Human Mosquito Repellent From Natural Household Items

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Use lemons to create a natural homemade mosquito repellent.
Use lemons to create a natural homemade mosquito repellent. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Found all over the world, mosquitoes are most irritating in the spring and summer when warm weather lures you and your family outside. Mosquitoes feed on blood from humans and animals. Their bites leave behind red bumps, which can be maddeningly itchy. Even worse, their bites can spread diseases. You can create a mosquito repellent for your family using natural items in your kitchen.

In the Kitchen

Natural mosquito repellents are inside your kitchen. Cut up two of each: lemons, oranges or grapefruit. Bring a pint of water just to boil, then pour it over the fruit pieces, rinds and all. This infuses the water with a compound called d-limonene, a natural insect repellent. Hot peppers contain a compound called capsaicin, which also repels insects. Use the same method to infuse water with capsaicin. Store either liquid in a spray bottle for easy dispensation.

Garden

Rose geranium plants release a pungent odor when their leaves are bruised. That smell repels mosquitoes. If you grow lavender in your garden, gather it and dry it into sprigs. It is a broad-based insect repellent that works on mosquitoes. Other herbs provide protection against mosquitoes. Dry bunches of mint or bay leaves. If you grow catnip for your cat, you can use a little yourself to drive away mosquitoes. If you grow lavender in your garden, gather it and dry it into sprigs. It is a broad-based insect repellent that works on mosquitoes.

Use

The citrus-infused water is safe to spray on human skin. You can also spray your clothing with it. Just spritz them lightly, let them dry and put them on. Apply the repellent at least 15 minutes before you plan to go outside. If you plan on hanging out in your backyard, spray the capsaicin solution on patio furniture or children's play areas. Give it about 30 minutes to dry before using the furniture. Pick rose geranium leaves and roll them between your hands. Spread the juice on your skin. Dried herbs can be hung near outdoor areas to keep bugs away. Store them in bags made out of cheesecloth, then slip them into your dresser drawers to add their repellent scent to your clothing.

Considerations

The citrus-based repellent is safe to use on children and dogs. Don't use it on cats; direct exposure to citrus oils can make them ill. If you spray the repellent on your skin, be aware it will make it more photosensitive. Avoid spraying the capsaicin repellent directly onto your skin; it can cause irritation. All natural repellents lose effectiveness over time. Store the infused water repellents in a cool dark place and discard any leftover after a couple of weeks. The dried herbs will last longer; make new satchels or herb bundles after a month.

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References

  • "Traditional Medicinal Plants and Malaria"; Merlin Willcox, Gerard Bodeker & Philippe Rasoanaivo, Editors.; 2004
  • "Home Enlightenment: Practical, Earth-Friendly Advice for Creating a Nurturing, Healthy, and Toxin-Free Home and Lifestyle"; Annie B. Bond; 2005
  • "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Living"; Trish Riley; 2007
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