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How to Repel Mosquitoes Naturally

How to Repel Mosquitoes Naturally

Enjoying your garden or backyard can be difficult when you have to deal with mosquitoes. Mosquito swarms are worse if you live in a humid climate or near a standing body of water. Rather than reaching for that bottle of insect spray or mosquito repellant, consider growing mosquito-repelling plants in your outdoors instead. Many commercial products may contain harmful chemicals, so using plants to protect your family from pests are a safer and more natural alternative. Here are some easy-to-grow plants that will help keep those pesky mosquitoes away.

1. Citronella

Citronella is a type of geranium plant with a strong scent that drives away mosquitoes. It is such an effective mosquito repellant that citronella oil is used to manufacture scented candles and insecticides.

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Photo by SantiMB. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
    Photo by SantiMB. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    This plant can be grown easily in frost-free climate zones. In cooler areas, it can be grown in a pot or container and moved indoors during winter. Citronella can grow up to 5-6 feet in height, so if you plan to grow some in the garden or near the porch, situate it behind decorative flowers and shrubs. Full grown citronella plants are available at garden shops for about two to three dollars.

    Citronella is a low maintenance plant that is best grown in spring. Plant it in well-drained soil, make sure it gets plenty of sun, and fertilize it with nitrogen-rich fertilizer. You can place it in colorful ceramic pots to enhance your outdoor spaces.

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    2. Lemongrass

    Sometimes called mosquito grass, lemongrass has a fresh citrus scent that keeps mosquitoes at bay. It is an edible plant that is used in many Asian dishes. It is also brewed to cure sore throats and stomach aches.

    Photo by odonata98. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
      Photo by odonata98. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

      Lemongrass is an ideal potted plant and can be cultivated easily. You can purchase a grown plant from your favorite garden supplier for about two to four dollars. Simply trim the tops of the plants and place them in a glass container on a sunny windowsill. After a few weeks, it will develop roots and can be transplanted into a pot. Place this plant around your patio, deck, by the front or back door, or on top of porch tables.

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      3. Catnip

      Catnip is an ornamental plant related to mint that grows readily in the US and around the world. Research shows that the essential oil in catnip is ten times better at repelling mosquitoes than DEET, the compound found in many insect repellants.

      Photo from iStock
        Photo from iStockphoto

        Catnip is very easy to grow from seeds, which cost about two dollars for 400 seeds. This plant can be quite invasive if not trimmed regularly, but you can control its growth by placing it in containers.

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        It is totally safe to crush and apply catnip leaves on your skin for better mosquito protection, but keep in mind that cats will be as attracted to you as they are to the plant itself.

        4. Rosemary

        Commonly grown as an edible plant, rosemary has a woody scent that makes it ideal for cooking and great for repelling mosquitoes.

        Photo from iStockphoto
          Photo from iStockphoto

          Rosemary takes time to germinate, so it is best to grow it from cuttings taken from a mature plant. These are available at garden nurseries for about four to five dollars. Plant the cuttings in spring in containers packed with well-drained soil, as this plant prefers slightly drier soil and lots of sunlight. There is no need to fertilize this herb, but you may add some garden lime to the soil to make the plant more fragrant. You can grow the herb in fancy pots and use them as creative centerpieces when having an outdoor party with friends and family.

          With these plants, you can lounge, play, or work outdoors without being constantly bothered or harmed by annoying mosquitoes.

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          Last Updated on September 16, 2019

          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

          You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

          We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

          The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

          Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

          1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

          Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

          For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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          • (1) Research
          • (2) Deciding the topic
          • (3) Creating the outline
          • (4) Drafting the content
          • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
          • (6) Revision
          • (7) etc.

          Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

          2. Change Your Environment

          Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

          One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

          3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

          Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

          Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

          My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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          Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

          4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

          If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

          Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

          I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

          5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

          I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

          Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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          As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

          6. Get a Buddy

          Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

          I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

          7. Tell Others About Your Goals

          This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

          For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

          8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

          What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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          9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

          If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

          Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

          10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

          Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

          Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

          11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

          At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

          Reality check:

          I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

          More About Procrastination

          Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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