If you are prone to insect bites and want to deter them naturally, we’ve provided some eco-friendly tips that will help you repel mosquitos (and other insect bites).
Before we start, let’s begin with some basic mozzie facts. Firstly, did you know that only female mosquitos bite people? Secondly, a mosquito will drink your blood until she’s full, then rest for a few days before laying her eggs. Urgh! If you don’t fancy that happening to you, read on.
As somebody who gets bitten often, I normally am the insect repellent (for other people)! Sometimes my bites get so big and purple, people ask if I’ve been paintballing! So, when I found a natural and eco-friendly insect repellent that works and in plastic-free packaging, I jumped at the chance of stocking this on our website.
However, you can repel mosquitos using other ways that don’t require applying insect repellent. Here are our top 7 eco-friendly tips that won’t harm the environment:
TIP 1: Cover your skin
One of the best ways to avoid insect bites is to cover up your skin. Although mosquitos can bite through clothes, they’ll find it more difficult if the fabric is loose fitting and thick. I normally wrap yourself in a light shawl if it’s hot outside.
Some materials contain insect-repellent insecticides. However, these chemicals are not natural and so could be dangerous if not applied to clothing correctly. Effectiveness can also be reduced with high-frequency washing.
We’ll take the shawl, then!
TIP 2: Avoid fragrances
Some scented lotions and perfumes can attract mosquitos. Therefore, using natural fragrance-free products on your skin can decrease the likelihood of you being bitten.
Did you know that mosquitoes find people with Type O blood the tastiest? And that this is the most common blood type?
TIP 3: Use a repellent candle or device
Put a citronella candle out when sitting in the garden or camping in the evening. Not only will it light up the space beautifully, but it should help to keep mosquitos away. Mosquitos hate citronella but candles need to have the right amount of concentration to be effective. If it doesn’t, combine with one of our other eco-tips.
You could also use a mosquito coil (this was a lifesaver during my backpacking days) or an electronic zapper device.
TIP 4: Avoid sweating
This one is going to be difficult when it’s hot, but mosquitos are attracted to sweat as it produces a stronger scent. Mosquitos also love heavy breathers because they exhale more carbon dioxide than most.
I used to play frisbee with friends early evening every week, by the stream near where I lived. I now know why I always used to come home with bites every time. So, no working out by the river at dusk!
Did you know that you generate more lactic acid when you eat foods that contain high levels of salt or potassium? This also attracts mosquitos, which can detect the human scent from about 30 metres away!
TIP 5: Eat and drink mosquito-repelling ingredients
Eating garlic and onions releases a compound in your body that mosquitoes hate. Other foods include chilli peppers, lemongrass and lemon eucalyptus.
Lots of people think that the quinine in tonic water repels mosquitos. However, this ingredient used in modern drinks isn’t concentrated enough to be effective in stopping bites.
TIP 6: Avoid stagnant water
Mosquitos are well known for breeding in stagnant freshwaters such as rivers and ponds. They can also lay their eggs in areas around your home such as puddles, the paddling pool in your back garden that hasn’t been emptied, birdbaths, and even gutters.
Removing those breeding grounds is a good way to prevent them from multiplying. If you can’t remove the water, pour some soap, shampoo or another natural home remedy into it to kill any mosquito larvae.
TIP 7: Use an eco-friendly insect repellent
Bite Nurse helps prevent insect bites and soothes the skin if bitten. It’s made with CBD (cannabidiol), beeswax, hempseed, coconut oil, and a host of essential oils such as citronella, lemongrass and basil. Natural oils are great at deterring mosquitos as they hate all of these ingredients!
As somebody who normally gets bitten a lot by insects, I can vouch that this works. And it smells lovely but not too strong!
The DEET found in a lot of insect repellents are known to be effective in deterring mosquitos. However, this is a synthetic compound that is harmful to the environmental and poses a risk to human health, especially children.
If you want to learn more about the potential toxicity of DEET and how they compare to natural plant-based eco-friendly insect repellents, these articles are useful places to start your research:
- This scholarly article published by the US National Library of Medicine summarizes research on the effects of DEET.
- This article published by the Scientific American explores the question around the toxicity of DEET.
Do you have any other eco-friendly tips to repel mosquitos?
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