What is the Best Mosquito Repellent?
I needed to find the best mosquito repellent.
In order to be the best, it had to
- Repel mosquitoes (obviously!)
- Be non-toxic to me
- Be earth friendly or eco friendly too.
It took a bit of searching.
Easy ways to avoid being bitten
- Don’t wear strong perfume
- If possible, use a fan. Fans help to repel mosquitoes – and keep you cool too!
- If you are having a barbecue, place sprigs of rosemary or sage on the coals.
Things you can do at home to minimise mosquitoes
- Get rid of any standing water, even small amounts. Look for unused flower pots, old tyres, buckets or pails. Clean clogged gutters. If you have a bird bath, change the water often.
- Grow the best mosquito-repellent plants. Marigolds, catnip (perhaps not if you have cats! But it’s really easy to grow), rose-scented geraniums, Citrosa geranium, lemon balm and neem are all good at repelling mosquitoes. One disadvantage though is that if the wind is blowing against the advancing mosquitoes, the smell from the plants won’t be as effective. You can also rub your hands on the leaves as you pass, and even crush the leaves for additional protection.
Best Mosquito Repellent Candles
In addition to plants and sprays, you can also place the best mosquito repellent candles close to you to further repel mosquitoes.
Most candles are made from paraffin wax, because it’s cheap. But it’s made from petroleum, and some of the wicks contain lead. So I prefer to buy soy candles – they burn cleaner and do not emit petroleum toxins. They do cost a little more but they are sustainable – soy candles are made from soybeans, a renewable resource. Plus, they burn for longer than paraffin candles, so this helps to offset the extra cost, and they are biodegradable.
One brand I particularly like is BioCare. Their Bio Care Naturals 15 Oz Mosquito Soy Candle (Sold in packs of 12) is large (15 oz) and comes in a glass jar which is recyclable, prevents the wax dripping out, and resists tipping over. Each candle lasts for 60 hours.
The mosquitoes are repelled by the essential oils (lemon grass oil and geraniol). It is effective against a wide range of mosquitoes.
The ingredients are delightfully simple:
- 2.7% lemon grass oil
- 0.3% geraniol
- 97.0% hydrogenated soy bean oil (soy wax)
As you can see, Amazon sells them in boxes of 12 candles, giving you a total of 720 hours of safe, sustainable mosquito repellent.
The best mosquito repellent Oils and Sprays to make yourself
I don’t like chemical sprays. Many of them contain DEET which is effective but toxic . Many repellents now are using Picaridin, also known as Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus – don’t be fooled, it’s still a chemical (it just sounds better!). Picaridin doesn’t melt plastic (DEET does) but I still don’t like chemicals on my skin. The US Military use Permethrin on their clothes, it’s toxic on skin, yet it’s approved for use on clothes (which go on your skin).
Finding a non-chemical spray is difficult – some say they’re non-toxic but then when you look at the ingredients……
You can make your own mosquito repellent oil or spray – it’s surprisingly easy!
(Caution: pregnant women should consult with their doctor before using).
Essential oils are available from health food stores or chemists. For best results, choose from:
basil, eucalyptus, cloves, geranium, peppermint, rosemary, lavender, pennyroyal.
Experiment a little with these – each person has different body chemistry so different oils work better for certain people.
Tip: if you find a combination of oils that you like and that works for you, but you don’t like the smell, simply add some peppermint oil.
Spray: pour 1 cup of boiling water over half a cup of chopped fresh rosemary . Let it steep for about an hour. Once it is cool, put it into a spritz bottle and keep it in the fridge. Spray it on yourself as needed.
No entry mosquitoes – prlog.org
Catnip – wikipedia
Oils – puresubstance.org