Nature's Mosquito Control
Those red itchy bumps that irritate you and your kids are a lot more than just a bug bite. Mosquitoes are vector to many diseases and that is why these annoying little creatures have been a worry for households for ages.
Warding off mosquitoes by using chemical repellents is not a good idea in a long term as the strong fragrances and compounds present in these products may pose a health hazard to your family.
We have been trying a number of natural solutions to the problem and some of them have really helped us with the problem like magic. Lets peek into our findings.
Our daughter enjoys outdoors and we have quite an ample space at the balcony. But once she started getting those little mosquito bumps from her time outdoors, we started cutting down on the time outside. We never had faith on chemical repellents, and using chemical sprays, coils or diffusers in a baby's room never felt like a good idea. The quest for a finding for ourselves a natural mosquito free bubble led us to some experimenting.
Basil was the first on the list as there is a plenty in our garden. It's a great soother to existing mosquito bites as well. Just rub some crushed basil leaves on the affected area and the redness and inflammation just vanishes in a few hours or a day. The best feature is that the plant is toxic to mosquito larvae, so you can plant basil near any spots of standing water and there will be no breeding ground for mosquitoes in your house. It also repels flies and is good companion plant for tomatoes.
Marigold is nature's pesticide when it comes to deterring pests. It emits a smell that not only keeps mosquitoes but many other insects and pests at bay. Its is often planted as a garden boundary bush as it looks lovely and guards the plants inside, especially in vegetable gardens. Our parents have been doing this back at home for years and find it quite an effective solution to ward off mosquitoes. Although, the pest blocking properties of the plants are better than the products, but still marigold essential oil i.e. Calendula oil can be topically applied or can be diffused in room for the benefits.
Lemongrass is a wild shrub loaded with benefits. What else that it contains citral, a common ingredient in insect repellents. We have three potted bushes at our balcony , and a clump after every few squre feets in the garden. Lemongrass essential oil is used in aromatherapy and can be applied topically to obtain similar effect. But some people might be allergic to the high levels of citral, so we suggest carrying out a patch test before use and of course instead of applying directly apply it along with a carrier oil.
We keep a combination of these in our terrace to keep it free of mosquitoes. For example three pots of lemongrass, four bushes of basil, and four small pots of marigold are enough for our open 250 sq ft balcony.
Other plants that keep mosquitoes at bay are beebalm, catnip, citronella, lavender etc.
Besides these, Catnip is one potentially strong mosquito repellent as far as we have read about it. Some research papers claim it to be more effective that DEET in mosquito repulsion. We are eager to pot some in our garden to share our experiences and would love if you could share yours in the comments below. Some other plant species such as Lavender, mint, bee balm, citronella have mosquito repellent properties as well. A combination of oil diffusion, natural oil application and planting such repellent species can drive all the chemical products and their plastic packaging out of our houses. Your experiences motivate us, please share with us and inspire others to adopt natural ways of life.