Mosquitoes are much more than pests on a farm. These insects can carry diseases that threaten your animals, your family and your very livelihood. Unfortunately, farms are natural breeding grounds for mosquitoes that have constant sources of water.
Pestered livestock do not properly feed. The truth is that agricultural operation is dependent on healthy livestock to provide delicious and nutritious food.
When controlling the mosquito population on the farm, I take care not to spray any chemicals and use only natural methods to banish pests from our plants. Adding harsh chemicals into the mix doesn’t make sense, as it’s only lowering safety standards. There are many natural methods to rid the farm of mosquitoes that are just as effective as commercial chemical sprays, plus they’re much safer.
The best natural methods to keep mosquitoes off your body on the hottest of days is by using essential oils. These oils are extracted directly from the plants in their most potent form. Here are a few of my favorite mosquito repellent oils:
Catnip has proven to be one of the most effective essential oils against mosquitoes. Historically, many tribal communities would rub its leaves on the skin before hunting.
Basil is often planted around the home to deter both mosquitoes and ants from entering the house, but its essential oil is also used in ointments and sprays.
Lavender essential oil is taken from the sweet blossoms and provides instant relief from bites with spot treatment. However, it’s also notably powerful as a repellent. Lavender essential oil is popular for its diluted topical treatment to soothe bug bites on children’s skin, and its sweet smell is pleasant for their sensitive little noses.
Never use essential oils directly on your skin. Because of their potency, these oils must be diluted. There are many sprays, candles and ointment recipes to consider and customize. Make your own bug spray with a little water, glycerin, witch hazel and a few drops of essential oil.
Keep mosquitoes away from your home and other areas of your land by planting plants that repel pests, which include primarily herbs from the mint family. Mosquitoes, ants and other insects avoid these plants:
Lavender repels moths, flies, fleas and mosquitoes. Its sweet smell is pleasant to humans but not to insects. Tied bouquets of lavender inside of your home keep the flies outside. Plant lavender by entryways or in rows to create a barrier to shoo those pests away.
Rosemary repels mosquitoes and insects that are harmful to vegetable plants. This plant is hardy and loves full sunlight. Plant it in containers or create an ornamental shrubbery from it. Its cuttings may also be hung to repel pests. The bonus is that you also can make a delicious rosemary chicken from herbs right from your garden!
Basil is delicious in pasta and meat dishes, but it also repels flies and mosquitoes. Plant basil along areas you want to deter these pests.
Bay leaves are tasty in soup, but they also repel flies.
Dill repels squash bugs, spider mites, tomato hornworms, cabbage loopers and aphids.
To effectively repel unwanted insects, plant these herbs strategically in borders along entryways, in window boxes and areas that you and your animals relax within. Though many of these herbs are safe for consumption, certain ones may adversely affect animals. Always do research and consult a veterinarian.
To deter mosquitoes in larger areas, I prefer to use a mosquito trap. This product has worked in the long term for me, and science backs it as a solution.
The trap works by focusing on the biology of mosquitoes and why they bite humans. Propane is converted into carbon dioxide, combined with heat and moisture, to create an attraction trap. The mosquitoes get vacuumed into the trap and die within 24 hours.
The best part of capturing and killing mosquitoes with a trap is that it stops mosquitoes from breeding and coming back in full force every year. Get those mosquitoes off your back and off your land. You don’t need harsh chemicals to get rid of the problem, either. All you need is what Mother Nature provides and a little determination.
James White is green builder and home improvement blogger who focuses on sustainable living via his family blog Homey Improvements. He also enjoys sharing his recent discoveries with DIY projects, home tips and organic gardening. James is "Alaska Grown" but now resides in Pennsylvania. Connect with him on Twitter at @DIYfolks. Read all of James' MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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