Declaring War On Mosquitoes? Here’s Your Safe, Natural Mosquito Battle Plan To Repel The Little Bloodsuckers

Mosquitoes can ruin the best backyard barbecue, so if you love hanging out on your patio, you’ll need some extra ammo to repel the little bloodsuckers; you’ll need to know what mosquitoes love and what mosquitoes hate. Take back your backyard with these safe and natural mosquito repelling strategies.

Summer is all fun and games until mosquito demons are released by Satan from the 8th ring of hell.

— Abbey Ammons (@AbbeyAmmons) May 28, 2014

Mosquitoes love dark colors. They don’t only use scent, they also see and seek out dark colors. Dark blue skinny jeans are not the best choice in pants for chilling in a backyard of mosquitoes. Similarly, if your deck is painted or stained a dark color, you’re sending out a beacon to be bitten. There may be a good reason why the older generation wore white outfits to their Memorial Day parties. Embrace the wisdom of the elders. Think light or white if you don’t want to visually attract mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes also love lactic acid in sweat. The more lactic acid in sweat, the better according to the editors of Pure Health. Getting rid of lactic acid with a hot shower or sauna, gradually followed by a cooler rise will help remove lactic acids from your skin before an evening on the patio. Especially wash your thighs because the sweat from the thighs is especially high in lactic acid, according to Time Magazine. Mosquitoes also love the alluring perfume of bacteria mixed with sweat: body odor. Fresh sweat isn’t as appealing, but old sweat is a favorite of mosquitoes, according to Mosquitno. Bathing regularly will help you not be quite so appealing to mosquitoes, but whatever you do, do not choose a fruity fragrance to bathe with or wash your hair with. Body washes with herbal essential oils that mosquitoes hate is a better choice to repel the little buggers.

Plants that mosquitoes hate are numerous. You can take advantage of these by adding the plants’ essential oils to a fragrance-free shampoo and body wash, to a spritzer, to a bath soak or by planting them abundantly around your patio area. Mosquitoes hate catnip. Essential oils in Catnip were found to be ten times better at repelling mosquitoes than DEET, according to Science Daily. Catnip, also called cat mint, is a very easy perennial herb to grow. You can add it to the landscaping around your patio or add it to a flower pot. Do a double whammy on mosquitoes by also planting marigolds, lavender or geranium in the potted plants or landscaping. When you walk by the plants, be sure to give them a little squeeze to release the scents even better. Pull a few leaves off and add it to a garden crock or fondue dish fueled by a citronella candle, and you can release the scents that repel mosquitoes even easier. Keep in mind, candles may be a beautiful addition to your patio ambiance, but like our breath, they also emit carbon dioxide and mosquitoes love it. Make sure any candles you burn on your patio includes herbal essential oils like citronella, rosemary, clove, basil, thyme, eucalyptus or mint… all scents that mosquitoes hate.

Mosquito repellents.

— Life Help (@LifeHeIp) May 29, 2014

Other plants to add to your patio pots or landscaping include garlic bulbs mixed with chives. They make a pretty ornamental grass, but also tell mosquitoes to bug off! Lemongrass will also repel mosquitoes and is a lovely addition to your patio garden. Keep your fruit trees, berry plants and berry vines far, far away from your patio though, because mosquitoes love the smell of fruit. As long as you’re planting garlic, you can also steal some of your landscaped garlic you cook with. Fresh garlic eaten daily will exude from your pores letting these flying pests know you are the least tasty dish on the evening’s menu.

Patios are often beautified with wood chips and mulch to keep the weeds down and make everything lovely, but for a couple bucks extra a yard, you can upgrade to cedar chips. These have long been used repel bugs of all kinds and mosquitoes hate the smell of cut cedar. It’s also a great addition to outside pet houses, incidentally. Mosquitoes also can’t fly well. You can bring a fan onto your patio for the evening to help them avoid landing on you.

Some people are just prone to getting attacked by the little bloodsuckers, according to a lead mosquito researchers, The India Times reports. People smell less fruity when they have more ketones in their sweat according to Dr. James Logan, a researcher at Rothamsted Research. Logan said, “The higher concentrations of these ketones seems to trick the mosquitoes into thinking what they are smelling is not a human. It could be that these chemicals carry a message about the people who produce them that makes them unattractive to mosquitoes.”

So, people with sweat lacking in keytones will need to take advantage of all the mosquito repellents available.

Bird baths and koi ponds are a beautiful addition to gardens and patios, but if you aren’t aggressive, these ornamental watering holes will provide the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Any standing water that can’t be dumped should be treated with Mosquito Bits or any product utilizing Bacillus thuringiensis v. israelensis (Bti). This naturally occurring bacteria is a larvicide that, within 24 hours, will kill the mosquito larvae in the water. Bti is completely harmless to all other forms of wildlife, including fish, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health. Bti doesn’t even harm most other bugs like dragonflies, which are incidentally the most ravenous of all the mosquito-eaters. Bti is safe for all other species because they don’t have the same combination of an alkali gut and the specific enzymes necessary for Bti to do anything. The only creatures that do are mosquitoes, black flies, fungus gnats and some midges.

All these extra mosquito repellents may seem like an enormous investment, but for people who enjoy back yard barbecues and evenings on the patio, all these strategies could be implemented for about the same cost as dinner and a movie for two, which for those who are mosquito-swarmed, becomes the only itch-free option for a summer evening out of the house. Besides, repelling and dominating mosquitoes before they get out of hand is never a bad idea: