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Non-toxic mosquito repellent ideas from HOMEGROWNers

Last week we asked HOMEGROWNers how they kept the biting bugs away while tending to things outdoors. Black flies and greenheads still perplex us, but folks had several nontoxic mosquito repellent recipes.

  • Emily recommends smoke, citronella and avoiding perfumes, lotions and soaps.
  • Becca says that Neem oil “smells so bad that it keeps EVERYTHING away!”
  • Cammy says that rosemary essential oil on her skin, and spritzed on her clothes and hair does the trick – much like the recipe from Mother Earth News.
  • Cynthia tells us: “Grab a few leaves of lemon balm, smoosh ‘em up and rub on arms and legs. Works great and smells great too.”
  • Dusty Canyon (one of the best facebook page member names that we’ve seen) linked to an article: Plants That Repel Mosquitoes that recommends cultivated and wild plants, as well as cutting down on processed food in your diet (hooray!).
  • Jacqueline reminds us that bats are our best friend when controlling mosquitoes in your area. Have you built a bat house? Here’s an easy how-to from the HOMEGROWN blog about that.
  • Arthur linked to an intriguing idea for taking the itch out of the bites that you do get: Use Scotch Tape or Nail Polish to Relieve an Itchy Mosquito Bite (from Lifehacker).

So we’ve got rosemary, lemon balm, vanilla, and SuzyJ on Twitter suggests basil – Do you have any advice for your fellow HOMEGROWNers?

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9 Responses to “Non-toxic mosquito repellent ideas from HOMEGROWNers”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by HOMEGROWN DotOrg, Roy Crockett. Roy Crockett said: Non-toxic mosquito repellent ideas from HOMEGROWNers http://bit.ly/bnWJTQ [...]

  2. PepperReed Says:

    I’ve almost exclusively used catnip since I did my undergrad research studying Jack-in-the-Pulpits sitting in a wet forest during the summer. I usually steep in alcohol, but you can use any light oil as well, I’ve also just crushed a handful of leaves and rubbed them on my arms, neck etc. No problems with cat-stalking either.

    http://www.ag.iastate.edu/aginfo/news/catnip.html

    or

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010828075659.htm

    I’ve not seen this study replicated, but DuPont has done research and currently holds patents.

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/05/biomimicrys-first-consumer-product-insect-repellant-catnip.php

  3. I’m still trying different things to keep the bugs away, but I do know that a swab of tea tree oil on a fresh bite keeps it from swelling up (mine swell up like giant hives) and keeps it from itching. By the next day, sometimes that evening, the bite is “diffused” to a mere speck! No scar, no nothing.

  4. Wow, PepperReed, thanks so much for this information! Catnip is very pretty in the garden, too.
    Nicelle – I’m like you – swell up like nobodies business – and have found tea tree oil to be helpful in healing the bites. That stuff works miracles. Thanks for commenting – great blog!

  5. Vitiman B1 works wonders for me. I used to be the person who was eaten alive too!

    Also, stay away from bananas! Something about the odor that you give off after eating them. Hate to it as I do love a good banana, but….

  6. My brother-in-law gave me a gift of bees and one of his amazing bee suits – the Ultra-Breeze- that is ventilated and sting-proof. Not only is it great for working the hive, but we also use it when gardening near the hive and when the mosquitoes are out!

  7. I like the lemon balm when I go out in the garden seems to work fine with me. I do have a bat house in the yard I’ve built a few of them for friends n neighbors. this site here has a plan n step by step instructions. it’s the the house I build. You can do a search for free bat house plans that will also tell you here n how to install it.

    Best,

  8. Thanks everyone!

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