How To Keep Mosquitoes Away Without Toxic Chemicals

Mosquitoes don’t like fans, and other tips to keep them off naturally.


Published:

We are heading into summer while news of the spread of mosquito-borne infectious diseases like dengue and Zika is everywhere. What makes people so attractive to mosquitoes? Blood, yes. But first, it’s CO2. Every breath we exhale alerts mosquitoes to the proximity of tasty blood. While you can’t stop breathing to avoid these bloodthirsty pests, here are a few nontoxic ways to keep them off you.

Plant-based repellents

Oil of lemon eucalyptus
Effective, but needs to be reapplied every two hours. Not recommended for children under 3.

Soy, Coconut, and Palm Nut Oil
Works for a limited time. Bonus points: Who doesn’t want to smell like a piña colada?

Citronella
Band soaked in citronella oil is semi-effective. Don’t bother with outdoor citronella candles; their heat and CO2 actually attract insects.

Geraniol Bug Bracelets
Alcohol derived from citronella, geranium, and rose oil is less effective than citronella in its whole form.

Playing hard to get

Create Wind
You wouldn’t want to stroll through a windstorm, and neither would a mosquito. Using a hand fan or setting up a strong fan outdoors—and staying within range—can ward off the relentless pests. The swirling air also disrupts the steady flow of carbon dioxide humans release every few seconds and makes it trickier for mosquitoes to find us.

Cover Up
Mosquito nets can protect children in strollers. Long, loose clothing in lighter colors is effective.

Water
Even a tablespoon of water is enough for a cozy mosquito nursery. Ways to avoid creating them:

  • Change water in pet water bowls and bird baths frequently.
  • Unclog gutters.
  • Shake water from tarps.
  • Remove yard garbage, like tires.
  • Fill hollow stumps with mortar.
  • Minimize the growth of tall grasses, weeds, and shrubs; flowering bushes hold water in their flowers.  

Natural Predators

Dragonflies
Dragonflies and their damselfly cousins eat mosquitoes as adults; as nymphs, they prey on mosquitoes before they even leave the water. But high-pitched sound emitters that claim to scare away mosquitoes by imitating the wing beat of a dragonfly don’t work.

Fish
Too fond of your pond? Install pond aerators to prevent stagnant water or add fish that eat mosquito larvae, like goldfish or mosquito fish.

Kate Stringer wrote this article for Gender Justice, the Summer 2016 Issue of YES! Magazine. Kate is an editorial intern at YES! Follow her on Twitter @KateStringer2.

Sources: Journal of Medical Entomology, Malaria Journal, Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Extension Entomologist and Associate Professor Janet Knodel, The Cochrane Library

See also:
Experts Admit Zika Threat Fraud
27 Versatile Uses For Coconut Oil

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

June 23, 2018

From the wee hours of the morning until late tonight, the stars are busy. The Sun’s sextile to Uranus keeps night owls up late, thinking profundities and dreaming about the future. As dawn breaks mental Mercury is locked in an opposition with Pluto…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

June 2018

Join us for a monthly gathering of like-hearted people to give and receive angelic energy healing. This session is a combination of group meditation and discussion, along with working in pairs...

Cost: Scale $5-$20 ($10 suggested)

Where:
Pathway Of Joy
884 Broadway, Suite 12
Upstairs in the Spiritual Renaissance Center building
South Portland, ME  04106
View map »


Sponsor: Pathway Of Joy
Telephone: 207-329-7192
Contact Name: Linda Huitt
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events

What better way to end a busy day than with a little bliss. We'll support your body right where it is today and help you to open your spine to find more movement and flexibility. Begin and end...

Cost: $18

Where:
Body Love Wellness Center
484 Bedford St
East Bridgewater, MA  02333
View map »


Sponsor: Bliss Through Yoga
Telephone: 508-331-3564
Contact Name: Janice
Website »

More information

8 Week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course with Erin Woo Tuesdays, May 1 - June 19, 6–8:30 pm *Includes an all day retreat on Saturday, June 9 from 9 am - 4 pm Come explore the...

Cost: $290

Where:
Balance Bethlehem
2087 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH  03574
View map »


Sponsor: Balance Bethlehem
Telephone: 603-869-2125
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

If you are worried about getting Parkinson’s or have beginning symptoms, check out a free intro on how to rewire your brain from the inside. First and third Wednesdays of the month,...

Where:
, MA


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

June 21 - 24, 2018 Healing trauma and installing boundaries. 9am-6pm each day. With Judith Swack, PhD. Learn how to heal PTSD. HBLU™ integrates the best of biomedical science, psychology,...

Where:
Needham, MA


Telephone: 781-444-6940
Website »

More information

Learn from local industry leaders, scientists and experts about innovations in wellness, behavioral change, nutrition, fitness, environmental, societal wellbeing and more. Learn how to start or...

Cost: Free

Where:
CIC Cambridge
One Broadway
Venture Cafe 5th Floor
Cambridge, MA  02142-3104
View map »


Sponsor: CIC Cambridge
Telephone: 617-953-0674
Contact Name: Shakti Rowan
Website »

More information

Chef Arwyn Fires It Up! Embrace the Fire, the Sun, and the Light! Watch as Chef Arwyn brings our Café Bar to life cooking fresh, festive locally sourced ingredients over flames. She will...

Cost: $10

Where:
Groton Wellness
493 Main Street
Mill Run Plaza
Groton, MA  01450
View map »


Sponsor: Cafe at Groton Wellness
Telephone: 978-449-9919
Contact Name: Amy Ashman
Website »

More information

Revel in the longest day of daylight of the year! Join us for a special meditation celebration of the Summer Solstice. We will also be integrating our Tibetan and crystal bowls into this...

Cost: Pre-Reg. $20 includes materials

Where:
Brookside Farms
8 Mammoth Rd
Pelham, NH   03076
View map »


Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey Smith
Website »

More information

Energy Healing is an expression of our infinite connection to divine life force and divine imagination. When these divine forces move through us, they bring healing, wisdom, and the ability to...

Cost: $30

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
90 Main Street
Andover, MA  01810
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Website »

More information

June 21 - July 1, 2018 Women’s Yoga Retreats in beautiful Rockport, ME. Relax, rejuvenate, rediscover. 3 amazing options: Kundalini Summer Solstice - Jun 21-24 Gentle Yoga - Jun 24-28...

Where:
Rockport, ME


Telephone: 508-990-6795

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

With Joseph Carringer Relax, clear out energetic and emotional stagnation and connect with your major energy centers. Joseph provides a meditative journey that reconnects the mind with the...

Cost: $45

Where:
YogaLife Institute of NH
Lower Level
6 Chestnut Street
Exeter, NH  03833
View map »


Sponsor: YogaLife Institute of NH
Telephone: 603-867-3969
Contact Name: Alice Bentley
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Back, neck, and/or sciatica pain? Svaroopa yoga is well known for relieving pain and releasing tension throughout your entire body. Classes begin and end with a guided awareness and include...

Cost: $18

Where:
Body Love Wellness Center
484 Bedford St
East Bridgewater, MA  02333
View map »


Sponsor: Bliss Through Yoga
Telephone: 508-331-3564
Contact Name: Janice
Website »

More information

Celebrating The Summer Solstice And Kicking Off Summer Season! We have a Marvelous line up of different intuitive/healing/wellness services to sample from as you enjoy a fun refreshing day for...

Cost: Special $25 and $60

Where:
The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles RD Unit #A
Our Yellow Banner is in Window
Salem, NH  03079
View map »


Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags