Hating mosquitoes is fundamental to being human. Think about it, we’re probably ten, fifteen thousand times the size of the little buggers. Yet, they beat us every time.
It’s time for this to stop. We have the intellects, so we should use them. Now, you have better things to do with your time than to do a lot of research into how to repel mosquitoes. We’ve done that research so you don’t have to. Here are the life hacks to ward off life’s microscopic annoyances.
How Do the Mosquitoes Find Us?
To get into the hacks, let’s first understand why mosquitoes want to bite us, how they can find us, even in the dark.
Well, female mosquitoes are the only ones that bite—they need nutrients found in human blood to feed their babies.
So, when they go out on the hunt, the first thing they do is sense humans do the CO2 we give off. When we exhale, we shoot out an invisible stream of Carbon-Dioxide. To a mosquito, this has an odor, and they can detect it up to 50 meters (about 160 feet) away. Knowing people aren’t far off, they take wing. As they get closer, they can see us.
Now, say a mosquito zooms up to a crowd of ten or fifteen people—which people are the ones who, as the expression goes “mosquitoes love”? It’s the people giving off the most body heat. Having smelled the presence of people from a long distance, getting close enough to see us at a shorter distance, mosquitoes will buzz around until they sense higher body heat, then bite that person.
With all that in mind, here are the hacks.
1. Wear light-colored clothing
Wait, shouldn’t it be dark clothing, particularly at night? Not really. The reason mosquitoes are buzzing around all the time is that they’re getting relatively close to people so they can get a sense of body heat. Sensing that is more important than seeing. And dark clothing traps in heat, making its wearer a prime target.
2. Two-drink maximum
At a party, the big drinkers will get attacked more by mosquitoes. While mosquitoes aren’t on some temperance kick, they are, again, big fans of body heat. You’ve noticed that you feel warmer after a cocktail or a pint. That’s because alcohol pushing warmer blood cells to the surface of your skin. And if you are outside in Summer and have enough beer to make you sweat, you’re really in trouble.
If you’ve been experiencing mosquito bites to the point that you’ve had to use lotions and you’ve scratched the itches far too many times, this step may be appealing. It’s also good for people in areas where mosquitoes have been transmitting viruses, though this is rare. Pick your battles, and do more hacks as necessary.
3. Anti-mosquito plants
Like many insects, mosquitoes have certain smells or properties that they hate. Many of these come from plants that have fairly strong smells, and happily, quite a few of plants smell great to humans. Here are some of the plants that mosquitoes hate the most:
All of these are easy enough to plant just outside your house, or in a small herb garden. Being sure to cook with rosemary or basil at cookouts will have great success. And the spider-limbed citronella plant is a great deterrent too. It will save you from all the hassle of citronella candles and similar chemical-laden products.
4. Homemade Citronella Candles
Citronella is one of the best-known tools against mosquitoes. The reason for this is that it actually masks CO2, which we discussed above—the big attractor of bugs. Your neighbors very well may make five to ten citronella candle runs each mosquito season.
Why not make your own instead? This saves expense, limits chemicals or unwanted ingredients, and allows you to control the scent if you’re not in love with citronella.
You need citronella essential oil, available in drug stores, large grocery stores, and craft stores. You’ll also need wax and a double boiler and metal cans, which will be the casing of the candles. This gives you a customized approach to meet your needs—and it works on the little pests.
5. Don’t Give Mosquitoes a Breeding Ground
Mosquito reproduction happens in standing water. And since mosquitoes can’t stand very tall, it doesn’t have to be a lot of water. If you have a creek or pond at the edge of your property, you’ll have to rely on the great repelling strategies we’re giving you rather than stopping them from breeding.
However, for most people, the steps take limited time. You’ll want to make sure your gutters and drainpipes haven’t collected water; clean out bird feeders on a regular basis; and dump any water that has collected anywhere. You don’t want to create a swarm of the pests in your yard.
6. Fire it Up
If you’re going to entertain—or just spend a lot of time—in your backyard, you may as well invest in a stone or concrete fire pit or fire table. Or you can just dig a pit and line it with stones. Fire and smoke do scare and repel mosquitoes. If you’re on a camping trip, a fire is a necessity.
7. Treat Mosquitoes Like Vampires
Well, we don’t mean to write a series of novels about them, making yourself millions. That’s for a different article. Instead, use garlic against mosquitoes. They absolutely hate it. The good news is stink bugs, fleas, and ticks hate it as well.
One avenue is to mince or crush garlic and sprinkle it around your yard, creating a perimeter. You can also make sprays out of garlic and water, possibly even adding some lavender or liquid soap, and spraying on non-wood surfaces or just misting in the air. It works!
8. Have them Eaten
What better response to one of nature’s pests than a natural solution? Let the wild kingdom do its work. There are plenty of animals that dine on mosquito, and some of them are no problem to have in your yard. For example, birds such as purple martins and swallows love mosquitoes. If you have these in your area, put up a bird house in an open area and spread some crumbled egg shells on its floor to attract these helpful birds.
Now, if you want to attract frogs or toads, they’ll work, too. In fact, domestic fowl like chicken will also help—and you’ll get free eggs.
9. Blind Mosquitoes with Science
The Bandito is a product that gets right to the point and to the right location. It’s wearable, a line of defense that goes where you do. The wristband sends out sonic signals that wards off mosquitoes. It’s so cutting edge that production is just beginning. It will be available starting May 21 on Indiegogo.
Fill out the form below to be notified when you can get yours!