| June 22, 2012

I love summer, but that first mosquito bite always reminds me that the bug war is ON!

Unfortunately, citronella candles and bug spray can be smelly and packed with harmful chemicals like DEET, so I went on a quest for some natural alternatives to combat pesky bloodsuckers.

  1. Herbs
    Basil, lemongrass and rosemary are good for us, but not for them. While they taste delicious in our food, they're also known to repel mosquitos. Grow an herb garden on your outdoor deck. At your next barbecue, try throwing some rosemary or sage onto the grill.
  2. Marigolds
    Not only will they make a lovely addition to your garden, but marigolds are easy to grow and their scent keeps skeeters at bay. We suggest potting them next to your front door or near windows to prevent pests from entering your home.
  3. Tea Tree Oil
    OK, it’s not Chanel, but unless you want to get eaten alive, it's summer's hottest fragrance!
  4. Catnip
    It’s not just for your favorite feline. While cats go wild for catnip, mosquitoes hate the smell. Plant some around your house, and while you’re at it, dry some up for Mittens!
  5. Garlic
    Eating raw garlic or cooking with it can also repel mosquitoes for up to 6 hours. Oil from the garlic reportedly masks your natural scent, deterring the bug-a-boos. If you don’t want to offend your date, pick up some odor-free garlic supplements from the drugstore. 
  6. Bats
    Bats get a bad rap, but did you know they can eat HUNDREDS of mosquitoes a night? And sometimes 600 in an hour? Consider investing in a bat house to attract these nocturnal creatures. They’ll certainly earn their keep!
  7. Frogs
    Standing water is a hotbed for mosquito breeding, so try to eliminate any around your house. If you have permanent pond or outdoor water feature, introducing some mosquito-munching frogs might not be a bad idea.