How to Repel Mosquitoes

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How to Repel Mosquitoes. When enjoying an outdoor activity such as hiking, bicycling, barbecuing or just sitting and relaxing, nothing is more annoying than that "buzz" in your ear, followed by the "slap" on your arm only to be accompanied by endless itching and scratching. Mosquitoes can ruin any outdoor fun in a matter of seconds, but there are some simple and even some natural ways to deter these pesky creatures effectively.

Things You'll Need

  • Topical mosquito spray
  • Dark clothing
  • Citronella candle or spray
  • Yellow outdoor light bulbs
  • Garlic or garlic supplements
  • Vitamin B-1
  • Bug zapper
  • Tansy, basil, marigolds or rosemary

Prevent mosquitoes from invading your space by removing any standing, stagnant water (including in buckets, pots, trash cans and around leaky faucets or water hoses).

Wear dark clothing that covers your arms and legs as much as possible. Also, try not to wear a lot of scented products. These include lotions, perfumes and scented hairspray. Basically, anything that masks your natural scent should be avoided.

Take a Vitamin B-1 tablet (100 mg) daily. This vitamin has a reputation of giving off an odor that we as humans cannot detect, but that repels mosquitoes, gnats and other biting insects.

Rub juice from a garlic clove on the exposed skin areas before going out. Although, this is a "smelly" alternative, it does have a reputation for working. You can also take a garlic supplement instead.

Burn citronella candles in the area you will spend most of your time. Make sure there is something, non-flammable surrounding the candle (such as glass) to shield it from the wind. Citronella oil that can be applied directly to the skin is another alternative.

Plant some mosquito repelling plants near entrances to your home and throughout your yard. Some examples of these include tansy, basil, marigolds and rosemary.

Replace outdoor lights with "yellow" bulbs which attract fewer bugs than standard outdoor bulbs. Invest in a "bug zapper." Although this will not get rid of all mosquitoes, it will keep the swarming down in a restricted area. Make sure the zapper is hung high enough where children and pets cannot get to it.

Spray or rub on commercial mosquito repellents which contain DEET. These usually need to be reapplied every couple of hours and often sweat off in the heat. The amount of DEET should be 10 to 30 percent and only 10 percent DEET for children under 12.

Tips & Warnings

  • Mosquitoes are most active in the evenings, usually right at dusk. Avoiding outdoor activities at this time, especially during the summer months, will keep bites down.
  • DEET, which is found in most over-the-counter mosquito repellents, can be harmful if used in large amounts. It has been linked to certain neurological and brain damage in young children. Products containing DEET should never be applied to children under age 2.
  • Never apply chemical repellents near children's face or hands and be sure to rinse thoroughly with soapy water when back indoors.
  • Avoid "home mister" systems which automatically spray chemicals around your home. These can easily be carried by the wind into unwanted areas, potentially causing harm.
  • Always test products on a small area of your skin before use, even if products are made of natural ingredients.

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