you kill them.
It’s those blood suckers that we’re going to talk about today, or rather, how to get rid of them. You may know me well enough by now to know that we’re NOT going to use some unpronounceable chemical compound that they will build up immunity to. We’re going all natural! Surprise!
Mosquitoes are everywhere and are a problem for most people. Once upon a time, I was all but immune to them but over the past few years their effect on me has gotten worse. There are many chemical repellants and killers out there but I have yet to find one that works well. As a result, I have given up on the chemicals and decided to use the natural ways to get rid of them.
The very first thing you should do is eliminate or completely seal any standing water on your property. They lay their eggs along the water line. As the water evaporates, the eggs will dry out. Once they get rehydrated, they hatch and begin their war against you and your family.
The next step is to plant things around your yard that naturally repel mosquitoes. I use primarily marigolds. They get planted mostly in moveable containers so they can go where I go. I also plant some around my garden and in flower beds near the doors to my house.
The following is a list of many of the assorted plants that can help reduce the mosquito population in your little kingdom. Make sure you research these if you want to plant them. They have different natural climates.
Cultivated Plants That Repel Mosquitoes
· Beebalm (Horsemint)
· Catnip (Nepeta cateria)
· Citronella (Cybopogon nardus or Citronella winterianus)
· Citronella Grass (Cymbopogon nardus)
· Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)
· Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp.)
· Flossflowers (Ageratum)
· Garlic (Allium sativum)
· Lavendar (Lavandula angustifolia)
· Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
· Marigolds (Tagetes spp.)
· Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
· Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
· Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Wild Plants That Repel Mosquitoes
· Cedars (Thuja spp.)
· Nodding onion (Allium cernuum)
· Pineapple weed (Matricaria matricarioides)
· Sagebrush, Wormwood, and Mugwort (Artemisia spp.)
· Snowbrush (Ceonothus velutinus)
· Sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina)
· Vanilla Leaf (Achlys triphylla)
· Wild bergamot (Mondarda fistulosa)
You can also use a garlic spray to rid your domain of the insects that are multiplying in moist areas of the yard. Aside from mosquitoes, this includes ticks, flies, mites, and fleas as well.
To make a homemade garlic spray, peel 3 garlic bulbs. Pulverize them by blending them thoroughly. Strain the juice into a cup. For every 1/4 cup of garlic juice, mix 1 cup of water. Pour the liquid into a sprayer and use it to coat all areas of the yard.
Mist the garlic solution on the yard and coat the lawn completely. Once the insect invasion begins, repeat the garlic treatment once every four days for about seven weeks. This spray not only repels these monsters, it can suffocate and kill adults and their eggs.
Do not spray excess garlic juice on the lawn, since it sometimes causes bare batches and burnt grass. Also avoid spraying garlic directly on plants, flowers and leaves.
There are many different mixtures you can make using essential oils for your natural insect repellent. These oils don't mix with water, so you'll need to add them to other oils or to alcohol. Make sure you use an oil or alcohol that is safe for your skin as most oils are potent and can cause irritation or other reactions if you use too much. If you are pregnant or nursing, do not apply any insect repellent, natural or otherwise, until after you've consulted with your doctor.
The following oils are safe when used externally, but should never be taken internally without consulting a professional. Pennyroyal, for one, is seriously toxic if ingested. These should be mixed 1 part essential oil with roughly 15 parts carrier oil or alcohol. The essential oils that work well against mosquitoes are:
· Tea tree
Carriers for these oils can be:
· Almond oil
· Jojoba oil
· Olive oil
· Sunflower oil
· Witch hazel
· Aloe Vera gel
Here is one suggested base recipe.
Mix the following:
· 1/2 ounce citronella oil
· 1/4 ounce lavender oil
· 1/8 ounce pennyroyal oil
· 1/8 ounce tea tree oil
· 1/8 ounce jojoba oil
Do not use this base directly on your body while undiluted. To make an oil that can be used on your skin, add 16 ounces of jojoba or almond oil to the base oil mixture and mix it up well. To make a spray, add 16 ounces of vodka to the base oil mixture. Pour it into a spray bottle and shake well before using.
Rub or spray the mixture onto skin or clothing. Always avoid the sensitive area around your eyes. You will need to re-apply this repellant after an hour or so and after swimming or exercise. Any unused mixture you have left should be stored in a dark container away from heat and sunlight.
I hope I have shared with you what you need to do you part in waging the only war I truly agree with.
I would like to welcome you into my Facebook group, Kaya Self Sufficiency, and invite you to visit my website, also called Kaya Self Sufficiency.