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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 March 13, 2019

          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

          Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

          You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

          Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

          1. Work on the small tasks.

          When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

          Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

          2. Take a break from your work desk.

          Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

          Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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          3. Upgrade yourself

          Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

          The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

          4. Talk to a friend.

          Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

          Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

          5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

          If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

          Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

          Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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          6. Paint a vision to work towards.

          If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

          Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

          Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

          7. Read a book (or blog).

          The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

          Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

          Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

          8. Have a quick nap.

          If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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          9. Remember why you are doing this.

          Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

          What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

          10. Find some competition.

          Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

          Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

          11. Go exercise.

          Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

          Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

          As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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          Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

          12. Take a good break.

          Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

          Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

          Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

          Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

          More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

          Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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