The Dalai Lama once famously remarked that if you think you’re too small to make a difference, then you should try sleeping with a mosquito in the room.
Anyone who has ever tried to get any measure of sleep whilst there’s a mosquito flying around knows it’s next to impossible. Why is it that they always come out when you’re just drifting off? Follow these top tips to ensure you have a peaceful mosquito-free night’s rest.
Remove water sources from around the house. Mosquitoes breed in water, laying up to 250 eggs at a time every 1-2 weeks. Having water features like ponds and bird baths tend to encourage them to go wild. It’s not like they need a large source, either – a bucket of water or a dish will do.
Invest in a pet drinking bottle for smaller animals, and empty outdoor drinking bowls at night. Remember to fill the bowls up again in the morning so that your pet can quench its thirst at will!
Plant lemongrass or citronella in your yard. These are natural mosquito repellents as the scent drives them away.
Install window screens. No matter what you do externally, there will always be mosquitoes in the area. Prevent them from accessing your home by installing flyscreens on every window that opens.
Use natural insect repellent. Essential oils good to try include lavender, citronella and lemon eucalyptus. You can make a spray with water, or you can mix into a carrier oil like jojoba to form a blend. Make sure you have no skin sensitivity to these oils before you try this approach.
Stay cool. Not only to mosquitoes breed in hot climates, but you also sweat more, which attracts mosquitoes. Ever notice how on a hot night, the mosquito always finds you? Warm, sweaty skin is like a beacon to a mosquito.
Dress properly. Mosquitoes can bite people through tight-fitting clothing, but loose-fitting clothes is more of a challenge to them. Make sure you wear long pants and a long-sleeved top in a light colour so you’re all covered but still cool.
Take Vitamin B1 supplements, or eat foods high in Vitamin B1. It’s not scientifically proven yet, but many people swear by it and say that this vitamin makes you taste unpleasant to the mosquito. It is, however, a long-term approach. You’ll need to take the vitamin daily for four to six weeks before you see any effects.
Take garlic tablets. Again, this is an unscientific approach, but lots of people report that mozzies avoid them after they take garlic tablets or eat lots of garlic (we bet the mozzies aren’t the only things avoiding them!)
Avoid excessively sugary foods and drinks that lift your blood sugar. This includes alcohol and bananas.
Avoid perfume. Some perfumes and scented deodorants attract mosquitoes because they love the smell. Stick with the natural insect repellents using lemon eucalyptus and you’ll smell lovely whilst warding off the little beasts.
Kate Lee is a freelance writer and contributor to many pest control websites. She also writes for www.affordablepest.com