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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

An Essential Oil Natural Mosquito Repellent

Individuals that are mosquito magnets will be relieved to learn that there are do-it-yourself natural ways to deter the pesky insects other than the sprays or creams available on store shelves. Summer rains and temperatures provide the right conditions for these nasty little bloodsucking insects to breed. An unpleasant addition to any summer activity, they can spread illnesses such as zika, dengue fever and malaria. The Florida Department of Health has issued an advisory regarding mosquito born illnesses, so far only in the Sarasota area.

Mosquitoes breed by laying eggs in and near standing water that can accumulate in items such as tires, buckets, toys, pool covers, birdbaths, trash containers, recycling bins, boat or car covers, roof gutters, coolers and pet dishes. At least once a week, empty, turn over or cover these items and keep flower pots and saucers free of standing water. Bromeliads, which hold water in their leaves, should be flushed out weekly with a hose.

Planting lemongrass and citronella plants around the perimeter of a yard provides some protection. There are also many therapeutic essential oils that repel mosquitoes when applied to the skin. Whether in a spray or crème, never apply essential oils directly to the skin. Instead mix them with a carrier oil such as organic olive, almond or coconut oil. Feel free to mix and match several oils, but always include citronella.

Mixing several essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, patchouli, palmarosa, rosemary, pennyroyal, basil, lemon, rose geranium, sage, clove, lemongrass, eucalyptus and always citronella should be done in an eight-ounce spray bottle. Fill the bottle with four ounces of natural witch hazel or 100-proof vodka. Next, add the carrier oil—almond, olive or coconut—almost to the top, followed with 70 drops of citronella, 40 of rosemary, 30 of basil, 20 geranium and 40 drops of the personal choice oils. Apply every four hours.