SHOP PRODUCTS
Houzz Logo Print
river22_gw

Mosquito Repellant

river22
16 years ago

About 3 wks ago I read an article on using catnip for mosquito repellant. I guess lots of research has been done and it supposed to contain a chemical that repels mosquitos. It had a recipe for vinegar/catnip to spray on and one for oil/catnip to rub on. I thought I'd give it a try. I soaked catnip leaves in a quart jar in vinegar for 2 weeks, shaking it once every morning. Today was trial day. I went out in the garden early this morning and have been out there most of the day and have only been biten a couple of times. So I'm saying it's pretty darn effective! And yes, the mosquitos are thick in my garden! Some people say they don't want to smell like vinegar but I am out there for extended periods of time sweating like a banchee and have to clean up anyway when I come in so it's not a problem with me. For those of you interested here is the link

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/nwgardens/90412_lovejoy10.shtml

Comments (22)

  • hank1949
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    How did you know? I went out this evening before the sun went down and went to one of the community gardens. Aat garden it was OK but I went to visit a friend and we were sitting on the porch. YEOWW! I got so bit I had to go home, scratching all the way. I felt like screaming. Got to bath tub and washed arms and legs with soap and SCRUB BRUSH.

    Boy do I need some atomic skeeter repellant. I don't care what I smell like, I just don't want to get eaten anymore. I haven't seen it this bad since the early 1970's when I lived in Norman and they sprayed the whole city one night.

    I'm still scratching.

  • sheepie58
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks so much will give this a try
    I just step out the door and I have them all over me

    Hank I am like you bring on the scrub brush LOL

  • Related Discussions

    WANTED: Wanted:Mosquito repelling seeds/plants

    Q

    Comments (5)
    You need to look in an ethnic grocery store in the produce department for lemon grass it does not put on seeds but does well in the hot weather. But in your area once you get good clumps come cold weather you need to remove enough stalks to keep thru your winter months. It needs to be trimmed back for storage in your refrigerator until you get warmer weather without frost. It will keep for months in your crisper. Even if it looks rough as long as it still has enough green it should once placed in soil do fine as the weather heats up.
    ...See More

    "mosquito-repelling bracelets"

    Q

    Comments (7)
    PLEASE do some research on the active ingredient in the clip ons, Metofluthrin. Just Google that one word. Though effective as a repellent, it is not without problems. I would probably end up in the hospital after some exposure to this product. I suspect that this product will not remain on the market for a very long time. It's very difficult to quarantee that there will be no short term liver effects or chronic use cancer incidence. My personal issue is that my liver has been permanently damaged by pesticide use (as a horticulturist) and by a long list of medications for cholestrol and diabetes. Those who could be at risk using this product are those taking liver damaging drugs (most of us), the elderly, children, those who's immune system is compromised, and anyone who cannot read the instructions. Sorry to be an alarmist but pyrethroids must be handled with caution. The manufacturers resist warning labels and restricted use, so it's up to us consumers to do our research.
    ...See More

    Citrosa Geranium - Mosquito repellent??? REALLY?

    Q

    Comments (3)
    "Does it work?" - Not really :-) Pelargonium 'citrosum' is marketed as "mosquito plant" or "citrosa geranium" in stores in the United States and Canada, even though research indicates the plant is ineffective against Aedes aegypti mosquitos."Not only was the plant ineffective at protecting humans against Aedes mosquito bites, the mosquitoes were seen landing and resting on the citrosa plant on a regular basis." It is also NOT the source of citronella, which is derived from a type of lemongrass, Cymbopogon spp.
    ...See More

    Wanted: Mosquito repelling plants

    Q

    Comments (3)
    I am looking for the following: Lemon grass, citronella, catnip, rosemary, thyme, geranium, mint and lavender. I will trade. I have lots of different seeds. Please e-mail me at: ahrobdog@tds.net
    ...See More
  • merryheart
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Someone sent me a link for some garlic mosquito spray. It was horribly expensive and I didn't save the link.
    Wonder if you could just rub some garlic on?
    You will smell like a chef in an Italian eatery but it might work...who knows?
    Guess anything is worth a try.
    G.M.

  • katrina1
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Is there a homemade recipe, I can spray on my grass, plants, and shrubs that will kill the mosiquitos as a best option, or at the very least repel them for several days?

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I grow lots of lemon balm, catmint, and catnip in the mixed cottage borders around my veggie garden and they seem to help keep mosquitoes away from the veggie garden somewhat. You can grab a few leaves from any of these plants, crush them between your hands to release the oils, and rub the leaves on your exposed skin. However, if you use the catnip or catmint AND you have cats, be prepared to be followed everywhere by the cats until the catnip or catmint odor fades.

    Y'all know that I am big-time into organic gardening and like to do things as naturally as possible, but I have never found any natural or organic product that repels mosquitoes as well as DEET-based mosquito repellents. Since I don't want to spray the stuff on my skin, I spray it only on my clothing, including my shoes and hat but not directly on my skin. (I am sure that some of it goes through my clothing and onto my skin, though.)

    Lots of people believe Avon Skin-So-Soft products repel mosquitoes too.

    Some people take garlic tablets like Garlique orally every day and believe the garlic repels mosquites, ticks and chiggers. I do not know of any independent scientific research that supports the anecdotal evidence.

    Because I would rather not put up with the misery of mosquito bites, and because mosquitoes carry and can spread diseases, including the West Nile Virus, meningitis and encephalitis, I do all I can to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, including the almost daily use of Deep Woods Off on my clothing.

    I think that having a landscape with diverse wildlife (birds, frogs, toads, bats, dragonflies, etc.) helps keep mosquitoes under control. A friend who lives in Marietta stopped by the other day and we stood outside and visited for a few minutes. He finally asked my why we 'don't have mosquitoes' at our house 'cause he said he was being eaten up by them in town, but not when at our house. I really didn't have an answer (I can assure you we DO have some mosquitoes around our place though) except that perhaps the organic gardening and diverse wildlife help keep the skeeters somewhat under control.

  • hank1949
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    On the news just now they said they would be spraying in Norman for the next seven nights.

    In line with taking garlique I thought maybe drinking vinegar daily might help. Anyone ever hear of that working?

    I have never seen a bat around here in OKC. Is there something I can do to attract some?

    Hank

  • river22
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I don't know how you would attract bats. I would like to get some "hanging" LOL around my garden. As for the catnip and lemon balm, I too have rubbed it on but it didn't seem effective. The mixture of vinegar and catnip leaves will not be as good as DEET, but it is an alternative since DEET is so expensive. I eat lots of garlic too, don't know if that keeps mosquitos away but I'm sure it keeps "other" pests away!!! ROTF!!!!!!!

  • lora68
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wish they would spray Mid-Del area. I would just stay inside for the day. Before I go to bed I search my walls for mosquitoes. Those darn female blood suckers. They think my blood is delicious. Even my friends don't want to stand beside me, I'm like a calling card. This last week I stayed outside for about 2 1/2 hours playing catch up on my gardening and I was using off. Well they still kept attacking me so I would reapply every 20 to 30 minutes. I stayed in bed the entire next day with a headache from my forehead to the back of my neck, nothing I took would make it entirely go away. I was really weak too, like you are when you have the flu. The next time I went out I wore a sweatshirt, sweatpants, long socks, and tennis shoes. The only areas exposed were my face and hands, which I ended up having to put Off on. Boy was I hot, hot. I washed the bug spray off as soon as I got in the door. I have always disliked long sleeves even in the winter, so I guess I need to search some thrift stores because we all know long sleeves are out of season. Yuk! Is it imperative that we have mosquitoes in our ecosystem?

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hank,

    I have never seen any research that supports drinking vinegar daily to repel mosquitoes, but I guess you could try it? Since mosquitoes are attracting to the carbon dioxide we exhale, I don't know if the vinegar taken internally would have any effect?

    To attract bats, you could try hanging a bat house. We leave tall, dead trees with hollow cavities standing in our wooded acreage and the bats may or may not use them. I think the best way to attract bats is to garden organically and have a nice mix of insects to attract them. We have bats in the air around our home every night.

    Lora,

    As a mostly-organic gardener, I am really opposed to the widespread spraying for mosquitoes, and I will give you several reasons why.

    First of all, many of the sprays they use can be extremely toxic to mammals--including pets like dogs and cats, to fish (like the koi and goldfish kept in decorative water garden/lily pond type settings), and to all the beneficial insects. Even some of the so-called organic pesticides contain pyrethroids/pyrethrums that are highly toxic to felines. I have friends in the Dallas area who have repeatedly lost expensive koi in their water garden ponds following the city's spraying for mosquitoes.

    When ANY broad-spectrum pesticide is used, it kills all kinds of insects, including the beneficial insects that help keep the pest insects under control. The pest insects rebound faster and it takes the beneficials longer to rebound. By the time you have a good population of beneficials again, the pest insect population is huge and it takes a long time for the beneficials to get the populations back in balance.

    Many birds die when they ingest insects that have been sprayed with pesticides.

    Secondly, the sprays only kill the mosquitoes with which they make direct contact. So, many mosquitoes 'hide' in heavy foliage escaping direct contact with the pesticides and surviving.

    Third, the repeated spraying of any pesticide tends to lead to the development of insects that are resistant to that particular pesticide. That is not a good thing, obviously, as it further diminishes that pesticide's future effectiveness.

    Remember the friend from town who complained that the mosquitoes in Marietta were eating him alive, although he wasn't bothered by any mosquitoes just one day later at our house? The specific location in town where he was being bothered so much by the mosquitoes was at the local little league ballpark. Guess where the city has sprayed repeatedly the last few weeks? Yes, at the little league ballpark. So, obviously whatever the city is spraying is not working.

    I know that spraying of one's own yard seldom works too. Know why? When you spray, you have to make direct contact with the mosquitoes to kill them. Since mosquitoes can travel over one mile to locate victims, new mosquitoes can come in as soon as you have sprayed and killed the existing ones....assuming the existing ones were killed to begin with.

    Many cities spray merely as a political thing. They spray because the citizens expect them to. I lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for 39 years before moving to Oklahoma. Dallas and many of its suburbs spray. Fort Worth and many of its suburbs decided years and years ago that they would not spray and expose their citizens and their ecosystem to the pesticides. Who is more successful? I don't know. But I will tell you that neither side of the metroplex has more of a West Nile Virus problem than the other, and that leads me to believe that Dallas' spray program doesn't appear to help.

    I know that each and every one of us has to decide for ourselves just how we handle the mosquito infestation we face. I don't quarrel with anyone's right to choose to use chemical pesticides of repellents, or--for that matter--to choose not to use them. For me, what works is to maintain a healthy balance of beneficial insects, birds, frogs, toads, etc. so they can keep the pests like mosquitoes under control. Yet (and to strictly organic folks this would be considered oh-so-wrong), I use DEET products to repel mosquitoes from my body outside. Why? Because it works, so it is worth the health risk.

    Now, for those of you who need a good natural insect repellent, here is one that lots of organic folks use. The orange oil may be hard to find. It is readily found in nurseries or feed stores that carry a good supply of organic products.

    VANILLA MOSQUITO REPELLENT:

    8 oz. water
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon orange oil

    Combine the three ingredients and mix well. Pour into a spray bottle. Apply liberally to skin.

    Lots of people say this spray works for them. It works for me in times of moderate to mild mosquito activity. In times of severe mosquito infestation, though, DEET products are much more effective for me.

    I read a research study recently that was conducted in Canada, testing the effectiveness of several mosquito repellents. The ones tested were: a placebo as a control, a special mixture of materials believed to repel mosquitoes (including white vinegar and eucalyptus oil), Avon's Skin-So-Soft, and a DEET-based repellent. For the purpose of this study, subjects were sprayed and then exposed to mosquitoes.

    The researchers counted 'events' with any landing of the mosquito on the body being counted as an event, whether the mosquito stung the person or not. Events were tallied up as follows: placebo (no active ingredient)--40 events; special mixture--28 events; Skin So Soft--6 events; DEET based repellent--0 events. As you can see, the Skin-So-Soft was almost as effective as the DEET.

    If you want to spray or treat your yard with organic mosquito repellents, there are some available but I don't know how effective they are. They include products by Bioganics, Eco-Exempt, Dr. T's Mosquito Repellent and even plain minced garlic, broadcast at the rate of 2 to 5 pounds of minced garlic per 1000 s.f. of yard.

    An alternative mosquito repellent recomended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, which can be found in some commercial organic mosquito repellents.

    Hope this info is helpful to someone.

    Dawn

  • sagenscotties
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I am of the DEET Religion. And I only use Frontline on my dogs. No amount of catnip-vinegar works on me and I can't imagine who could get their dogs through an Okie summer by using Lavender Oil! I get criticized by "organic" people (and I am an organic gardener BTW!) for using chemicals like that, but I think they should stand in my garden/yard for a straight 10 minutes with only some pennyroyal-lavender concoction on their person. Kudos for trials though...maybe some day a good alternative will arise!

  • ilene_in_neok
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I bought some OFF!Skintastic in a pump spray for my grandkids to take to Boy Scout camp a few years ago. (If you want all the repellants you will ever need, you could probably volunteer to clean camp barracks immediately after the Scouts have gone because normally all these things I buy them -- repellants and swimmer ear drops, etc. -- never come back home) But one bottle did and I dug it out this year. Man, that's GREAT stuff! Smells like Skin So Soft, goes on nice and smooth. I was able even to weed in my strawberry bed that harbors several ant colonies. They swarmed out at me but didn't come aboard, during the whole time I was out there. Didn't get mosquito bit either.

  • hank1949
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Any of you ever try citronella tea? I saw a guy on a list in Cypress say the nearby Seychelles islanders swear by the tea.

    Hank

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hank,

    I have never tried citronella tea and don't know if it would really work. (I am not even sure that citronella candles really repel mosquitoes...they don't seem all that effective to me.)

    I have seen some herbal teas in health food stores that have lemon myrtle as one of the ingredients.....and citronella is one component found in lemon myrtle.

    Dawn

  • rjj1
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I've been using 25% Deep Woods Off this year for the first time because of how bad mosquitoes are this year. I'm basically outdoors all day and usually need to reapply every few hours.

    This is the worst year I can remember. I've never had to apply a repellent during the day before. Usually just morning and evening.

    Bats love the insects attracted to our security light. The light is a directional one, so it's easy to get behind it and watch the action so the light is not in your eyes. I've been known to sit in a lawn chair at night and watch them.

    randy

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Randy,

    I have never before used Deep Woods Off like I've had to use it this year. Hopefully we will not have a mosquito year like this again for a long, long time.

    We sit outside and watch the bats come to the security light in the evening. They also swoop down low over the ponds so I assume they are catching bugs when they do that too.

    The rabbits are so used to us sitting outside in the lawn chairs that they creep up fairly close to us to eat hen scratch I have put out on the edges of the driveway. The dogs are so used to the rabbits that they no longer bother to chase them. Lately a doe is leaving her fawn on the edge of the woods were we can 'watch' it while the doe sneaks over to the garden and eats my plants.

    Watching all of these critters, in spite of the mosquitoes, is more entertaining than sitting inside and watching TV.

    Dawn

  • sagenscotties
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    My husband and I have a house in OKC & one in Norman. The house in the city has horrible...I mean HORRIBLE mosquitos. Not big ones mind you, but tons of them! In Norman, there is a big pond nearby & we usually have mosquitos early in the summer & then they get less and less (its the ticks & such that never let up). I attribute the difference to the fact that in Norman, there is the pond & a lot more wilderness to be had. In other words, there is a natural control. More than anything else in the air around our house in Norman would be the constant zoom-zooming of dragonflies. And last year there were quite honestly CLOUDS of dragonflies. Beautiful creatures...and I think the MAIN REASON mosquitoes aren't that bad at my place. I'm sure there are tons of sites on how to encourage dragonflies to your place. I would suggest doing THAT and using DEET spray on yourself (don't forget the ticks!) until the dragonflies really get going.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I agree with your belief that country residents often get lots of assistance with mosquito control from other wild things. I adore our dragon flies. Until we moved here I had no idea they came in so many sizes and colors.

    Even though our acreage already had ponds, creeks, a swamp and springs, we added 3 more ponds closer to the house and garden to attract more wildlife. These ponds are a real wildlife haven and always have tons of dragonflies around.
    I think they are a major reason we have less mosquito trouble out here in the rural areas whereas the folks in town always have more mosquitoes in spite of spraying programs.

    Dawn

  • rjj1
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    As it's slowly drying out here I think the "mosquito hawks" are catching up and lower the population of mosquitoes. I was mowing yesterday afternoon and didn't need to reapply any Off.

    randy

  • laura_lea60
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hello all,

    Been so busy. Problem is the full time job! No time for personal business. Just a note to say the skeeters are still trying to eat me alive in Jones. Hundreds of dragonflys and still having to spray down. I'm almost anxious for fall.

    Laura

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I haven't had to use Off all week long! We haven't had rain here in a while and it is mostly dry, although we still have a couple of large standing puddles.

    I'm hoping the worst of the mosquito season is behind us.

  • gypsichic
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm with the rest of the you in the DEET camp

    I've tried skin so soft - didn't do squat for me........tried garlic to no avail.......vinegar doesn't work for me either........dunking myself in Off w/15-25% Deet works for a few hours but i still have to reapply

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Gypsichic,

    I'm fairly serious about organic gardening, although not 100% organic, so it always surprises some folks that I use any sort of chemical product. Nothing else works for me like DEET, though, so I use it....and quite happily too!

    A few new mosquitoes have appeared this week but nothing like we were seeing earlier in the summer.

    Dawn

Sponsored
Through The Garden, Inc.
Average rating: 5 out of 5 stars21 Reviews
#1 Landscape Design Build Firm Serving Virginia/Maryland & DC Area