Protect Against Mosquitos Naturally

Comments 4 by Rebecca Bollwitt

A warm but soggy summer so far has proven to be the perfect incubator for pests with officials now warning of mosquito bites. With the words “West Nile Virus” showing up in subsequent headlines this week, I’m certain many are scooping up their bug repellent.

Deep Cove forest, North Vancouver
Photo credit: Scapevision on Flickr

Closing our eyes and spraying blindly, we’ll cough through clouds of chemicals to remain bite-free. However, I knew there had to be natural solutions available so I went to the first source that came to mind: David Suzuki’s Queen of Green. Here are Lindsay Coulter’s tips:

Protect Against Mosquitos Naturally

Create a mosquito-unfriendly home
Think about all the non-toxic things you can do to keep mosquitoes away. Chemical and synthetic ingredients in bug sprays often don’t break down in the environment so they linger and can cause harm to plants and animals, other than mosquitoes.

  • Remove standing water (mosquito breeding grounds) — refresh bird baths.
  • Fill, cover or remove backyard items that collect water — empty planters, kids’ toys, wheelbarrows, etc.
  • Keep your rain gutters clean to help rainwater flow freely.
  • Repair screens on doors and windows.
  • Keep grass to about three inches and trim shrubs.
  • Attract mosquito eating chickadees, house wrens, bluebirds, swallows, and martins with birdhouses or bird baths.

Make yourself unattractive to mosquitoes
Go fragrance-free. Mosquitoes love scents in soaps, lotions, shampoos, perfumes and laundry detergent.

  • Cover up with long sleeves, long pants and socks.
  • Wear light-coloured, loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks. Tuck your kid’s pants into their socks for extra protection.
  • Take a bug net or bug shirt camping. It will keep you sane.
  • Try herbal repellents with essential oils of citronella, cedar, eucalyptus, lemongrass or peppermint. They can be safe for use on children (but not on babes under two).

Avoiding DEET is recommended as it is a registered pesticide. Get outside and enjoy all that British Columbia has to offer and protect yourself from bites using one of Lindsay’s suggestions. Follow her on Twitter @DavidSuzukiQoG and download the David Suzuki Foundation’s Bugs Off Guide.

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4 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. AmeliaThursday, August 2nd, 2012 — 10:38am PDT

    Just one contradiction. I think bird baths may classify as standing water.

  2. Rebecca Bollwitt, Miss604 Rebecca BollwittThursday, August 2nd, 2012 — 10:39am PDT

    @Amelia, Lindsay does say “refresh” the bird bath water on her page. I noticed it was cut off on this but have added it again. She made sure to include a note about that!

  3. Ruth HartnupThursday, August 2nd, 2012 — 11:28am PDT

    I’ve been using an insect repellent called Outback Jack, which comes from Australia – argh, air miles – but it’s all natural ingredients, And It Actually Works, and is safe for kids. I got it from Raspberry Kids.

  4. gigglesThursday, August 2nd, 2012 — 11:08pm PDT

    I have always used Avon skin so soft oil… not a scent for everyone, but would work great for babies. I met a forestry worker that said his arms would be black with mosquitoes and all he used was deet free “skin so soft.”

    The main ingredients listed are mineral oil, fragrance and carrot seed oil. This is the basis of the bath oil, with two oils as a base for the fragrance.

    Read more:

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