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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 January 21, 2020

          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

          Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

          your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

            Why You Need a Vision

            Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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            How to Create Your Life Vision

            Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

            What Do You Want?

            The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

            It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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            Some tips to guide you:

            • Remember to ask why you want certain things
            • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
            • Give yourself permission to dream.
            • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
            • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

            Some questions to start your exploration:

            • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
            • What would you like to have more of in your life?
            • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
            • What are your secret passions and dreams?
            • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
            • What do you want your relationships to be like?
            • What qualities would you like to develop?
            • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
            • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
            • What would you most like to accomplish?
            • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

            It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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            What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

            Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

            A few prompts to get you started:

            • What will you have accomplished already?
            • How will you feel about yourself?
            • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
            • What does your ideal day look like?
            • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
            • What would you be doing?
            • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
            • How are you dressed?
            • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
            • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
            • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

            It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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            Plan Backwards

            It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

            • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
            • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
            • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
            • What important actions would you have had to take?
            • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
            • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
            • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
            • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
            • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

            Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

            It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

            Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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