One of the true banes of spring and summer is the birth and swarm of mosquitoes, a species it seems whose sole purpose in life is to cause itching, burning misery to humans and animals. If mosquitoes get into your house, you will find little relief from the constant bites. There are, however, a number of natural sources you can use to repel these bugs from your home.
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Neem oil is made from crushing the seeds of a neem tree to produce a material similar to olive oil. The strong smell and thick texture of neem oil makes it a natural insect repellent for a number of bugs, including mosquitoes. You can find neem oil at many convenience stores and health food retailers. Spread the oil around doors and windows, as well as around indoor houseplants that may attract the insects. Neem oil also is safe for use on the skin if you find yourself particularly attractive to the biting bugs.
The strong smell of garlic can drive away mosquitoes. Mix 1 part garlic juice with 5 parts water to make the scent tolerable for yourself and your family, and spray the mixture into any area of your home in which you experience mosquito problems. You also can spray strips of cloth with the mixture and hang them around the home to serve as repellent without spreading the smell into the entire room.
There are a number of plants and flowers that you can grow that are natural mosquito repellents. Marigold flowers give off a strong scent that drives mosquitoes away. Strong herbs like basil, lemon thyme and lemongrass also produce a scent that chases away the pests. The citronella plant itself, the basis of popular citronella candles, has little effect on mosquitoes but crushing the leaves produces the characteristic repellent smell.
Remember to be smart in your home during mosquito season to prevent the invasion from getting out of hand. Keep all doors and windows closed or screened. Seal up all gaps and cracks with caulk. Plant repellent herbs and flowers around your home to deter the mosquitoes from entering in the first place. Chemical repellents like DEET are generally safe for use in the home, but make sure you read all instructions and warnings carefully before use.