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How to Keep Mosquitoes Away While Gardening

The joys of gardening are ample in the summer: plump tomatoes ripening in the sun, colorful flowers waving in the breeze, butterflies stopping for a sip of nectar. It’s even more fun when you get your children to join you in tending growing things out in the sunshine and fresh air.

 

One aspect of summer gardening that’s not so fun? Bug bites. They’re not just itchy and irritating — mosquitoes have been making headlines as carriers of serious illnesses like Zika, West Nile and EEE. Knowing that mosquito bites can ruin your good time and cause serious damage, it’s important to protect your family from being bitten. Follow these tips to reduce your bug bites naturally.

 

Why Natural Mosquito Prevention Is Important

 

Whenever possible, it’s best to avoid chemical insect repellents. These often contain substances that can harm humans as well as insects, and young children are particularly at risk. Though effective, popular repellents containing DEET are of particular concern. DEET can be absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin and adversely affect the central nervous system, coordination and memory. For most backyard situations, it’s simply not necessary to use chemicals to avoid mosquitoes.

 

Tips for Avoiding Bug Bites the Natural Way

 

Instead of taking a chance with potentially hazardous chemicals, try these all-natural and environmentally friendly methods of keeping mosquitoes at bay in the garden this summer:

 

  • Avoid Dusk and Dawn: Gardening late in the evening can be tempting on hot days when the temperatures have decreased, but mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn in the summertime. They can also be more bothersome on darker, cloudy days, so avoid hanging out in the garden at these times to reduce your risk for bug bites.
  • Cover Up: Whenever possible, wear long sleeves and pants in the garden to protect most of your skin from insect bites. If you choose lightweight, breathable clothing, this should be easy on all but the hottest, stickiest days.
  • Invest in a Mosquito Trap: Both commercial and homemade mosquito traps work by attracting insects to a central point from which they cannot escape. The lures are often more tempting than your own skin, so having a trap will noticeably cut down on the number of bites you and your children receive.
  • Try Essential Oils: There a number of plants with natural oils that repel mosquitoes and other insects. Some well-known options are lemon eucalyptus, citronella, peppermint and catnip. Though volatile essential oils should never be applied directly to the skin, you can dilute them in a spray bottle of water before applying.
  • Add Repellent Plants to Your Garden Beds: In addition to the plants mentioned above whose essential oils make mosquitoes flee the scene, you can also try planting lavender, thyme or citronella geraniums to release a scent that bugs dislike.

 

With a little trial and error, you should be able to time your gardening tasks to avoid the worst mosquito times while still enjoying the wonders of nature with your family this summer. 

Views: 177

Comment by Shellie A. Gades on July 20, 2016 at 10:38am

Nice! Thank you.

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