It goes without saying that one of the best control methods around the home is properly installed insect screens and doors. In areas when mosquitoes are in plague proportions it may be wise to sleep under mosquito netting.
Cleaning up breeding areas is also important. Get rid of stagnant water – dog dishes that are topped up instead of emptied, tins and bottles, buckets around the yard, old tires – anything that can hold water. If it is necessary to have containers around the yard, cover them with screen wire or add some vegetable oil to them (this will form a thin layer on top, preventing mosquitoes from breeding) .
For those that do still manage to find their way in they can safely be dispatched with a safe natural, homemade mosquito spray. It is an effective control method and doesn’t smell as strongly as you might expect nor linger when sprayed around the home.
To make your mosquito repellent spray add 100 g of unpeeled garlic cloves and 50 ml of mineral oil (or vegetable oil) to a glass jar. Seal tightly and leave to steep for 24 hours. Strain, dilute 5 to 1 with water and add 5 ml of denatured alcohol to every 500 ml of liquid. Store in a glass bottle with a non metallic lid.
This spray is not poisonous to humans or pets, and will kill mosquitoes and their larvae if sprayed around a room.
You can also help to keep mosquitoes away from your home by planting insect repellent herbs. They will stay clear of plants such as Cedronella – herbaceous bush with ferny lemon-scented leaves and pink to violet flowers – and citronella-scented geraniums (pelargoniums). Plant them throughout the garden, close to doorways and outdoor entertainment areas. They will thrive in large pots and can be placed along veranda or in other strategic spots.
When out-of-doors a personal body repellent will keep mosquitoes at bay. Dissolve 10 drops of lavender oil in 5 ml of vodka and then blend the mixture with 3/4 cup of water. Store in a tightly sealed bottle or one of those handbag-size plastic perfume atomizers. The latter makes it very simple to use – just spray onto exposed skin and rub well in.
If you find that you’re one of those individuals that seem to overly attract these biting insects, you can adjust your repellent by increasing the amount of essential oil – an extra 10 to 15 drops should be sufficient.
To soothe and ease mosquito bite itch apply neat lavender oil to the bite. If you have been bitten over a large area, dilute 10 drops of lavender oil and 5 drops of thyme oil in 250 ml of cider vinegar, and add this mixture to a warm bath. Afterwards, apply neat lavender oil to all the bites.