Summer is upon us, which means sun, fun and, oh yeah, mosquitoes. Of course, you could always douse yourself in commercial bug spray. But if you’re not a fan of covering your body in chemicals, there are natural alternatives.
One great way to keep the bugs at bay is with herbs. Some of the herbs these pests hate the most include lavender, mint, lemon balm, sage and citronella. How can you use these herbs effectively?
Make Use Of Your Fire Pit
An easy way to use these herbs as mosquito repellent is to toss a few branches into a fire pit when you’re relaxing outdoors at night. Bonus — you’ll get to inhale their pleasant smells. It’s like having a giant scented candle in your backyard.
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DIY Your Own Herb Bundles
Another option is to DIY your own herb bundles. They can be used immediately or hung to dry for later use, which will take about a week. The fresh ones can be added directly to the edge of a fire pit, while the dried ones can be used like fire starters with kindling. If you have a fire-resistant surface on which to place them, you could also let them burn on their own.
To make the bundles, all you need are the herbs, string, scissors and newspaper. You can get the full, step-by-step instructions from HGTV.
Make Your Own Bug Spray
If you’re not in the comfort of your own backyard where a fire is possible, you can make your own bug spray by buying herbal essential oils, or by infusing fresh herbs in a carrier oil, such as olive, grapeseed or coconut oil. You can then mix these essential oils with witch hazel and water to make the spray.
Make Space In Your Garden
You can also plant the herbs. “If you enjoy working in your garden, you may get some relief from mosquitoes by interspersing your repellent plants among your other plants to keep the mosquitoes off you while you garden,” Amy Lawhorne, vice president of the tick and mosquito control company, Mosquito Squad, told Reader’s Digest.
As for why these herbal solutions are effective, while most of these scents smell great — or at least neutral — to us, mosquitoes can’t stand them.
Ready to make the switch?
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for additional stories.