Mosquito Repellents for the Home

Mosquito Repellents for the Home

Annie Werbler
Sep 1, 2009

New Yorkers have experienced the best weather of the year these past few days. It's been fair and breezy in the low 70s, after a hellish few weeks of heatwaves and violent rain. I've felt inspired to switch off the air conditioning and open all the windows instead for circulation. Only problem is, I'm getting devoured by mosquitoes (Mom says it's cause I'm so sweet).

Like many folks, I don't relish the thought of putting tons of chemicals all over my skin to deter them, so I've collected a bunch of items for the home to keep the little *%#!ers biters away.

If you have any experience with these products, let us know how they work!

  1. Basil, according to some, is a natural mosquito repellent. It may not work unless the mosquitos are close enough to smell the plant's oils, which could be too close for comfort.
  2. In studies, natural catnip has proven to be up to ten times more effective at deterring pests than DEET, the most common synthetic compound used for that purpose.
  3. Pyrethrum is a processed chemical made from the chrysanthemum plant that acts as an insecticide and is applied to fabrics, not skin.
  4. So maybe this is an obvious solution to some of you, but many people aren't aware that adjustable window screens are readily available, and they do an excellent job of filtering what the outdoors brings in.
  5. Mosquito nets and curtains can either hang around a particular object or box out an entire room. The materials used are similar to window screens, but sometimes have chemicals embedded that resist mosquitos in particular.
  6. Citronella candles burn to emit a pleasantly fruity smell that mosquitos hate, but they only work within the short range their odors are carried.
  7. OFF! has created a new repellent product that can either clip onto your person or be left on a flat surface. It builds a constant mist of bug juice in its general area.
  8. There are some sprays made for furniture and fabric surfaces which are never supposed to make direct contact with our skin.
  9. The mosquito coil is like incense. You start the burning at its outer end and it lets a repellent smoke into the air for a period of several hours.
  10. Based on similar technology to an air freshener, electronic vaporizers plug into your walls and scent the air.

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