Protecting yourself from mosquitoes is important: their bite can be annoying for adults, children and pets. However, chemical repellents contain substances that may not do too much good and are best not abused.
How can you protect yourself from mosquitoes naturally? In this short guide, you will find many ideas for the whole family (including furry friends).
Natural mosquito repellents
There are many natural mosquito repellents, but some are particularly effective:
- Neem oil: a natural extract derived from the seeds of the neem tree, it has insect-repellent properties (including mosquitoes). Dilute it with water and spray it on the skin or exposed surfaces;
- Citronella oil: a well-known mosquito repellent, it has a strong scent that masks the odour that attracts them. Use citronella oil-scented candles or apply the oil directly to the skin;
- Eucalyptus oil: also an excellent natural repellent, it should be diluted with water and then sprayed on the skin or in the environment;
- Lavender: unlike other insects, mosquitoes do not like its smell. Grow lavender plants in your garden or terrace, or use lavender oil products to repel mosquitoes;
- Catambra: also known as galbanum, it is a plant that has a strong odour that is unpleasant to mosquitoes. You can rub fresh catambra leaves on your skin to repel them;
- Peppermint essential oil: its pungent smell is unwelcome to mosquitoes. You can apply it on the skin diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut oil.
To keep mosquitoes away from your garden and house, it is essential to check for pools of standing water: make sure there are no puddles on balconies and outdoor areas, but also in pots and under taps.
Mosquito-repellent plants for the garden
To enhance the effect of essential oils, you can plant some mosquito-repellent plants in the garden or on the terrace.
Citronella can be grown in pots as well as in the garden, and scented geraniums (among the most popular balcony flowers) are perfect in flowerbeds as well as inside pots: not only will they keep mosquitoes away, but they will also beautify your outdoor spaces with their colourful petals. Alternatively, if you like its scent, you can plant lavender (perfect for adding a touch of colour to your garden!).
If you prefer anti-mosquito plants that can also enrich your recipes, the best options are rosemary and mint.
Marigold (or carnation flower) and nasturtium (a beautiful ornamental plant) are equally useful.
Remember, however, that although anti-mosquito plants can help you keep these insects away, they may not be completely effective on their own. Ideally, combining them with other stratagems is best, from eliminating pools of stagnant water to installing mosquito nets and applying topical repellents.
How to create a mosquito-proof atmosphere in the home
To create a mosquito-proof atmosphere in your home and thus keep your family and pets safe, there is much more you can do besides eliminating standing water.
First, install mosquito nets on windows, doors and air vents to prevent insects from entering the house (make sure the nets are in good condition and without holes!). Then check that there are no cracks or openings that could allow mosquitoes to enter: if there are, seal them with silicone or use caulking material to prevent mosquitoes & co. from entering.
Use electric or citronella oil candles, placing them strategically on the patio or where you wish to spend time, and prefer LED lights: mosquitoes do not like them, as they are rather attracted to warm, bright lights.
Finally, remember that mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk: do not open windows at these times (if you do not have mosquito nets), and spray repellent on your skin if you leave the house.
Foods and supplements to keep mosquitoes away
There are no specific foods or supplements that can effectively keep mosquitoes away. Some people believe that certain foods or supplements can influence body odour and thus repel mosquitoes, but no scientific evidence supports such claims.
The only certain thing is that garlic can ward off many types of mosquitoes and even other insects when excreted from the body in the form of breath and sweat. Furthermore, according to research conducted by the University of Florida, foods with high concentrations of B and C vitamins alter sweat, making it less attractive to mosquitoes.
Natural products against mosquitoes for dogs and cats
Protecting dogs and cats from mosquitoes is important, but care must be taken as some essential oils that are harmless to humans may be toxic to them.
One of the most effective natural remedies is neem oil, an effective anti parasiticide capable of keeping parasites away and eliminating those already present, interrupting their reproduction. It can be used directly on the hair or sprayed in the environment: ask your vet how to use it.
There are also natural anti-parasite collars that may contain essential oils or plant extracts that repel mosquitoes: make sure you choose a product suitable for your pet and carefully read the instructions for use. The most important thing, however, is always to maintain a clean and mosquito-free environment: eliminate any accumulations of stagnant water and consider using mosquito nets for the windows or protective netting for the outdoors, so that your dog or cat can enjoy outdoor spaces without being bothered by mosquitoes.
At Mugue you can find Pelù ZANZAASTOP, a lint roller enriched with pure plant extracts, including Geranium and Citronella. Passed over the hair of dogs and cats – but also on dog beds, cushions, sofas and seats – it removes excess hair and releases plant extracts that perfume and protect against mosquitoes.
Mugue Marketing Manager.
I love new ideas and continually looking for new communication strategies to never stop learning, after all, “If you’re a good marketing person, you have to be a little crazy.” (Jim Metcalf).