My daughter is super, extra prone to mosquito bites. I can’t really blame them; she’s yummy. However, aside from the itchiness and general discomfort it causes my little one, there are also huge risks associated with various mosquito populations across the US (our friends in Puerto Rico were basically plagued with Zica, Dengue and Chikungunya populations not so long ago). Today more so than ever, mosquitoes pose a real threat, as a simple bite can quickly turn into a fever, which more likely than not is an indication of a more serious ailment, and can happen to anyone in the family. Aside from the usual (typically toxic) remedies found in stores, we’ve put together a short list of time-tested, easy and safe remedies to get rid of mosquitoes and to prevent mosquito bites. Some could be cool homeschool experiments, so make sure to send us your pictures and share how your project went.
1. Science Time: Dry Ice Trap
Kids will have some fun with this one… it’s so tedious. The carbon dioxide that we exhale attracts mosquitoes so here’s a science project to improve the living situation in your patio. Place dry ice in a container and keep it at a certain distance. Because dry ice emits a lot of carbon dioxide, mosquitoes will be attracted to the container. When they are in close enough range, close the lid. While this can be a little time-consuming, it is an effective method to drive away mosquitoes… and a fun way for kids to kill time in the summer.
2. Preventive Attack with Coffee Grounds
A super simple home remedy to repel mosquitoes is to use coffee grounds. It works by sprinkling coffee grounds wherever there is stagnant water near the house. The mosquito eggs present in the water will be forced to come to the surface of the water due to the coffee grounds. As they come to the surface, they will be deprived of oxygen, which kills them before they hatch. Womp, womp. This is an old-school way to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
3. Mosquito Traps
Seems kind of obvious, but they sell them (a lot!) for a reason. You can buy a mosquito trap from the supermarket or hardware store or easily make one at home with a plastic bottle. Here are the super easy instructions.
DIY Mosquito Trap Instructions
- Cut a plastic bottle in half.
- Add brown sugar in hot water and mix well.
- When it cools down, empty it in the bottom half of the bottle.
- Add yeast.
- Put the funnel part into the other half of the bottle in upside down direction.
- Wrap a piece of black tape on the bottle, but the top should be uncovered.
- Place it in the mosquito prone area.
- Change the solution in the bottle after every 2 weeks.
This method of mosquito trapping is known as sugar yeast fermentation method. This is a convenient and cheap way to get rid of mosquitoes as materials used for trapping are easily available… and it’s pretty gross to see them all in the trap, but hey, at least they’re not on your kids.
Camphor is another time-tested home remedy to get rid of mosquitoes that’s very eco-friendly (and non-toxic for little ones). Close all the doors and windows of the room, light camphor and leave it for about half an hour before bedtime, for example. It kills all mosquitoes on site.
Extract of garlic has awesome mosquito larvicidal properties. Crush a few cloves of garlic and boil the crushed garlic in water for some time. Then pour this homemade mosquito repellent in a spray bottle and squirt it around the area. It’s also said that some people eat garlic daily to avoid mosquito bites. If you’re going all in, you can also rub a garlic clove directly on the skin… and please stay outdoors with this remedy.
Herbal Remedies for Mosquitoes
6. Indian Lilac Oil and Coconut Oil:
Indian lilac is a mosquito repellent and it is also used as a natural pesticide. To make, mix Indian lilac oil and pure coconut oil in the ratio 1:1 and apply it all over your body. The strong smell of the mixture will keep the mosquitoes away from you for at least eight hours. Some studies have proven the mosquito repellent efficacy of coconut oil, and it’s always a great moisturizer for all ages.
7. Lemon eucalyptus:
Lemon Eucalyptus (also known as Corymbia Citriodora) is a tall tree widely grown in Australia. Oil from the leaves of this tree have excellent mosquito repellent properties. Lots of natural mommies advise applying this oil on the skin to protect little ones from mosquito bites.
8. Holy Basil
Holy basil leaves are known to kill the mosquito larvae. Just plant a holy basil plant in your garden and at the entry points of your home. You can also spray basil oil to repel mosquitoes, without the harmful effects of store-bought chemicals.
9. Citronella Oil
Citronella oil is the best essential oil when it comes to preventing mosquitoes. Most of us are familiar with citronella candles, but you can actually buy and apply citronella oil all over the body. You can also inject a few drops of this essential oil in a candle and light it up. Or else, put it in a spray bottle and sprinkle it in the mosquito prone areas.
10. Get familiar with other very handy herbs and oils:
One of my favorites is mint (fragrant and super useful). The strong odor of mint, which most of us love very much, is loathed by mosquitoes. You can take out the mint oil from the mint extracts or just use the extract as it is to keep mosquitoes away. You can spray the mint oil by pouring it into a spray bottle, or you can apply it on the exposed parts of your body. Alternatively, grow mint shrubs in your garden. Likewise, the great smell of lavender oil can keep away mosquitoes as effectively as any chemical agent would do. The smell of the lavender flower and oil is very strong and mosquitoes can’t tolerate it. Therefore, spray lavender oil it in the room or apply it on your face and other parts of the body which remain exposed.
Another great choice is tea tree oil, an effective essential oil to get rid of insects. Its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties work wonders when it comes to fighting off mosquitoes, while its strong odor keeps the mosquitoes at bay. All you need to do is mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a few drops of water and apply to your skin.
Other Important Safety Tips
- If you’re going camping or on vacation to a destination where AC facilities are not available, remember to hang a mosquito net at night. All the mosquito repellent coils or creams work for a few hours. Thereafter, the effect decreases. Hanging a mosquito net at night while sleeping will keep mosquitoes away.
- Keep all the doors and windows of your house closed to prevent the entry of mosquitoes. Use wire mesh on doors and windows and make sure to check them regularly for rips and holes.
- Mosquitoes get attracted by light. Use mosquito-repellent lights such as sodium lamps, yellow bug lights or LED lights in your house.
- Do not allow ANY water to stand near your house. Stagnant water is the place where mosquitoes breed and multiply.