(NaturalNews) Summertime is prime time for mosquitoes and this year appears to be a banner year for the annoying and potentially dangerous disease-carrying, blood-sucking pests. The good news is that mosquitoes can be eliminated and avoided naturally without resorting to dangerous pesticides.
Eliminate or treat standing water on your property
Mosquitoes are attracted to standing water, where they breed - thus the best way to avoid attracting them is to reduce the amount of standing water on your property. Here are some suggestions on eliminating standing water:
* Regularly clean and treat swimming pools * Frequently change the water in wading pools, bird baths and other water containers * Keep ditches, drains and culverts free of debris so water can drain properly * Repair leaky pipes, outside faucets and failed septic systems * Mow your grass short
Another option for standing water is mosquito dunks, which float in water and slowly release Bacillus thuringiensis v. israelensis (BT). BT is toxic for mosquitoes but considered safe for humans. An organic nursery is almost certain to have mosquito dunks and you can also often obtain them at local regular nurseries, hardware stores and Walmart.
Use mosquito repelling oils
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus is considered to be one of the most effective natural mosquito repellents, providing comparable protection to low concentrations of the toxic mosquito repellent DEET.
Other effective mosquito repelling oils include:
Oil of Citronella. The oil of citronella found in outdoor candles, torches and skin products provides a natural and fragrant way to keep mosquitoes at bay. Note: there is a chance that citronella can cause skin irritations in children and people with sensitive skin, especially if applied incorrectly.
Soybean oil (provided that you can find an organic non-GMO source). A study conducted by The New England Journal of Medicine found that soybean-oil-based repellents protected against mosquito bites longer than all other botanical repellents tested.
Lavender oil. Fragrant lavender oil repels mosquitoes and it can be found in a variety of natural skin care products.
Other tips for eliminating and avoiding mosquitoes
1. Avoid being outside during dusk and dawn hours when mosquitoes are most active.
2. If you're going to be outdoors for a long period of time, wear light colored long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks that cover your skin. Tightly woven materials are best. Plus, be sure to wear light colored clothes, since mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors.
3. Avoid wearing fragrances (other than the oils listed above). Mosquitoes are attracted to fragrances, so it's a good idea to avoid wearing perfumes and scented products while you're outside.
4. Eat plenty of garlic. Garlic is released through the pores of your skin and the scent makes it harder for mosquitoes to find you and less likely to stay on your skin.
5. Plant mosquito-repelling plants. Bug-repelling plants such as marigolds, tansies, Thai lemon grass, citronella grass, catnip and garlic are excellent, natural mosquito repellents.
Make your own natural insect repellent
Herbalist Debra Nuzzi-St. Claire suggests combining the following essential oils to make a natural insect repellent: