|Photo courtesy cdc.gov|
|Photo courtesy everydayhealth.com|
Since we can’t depend on landscape plantings to repel mosquitos, the next best thing is to try to repel them by other means. To keep mosquitoes away during outdoor gatherings, burn Citronella candles. Lemon grass, Cymbopogan nardus, a course grass-like plant, contains Citronella oils. Burning candles with wicks saturated with the herb, myrrh is also quite effective at keeping many insects away. In fact, ancient Egyptians used myrrh as a fumigant.
If insects such as mosquitoes have already become a problem, many herbs can be used directly on the skin as repellents. Infusions of 50% Chamomile and 50% Elder leaves dubbed on skin are effective for up to 20 minutes. Infusions are much like making tea, boiling water is poured over the herb and the herb/water mixture is then left to steep for 10 to 15 minutes. The remaining liquid is strained and used as the repellant.
As well as infusion, other properties of herbs such as their essential oils can be used as repellents. Essential oils such as Lavender, Tea tree oil and Citronella from the stone root, Collinsonia canadensis can be worn on the skin and in hair to effectively keep mosquitoes away. It is best to dilute these powerful essential oils in a little olive oil and test this new mixture on a patch of skin before applying to ones entire body. More information can be found in CSU’s publication Plants Help Keep Mosquitos Away.