Mosquitoes are one of the most annoying summer pests and it can be difficult to repel them without the use of chemical-based commercial insect repellents. It is possible, however, to create a homemade mosquito repellent using common household products. For example, ammonia, lemon juice and water can be combined to make your own mosquito spray.
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Ammonia, Lemon Juice and Water Mosquito Spray
One of the simplest recipes for homemade mosquito repellent requires nothing more than ammonia, lemon juice and water. Combine equal parts of these three ingredients in a spray bottle and shake the bottle well to mix the ingredients. To improve the efficacy of the spray, use lemon-scented ammonia because the citrus scent helps to repel mosquitoes. To use this mixture, spray your entire yard once every two weeks throughout the summer and you will find fewer mosquitoes around.
How to Use Ammonia, Lemon Juice and Water Spray
To use homemade mosquito sprays made from ammonia, lemon juice and water you must first mix enough to cover the desired area. To control mosquitoes on your deck or small patio, mix enough to fill a hand-held, 16 to 24 ounce spray bottle. For large areas, such as your lawn or garden, you may need to make enough to fill a 20-gallon sprayer. To make large quantities of spray, you may choose to first mix the ingredients in a large plastic tub or pour them directly into the sprayer and shake it or stir it to combine the liquids.
The Benefits of Homemade Insect Repellent
Commercial insect repellents often contain harsh chemicals like DEET which can damage human brain cells. Prolonged exposure to these chemicals may also cause headaches, weakness, memory loss and joint pain. Homemade and natural insect repellents are a great alternative to commercial sprays because they do not contain dangerous chemicals and they are safe for use around children and pets. Homemade insect repellents can also be cost-effective and convenient since many of them can be made from items commonly found around the house.
Why Does Ammonia and Lemon Juice Work?
Natural materials that produce a pungent or sharp odor, such as citrus and ammonia, repel insects that are attracted to sweet smells and fragrant flowers. When applied to the lawn or garden, mosquito sprays help to mask the odors that would attract mosquitoes and replace them with scents that repel the insects. The same theory applies when the spray is applied to smaller areas.