Everybody loves summer, but not everybody loves the creatures that it brings, specifically the pesky mosquito. There’s nothing more annoying than constantly having to swat away mosquitoes when trying to enjoy the outdoors, and with the recent Zika virus epidemic there is even more reason to ward off these pests.
Although commercial bug sprays may be effective at keeping mosquitoes away from you, most of them contain the chemical DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide). DEET has been shown to cause a variety of health problems, ranging from mild side effects such as skin irritation or allergic reactions, and more serious long-term effects, such as nervous system interference.
Although most commercial bug repellents contain harmful substances, there are many natural foods and compounds that produce scents that can effectively repel insects.
Lemon eucalyptus essential oil, which is extracted from the leaves of the lemon eucalyptus tree has been proven throughout various studies to be effective at repelling mosquitoes.
Citronella essential oil, which is extracted from lemon grass, also has a strong scent that is proven to ward off mosquitoes and other flying insects.
One study also found that substances made from the peel of common citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines and grapefruits were all found to be effective at repelling mosquitoes. This proves that natural, strong smelling plant-based substances and citrus fruits have the ability to repel mosquitoes without causing harmful side effects to the people using them.
An effective, and aesthetically pleasing, method of using essential oils and citrus fruits as mosquito repellent is through the use of mason jars. Here is everything that you’ll need to make your own mason jar bug repellents:
- 2 mason jars
- 10 drops of lemon eucalyptus essential oil
- 10 drops of citronella essential oil
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1 lime, sliced
- 4 sprigs of rosemary (optional)
- Floating disc candles
- Add an even amount of slices of lemon and lime to each jar
- Put 2 sprigs or rosemary into each jar (optional)
- Fill the jar about 3/4 full with water
- Add essential oils, 10 of each type to a specific jar (don’t mix them together)
- Add more water (if necessary) until the jar is almost full
All you have to do to activate these natural mosquito repellents is by lighting a candle. They made great additions to porches, backyards, campfires or any other outdoors place where people (and mosquitoes) like to spend time.
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