Natural Repellents


Keep pests away without toxic chemicals.

The mosquito war is officially on in Texas and I’m not going down without a fight! I’ve been doing a lot of research on how to keep the pests at bay without using toxic chemicals.

Check out these natural solutions for a bug free summer…

*  Plants – There are a variety of mosquito-repelling plants including: ageratum, citronella, catnip, citrus, eucalyptus, garlic, horsemint, lavender, lemon balm, lemon grass, basil, marigold, mint, peppermint, rosemary, stone root, tea tree, thyme.

I went to my local nursery and picked up some french lavender, citronella geranium, catmint and lemon eucalyptus. They potted it for all under $20.

*  Natural Sprays – There are plenty of essential oil-based sprays that are as effective as those with harsh chemicals. Look for ones with citronella, peppermint, lemongrass, cedar and geranium oils or make your own.

*  Candles – For those backyard shindigs it doesn’t hurt to light a few citronella candles, ready made or DIY. Just make sure the candle has citronella oil instead of artificial fragrance.

*  Clothing Coverage – One of the easiest ways to protect against skeeters is to make sure your body is covered. There is even a BugsAway clothing line.

*  Remove Water – Standing water is often a breeding ground for mosquitoes. If you must have a bird bath or water fountain, add a tablespoon of vinegar so your neighbors won’t hate you.

*  Eat Garlic – I really don’t need another reason to eat garlic, but apparently eating the stuff keeps the bugs (and your boyfriend) away.

*  Coffee Grounds – Sprinkling old coffee grounds or chili powder around your plants helps keep bugs, cats and other plant predators out of your yard.

*  Dryer Sheets – A natural spray + clothing coverage is your best bug-free bet, but for those days when you don’t want to smell like an apothecary, try sticking a scented dryer sheet in your purse/pocket or slap on this don’t bite me patch (pun intended).

*  Shut the Door – There have been a few buggers that weaseled their way into our apartment. One day I woke up with dozens of bites. Be safe not sorry, just shut the bedroom door.

So far the plants and natural sprays seem to be winners. Let me know what works for you, I can use all the help I can get!