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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 May 22, 2019

          10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

          10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

          There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

          One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

          In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

          Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

          1. Cat Camel Stretch

          Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

          Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

          Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

          Here’s a video to guide you through:

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          2. Go for a Walk or a Run

          This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

          Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

          The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

          Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

          Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

          3. Jumping Jacks

          Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

          Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

          4. Abductor Side Lifts

          Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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          Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

          5. Balancing Table Pose

          This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

          Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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            6. Leg Squats

            Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

            Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

            The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

            7. Push Ups

            You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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            An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

            Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

            This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

            8. Bicycle Crunches

            There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

            Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

            9. Lunges

            Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

            Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

            This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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            10. Bicep Curls

            You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

            Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

            Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

            Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

            Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

            These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

            You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

            Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

            More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

            Reference

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