It's happened to all of us; you're sitting out in your yard, enjoying the evening when all of the sudden, you are totally swarmed by mosquitoes. It feels like clouds of mosquitoes are descending on you, covering your body with itchy bites. Fortunately, mosquitoes are very responsive to the scents in their area, and you can use this to drive them away. If you prepare your environment well before you go outside, you may not even need to use bug spray.
One of the best ways to repel mosquitoes is with plants. Rosemary, catnip and marigolds are three easy-to-grow plants that naturally repel mosquitoes. If you happen to live in a tropical area, you can also grow citronella grass. Scatter these plants all over the area you want to exclude mosquitoes from. Burning citronella candles is a great way to temporarily drive mosquitoes from an area. Citronella candles have concentrated oil extracted from citronella grass and can disperse it over a wide enough area to really be effective.
Normal insect repellent is effective against mosquitoes. It should be sprayed on clothing and any exposed skin, unless the skin is broken or irritated. Most insect repellent contains the pesticide DEET, however, which some people worry may be toxic. Although the EPA has concluded that DEET is safe, many people prefer to make their own mosquito repellents.
The most common way to make a natural mosquito repellent is to take essential oils from plants that repel mosquitoes and dissolve several drops of them in rubbing alcohol or witch hazel. Oils from any of the above mentioned plants will work, as will cedar, clove, mint, eucalyptus, lavender and vanilla. The mixture should smell strong but not be unpleasant or overwhelming.
Not Attracting Mosquitos
Mosquitoes are drawn by many scents, and to figure out how to best prevent yourself from mosquito bites, it's good to know what scents attract them. Sweating will attract mosquitoes--they are drawn by the lactic acid that builds up when you exercise. Mosquitoes also love old socks and dark clothes; on the other hand, they're also attracted to certain sweet, fruity and floral scents. They could even be attracted to your sunblock, your fabric softener or your perfume.