Try natural methods to repel pesky mosquitoes

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If you are like me, spring and summer are my favorite times of the year. You can enjoy time outside — cooking out or listening to nature.

Unfortunately, this time of year also comes with those annoying mosquitoes. Almost all of us have at some time or other had the experience of a mosquito bite. And I am sure we would all prefer to avoid the irritation that comes with those bites.

Many people choose to buy the repellents sold in many stores, but the most effective of these contain a pesticide known as DEET, which can be harmful to humans if used a lot. However, there are several natural ways to repel mosquitoes that most anyone can use.

About 30 drops of lavender oil mixed with two ounces of vegetable oil applied to your skin is a very good repellent. And it has the added benefit of moisturizing your skin and leaving it with a great odor.

Mosquitoes do not like the smell of rosemary. To ward off mosquitoes that are bothering you at your next barbeque, simply place some rosemary twigs on the coals to burn. The aroma will drive the mosquitoes away.

Much like warding off vampires, garlic, when consumed in significant quantities, will result in garlic oil being released through the pores in your skin. Mosquitoes do not like garlic either.

Soak ribbons in tea tree oil or lavender oil then hang them around windows or doors to ward off mosquitoes.

Another oil that mosquitoes do not like is baby oil. In the evening, before venturing out, spread some baby oil over all exposed skin. This will make it much more difficult for mosquitoes to land and bite as the oil provides a protective barrier. However, only do this in the evening; doing this during the day could lead to severe sunburn.

Growing pots of lemongrass, rosemary, lavender or basil will also help ward off mosquitoes as they provide an aroma that mosquitoes do not like. Place these pots near where you are sitting or near windows to keep them out of the house.

Lastly, avoid standing water, which limits their breeding areas. And use fans since mosquitoes are very weak fliers and the slightest of drafts can push them away.

Use of these natural methods to repel mosquitoes can not only keep those pesky insects away, but also are much better for both you and the environment. I hope these tips will help keep the mosquitoes away and have a wonderful spring and summer.

Ron Stahl, MD, is the chief medical officer at Wilson Medical Center.