Thanks to a wet spring, many of us are seeing more mosquitoes this summer. It’s not in your imagination, mosquitoes can sense you. They can smell the carbon dioxide in a human’s breath from more than 100 feet away.

 

While no one wants to deal with ticks and mosquitoes, many are looking toward other, less chemically filled items to keep pests away. Harsh chemicals and bug jackets work well (as does staying inside), but there are other options.   Since children shouldn’t use DEET based products, it can be helpful to look for alternatives. Here are seven effective ways to say goodbye to pesky mosquitoes and ticks. Take note and enjoy your time with nature, bite free.

What To Burn & Eat

While you’d have to eat a lot of this food to emanate enough smell to keep bugs away, adding these foods to your camping ‘must eat’ list will help keep bugs away while you cook. Add flavour, and bug repelling scents, to your cooking by using plenty of garlic and onion in your meals. Looking for a portable snack that mosquitoes hate? Look no further than eating oranges. For a fresh scented way to keep bugs away, rub the peels on your exposed skin when you’re done snacking. For longer evenings in front of the campfire burn some sage on your fire, as mosquitoes and ticks hate the smell and will stay clear.

How To Make a DIY Mosquito Repellent Spray

Blogger Wellness Mama swears by this DIY mosquito and tick spray. This one is time consuming, taking 2-3 weeks to ‘cure’ but you’ll be able to use it all summer long. Ingredients are apple cider vinegar, dried sage, rosemary, lavender, thyme, and mint. This recipe is also said to have antiviral and antibiotic properties. To get the full recipe click here. Don’t have 2-3 weeks? Or already away from home? Dabbing some vinegar on a cotton ball and dabbing it on your skin won’t smell amazing but it will help repel bugs.

A fun little note, if anyone in your family wears the Victoria Secret Bombshell Perfume, they’ll want to pack it the next time they camp. A study completed by New Mexico State University revealed both Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil and Victoria’s Secret Bombshell perfume were very effective in deterring mosquitoes.

Stopping Mosquitoes Before They Hatch

We live by the campsite rule of leaving things better than you found them.  This method of preventing mosquito eggs from hatching is worth noting – and it’s compostable. If there is a lot of still freshwater near where you’re camping and no way to remove it, just look to your morning coffee. Sprinkling some coffee grounds on the surface of still water forces any mosquito eggs laid to rise to the surface. This deprives them of oxygen and kills them before they even hatch.

The Essential Oil Way

You can mix essential oils together to create a better smelling repellent without all the chemicals found in DEET Products. Boil ¼ cup of vodka, then let it cool, next add 5 drops each of the following essential oils: lemon eucalyptus oil, cedarwood oil, and catnip oil.   Other essential oils you may want to keep in your camping kit to apply generously include thyme oil, citronella oil, lavender oil, basil oil, tea tree oil, clove oil, and geranium essential oil.

Dryer Sheets Eliminate More Than Static Cling

Sometimes simply placing a dryer sheet around your campsite, trailer, or in your pocket during a walk is said to be enough to keep both mosquitoes and bees at a safe distance.

Keep it Minty

Make mint your flavour of choice while in the great outdoors, whether you’re cooking with it, eating breath mints or spending a few extra moments brushing those big pearly whites. Other people say that spraying some mint mouthwash around the doors of their tent, trailer, or campsite helps keeps bugs away.

What to Plant

For backyards, cottages, trailers, and more you can make sure your garden includes items pests dislike to keep them away. Consider growing geraniums, mint, lavender, and thyme for sweet smells and less bites!