terra, not terror

sharing ideas about a simpler way to live

Mosquitoes June 2, 2008

Filed under: alternative, organic — terra @ 7:00 am

With summer comes mosquitoes. I seem to get bit just thinking about them. So, here are a few tips to keep your yard and your body mosquito free:

  • spray your yard – grass, trees, plants – with garlic oil. It should repel them for up to 4 weeks.
  • keep your dog on heartworm medicine. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes!
  • remove all shallow standing water – dog dishes, tires, etc.
  • keep bird baths fresh
  • line your gutters with gutter-guards. You can do it yourself with supplies from the local hardware store.
  • rake those leaves – mosquitoes love piles of damp leaves
  • stay in the sun – mosquitoes seem to only bite when you’re in the shade.


Instead of stinky mosquito repellent with harmful deet, we use a mixture of lavender oil and water. It’s so refreshing, and it really works. Other sprays that probably work are eucalyptus oil and lemon oil. You can get essential oils in the “healthy” section of most grocery stores, or in some specialty stores. We mix up a little bottle about 10 drops of lavender oil and 4 oz. of water.


11 Responses to “Mosquitoes”

  1. Jean from 'The Rogue Nation' Says:

    Great thoughts. Love the mosquitoe repellent recipes. I am happy I can now stay away from the chemical smelling aroma from the deet products. That can’t be good for us. That reminds me, I have to empty the standing water from the spring rains that are accumulating in the planters I have yet to fill.
    I think I even have some lavender oil around here from last summer. It’s even great for babies and toddlers, good stuff! My husband was reluctant to use this at first but he’s the first to ask for it anymore. I haven’t trie the eucalyptus oil and lemon so I think I will this year.

  2. ada Says:

    the garlic is also good at keeping humans away, too :)

    we’ve talked about putting up a bat house, but a couple of reasons have stopped us:
    -they spray for mosquitoes in our neighborhood, and i worry about the bats eating them before they die, since i don’t know how quickly it acts. i also worry about the bats eating other insects that aren’t killed (is it mosquito specific or a general pesticide?) but still lands on.
    -i worry about freaking out our neighbors.

  3. terra Says:

    I sprayed my front garden with garlic, to ward off Japanese beetles, but the whole front stunk for the rest of the day!

    We put up a bat house, but none came. I would love to have bats! It’s so cool to watch them zoom around as we walk our dog.

  4. Terra is right about the lavender spray. She introduced me to it and it really does work.

    Side story, when I went down to Mississippi for a volunteer trip they suggested we buy deet 100 to keep the bugs away. You can only find that level of spray in the hunting aisle. I only sprayed it on the ankles of my jeans because I was worried about the toxicity. It mildly bleached my jeans. I can only imagine what it does to skin or what happens when it is accidentally rubbed in eyes.

  5. Jean from 'The Rogue Nation' Says:

    Speaking of bats. I live in a small town and I run every morning when the birds start chirping, around 5 am. There are always bats flying around this one street I run down or up, to early in the morn to tell up, down, left or right. But there are bats for sure. Sometimes I stop and just watch them. They are only hunting for bugs, not humans, like the movies say. I love them, they are the best to watch! I never thought about a bat house. That might be kinda cool.

  6. Michele Says:

    We installed a bat house about 7 years ago and still have no
    visitors. We did this because we notice that we in fact have 3
    bats. They don’t bother us and one year this little brown bat thought that our table umbrella would be a good house for him till we woke him up one late afternoon. He was say to the least very upset, with some help of a woman in Erie County we were able to set him up so he could be on his way. Bat’s are natures great tool when it comes to the flying bugs.

    Now were does one find this garlic oil? The smell of garlic reminds me of my grandmothers house, always a good memory. Lavender, recipe anyone?

    Here is another trick that we use when we are having guest over. Take lemon dish detergent and put some in a sprayer. the flying critters do not like this stuff. Spray your entire yard with it. This will keep the critters away for at least 3-4 hours and it will help condition the soil. It is an Old master gardener trick.

  7. terra Says:

    Michele, I love that idea about the lemon soap. I’ll try that – it’ll smell a lot better than spraying garlic water all over. Who sells lemon soap that isn’t tested on animals? I don’t think Method does, but maybe Next Generation. Soap is good at preventing a lot of mold and invasive bugs from killing plants.

    To make garlic water, I chopped up a whole garlic and put it in a bottle with some water, and shook it really hard to release the oils. (actually, I had my husband cut the garlic, cause he loves it)

    Lavender recipe: get a bottle of Lavender Essential Oil from the store (Mustard Seed, or any health food store). I use about 10 drops of lavender oil in about 4 oz. of water. Spray it on yourself, dogs, kids, guests, anyone. It smells good and really repels the mosquitoes.

  8. ada Says:

    my dad put up a bat house that i bought him last century (i love saying that) and all he got was yellow jackets.
    bat conservation int’l has a link off it’s main page for bat house, including a plan for a simpler one and suggestions for attracting them.
    there’s also a link

    i’d be willing to weather any adverse reaction from our neighbor, but i do worry much about successfully attracting them in and them have them eat insects that have that pesticide mist on them but are not dead. or, for that matter, the mist sticking to their fur and them ingesting that way.
    we hate that mosquito spray. when we hear the damn thing we rush to close all our windows so that none (or little) gets in.

  9. terra Says:

    Ada, that’s a good point about the mosquito poison spray. We do the same thing! We hear the truck on the next street and run through the house to close the windows.

    I would hate to have a yellow jacket nest. I guess I’ll be happy having the bats a few streets over and not lament my empty bat house. :)

    I will bookmark that bat conservation page on the right sidebar. Thanks!

  10. Michele Says:


    Thank you for the recipe…

    This is awful about the bats. Last night when I went outside our one little brown bat flew pass me. Up close and personal…lol! I find it interesting that first a decline in the bee population now the bats. The bees appear to be getting some sort of virus and the bat’s a fungus. We have not seen any bats in this part of Ohio with this white fungus but we have seen honey bees and bumble bees behaving very strange. Its like they don’t remember how to fly or what direction to fly.

    I keep thinking that it is a by-product of all the chemical that are being released in the air and now part of our ecosystem, consequences of lawn chemicals, bug chemicals, all of chemicals and like everything else the manufactures of these chemicals will say in 20 some odd years we didn’t know, when they knew along.

  11. terra Says:

    Michele, I hadn’t heard about the bats. Tragic. They’re always one of my favorite exhibits at the zoo. Last time I was there, a kid was bragging about swatting at bats and his mom educated him about how bats are good for us and he should be nice to them. Zoos are great that way – a place for people to learn about animals, and get parents and kids talking.

    Here’s something strange… I sprayed my garlic water around the front porch to keep mosquitoes away (and Japanese beetles, which I haven’t seen yet, but still) and my roses have just exploded! I wonder if the roses liked the garlic water, or if it’s a coincidence. (By the way, they smell really heavenly, not like garlic)

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