natural mosquito repellents that work - any recipies??

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by sindhooram, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    Hello - I live in South India and I am making a garden here but the best time for us to work is in the evening when we have finished other work and it's cooler. But the downside is that there are so many mosquitoes here and often we are driven in half way as walking around we disturb them and they bite us in huge quantites...

    Locally I can only get chemical repellents and I dont like to use it on a long term basis. I have tried mixing citronella and tulsi oil with some coconut oil and applying it and it kind of works for about half an hour but its not super effective. I've tried neem oil also but they seem completely unbothered by it.

    Just wondering if anyone makes any formula that works well for at least an hour and a half or so while we garden...

    Thank you!!
     
  2. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    There was a woman who told us that clove oil works well. But i doubt she had this number of mosquitos to contend with. I haven't tried it out yet.

    You should wear long sleeved /trousered clothes. Though i wouldn't be surprised it if it was simply too hot and sticky for that.

    It just occurred to me that you could do something with a pyrethrum coil. As you would know, these work well. Maybe you could attack a specially made coil stand to your hat.

    Also are you considering doing anything to reduce the unnecessary watery/boggy patches around your place. This is where they breed as you probably know. When i was in india, mosquitos used to breed and thrive in bathrooms in the government resthouses. Now if only they could have dealt with those toilets infestations... It was usually ok if i could shut the door on them.
     
  3. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    I keep reading about people who live near water fill their gardens with marigolds and scented citrosa geraniums. I have made a tea from the scented geranium leaves and sprayed the water on me. It has some oil to it, so be careful in case your skin is sensitive and with oil on clothing.

    there's also Repel Lemon Eucalyptus - 120 minutes,

    https://www.amazon.com/Repel-HG-406T-Eucalyptus-4-Ounce-Repellent/dp/B001DRJE1K


    Bite Blocker (Geranium, soybean, and coconut oil) - 88 minutes
     
  4. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    thanks for the replies - we dont really have any boggy patches around our house but during the rainy season they hide out in the damp vegetation. They bite through long trouses so that doesnt help - I would have to wear leather pants which are too hot...
    I'm thinking I'll give the clove oil mixed with sesame or something a try - will post if it works well...
    Would have to grow some geranium to make that spray - dont know how well they would survive my hot climate but I'll keep it in mind to try as I love geranium smell!!!
     
  5. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Don't mix the clove oil with sesame. Mix it with something without any fragrance such as plain vegetable oil. I suspect you will get sick of the smell of cloves before long anyway. I hope it works for you.
     
  6. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Somehow the thought of you gardening in leather pants is strangely exciting!;):blush:
     
  7. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    It makes ME feel hot but not in a good way.
     
  8. Batz

    Batz Junior Member

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    We have been using this for many years now and it works really well. Just buy a pump bottle of Sorbonne 'black & gold' 500ml for only a few $$. Then add eucalyptus oil until you can smell it quite strong, I guess around a teaspoon.
    This works really well for mosquito's and sand flys, it smells quite pleasant as well.

    Cheers
    Batz
     
  9. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Given that the OP is in india, he probably wouldn't know what sorbonne is let alone be able to buy it. Is it sorbelene? If it is, then i suggest to the OP to mix the eucalyptus oil (if he can buy it) into some simple unperfumed moisturiser base. Otherwise i am not sure what Sorbonne is myself. Certainly a moisturising cream would be more agreeable than using vegetable oil.
     
  10. Batz

    Batz Junior Member

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    sorbelene that's it
     
  11. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    hello - yes I can get eucalyptus oil here but will have to go to one place a little away from my home to get it along with the clove oil - as soon as I do and try it out I will post how it works....
    I find citronella oil smell a bit overpowering and headache inducing so I hope these will be better....
    I dont know about Sorbelene but it seems like a good idea to use a scent free cream as a base - but the problem is finding any cream without a smell here in India - everything is perfumed with something!!
     
  12. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    try asking at a chemist shop. I think the smell might be a problem with all those oils somehow. They are strong.
     
  13. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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  14. paradisi

    paradisi Junior Member

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    keep some pennyroyal near you bbq or verandah

    crush some leaves and rub it on your bare skin - keeps them away
     
  15. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    Hello - it's curious to hear about the vanilla - coincidentaly I just put some beans in vodka to make an extract so I will test it out when it's ready...i'm a bit dubious if putting it only on the pulse point will work - normally they find the only gap where I havent applied repellent and come and bite...
    We are planting marigolds but the problem is they only grow like bonsais in our normal soil so we have to put a lot of compost first and we are bit low on resources right now with the vegetables we have planted....all little but little...

    does pennyroyal withstand a hot climate if watered enough?
    thank you!!!
     
  16. Dzionik

    Dzionik Junior Member

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    For a couple of years i use this : 1/2 strong alcohol like Votka, 1/2 apple vinegar, and alot of Melissa officinalis - lemon balm squashed in it and let for couple of ours. Put in some spray bottle and be free of that bloodsuckers for one our or more. Smells nice too...
     
  17. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Most Mosquito repellents just disguise your attractive (to female mosquitoes ) smell.
    When camping as a Boy Scout we used burning cow dung.(! plenty in India?). Smoke from herbs has also been used.
    see https://www.sciencedirect.com/scien...68c4cacbfecca4b3e96e17c2c6ce27dd&searchtype=a

    DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) is the commercial repellent used. In Australia you can but industrial strength DEET. Compared to many common agricultural chemicals used against mosquitoes (eg DDT) DEET seems relatively safe.
    Essential oils also work but they do evaporate quickly and so loose their effectiveness, hence the use of an oily base like sorbaline, olive oil, fat etc to hold the smell a little longer.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/scien...710acfe43e28947b7e2f138c6ef9cf0f&searchtype=a
    I have used Lavender EO which seems effective for a couple of hours on most (but not all) people.
    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa011699

    High does of Vitamin B seem also to help. You need to take as much as it takes to make you skin smell like Vegemite® ( An Australian delicacy). Again, the smell confuses the insects.

    You could also look to lures and traps. Most work by using CO2 as an attractant. I have a home made version of one of these somewhere (Will find and post it)
    Here it is:-
    https://forums.permaculture.org.au/archive/index.php/t-1930.html
    and
    https://scienceforums.com/topic/11559-controlling-mosquitoes/
    You might like to look at controlling mosquito populations by:-
    • using Bacillus Isralesnsis (although thungerensis also sp?) sprinkled in any still ponds and pools of water.
    • Here we have 'mosquito fish', you can buy to add to your pond, that eat mosquito larvae. Frogs also eat mosquito larvae.
    • A little oil or kerosene in pond can also smother 'baby' mosquito larvae.
    • If you do your gardening after sunset many mosquitoes would have gone to bed.(?)
     
  18. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    PS sindhooram,
    I am after some seeds of some traditional Indian (Ayurvedic) herbs . In particular I am after seeds of Ponkoranti (Salacia oblonga). Could you please give/tell me the address of any Indian herb-seed mercants who would be happy to post to Australia please? Especially any with an on-line service?
    tar
    m
     
  19. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    Hello - sorry I dont know of any Indian herb seed merchants at all - no doubt you have already Googled it.I've mainly planted things from cuttings or plants bought from an Ayurvedic college.
    I also havent heard of the Ponkoranti tree but will inquire locally about it. What other seeds did you want in case I come across them?
     
  20. lindy

    lindy Junior Member

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    We have hoards of mozzies where we live too in Australia. I wish I could say any of the remedies suggested work for us but we've tried them all and none of them work - not even vegemite! The mozzies take all of the fun out of gardening and in fact we have them constantly all day. Sorbelene, veggie oil and sunscreen work marginally. We are about to trial garlic in oil - as that is the latest remedy I've read of. I'll let you know if it works. Our experience to date

    Garden deterrents -
    *Mozzies home in on heat but they don't like too much heat. They'll avoid red, orange and yellow lights. We've also found they avoid bonfires.
    *Mozzies don't like really strong winds - a large fan going right near where you are working can sometimes help if its viable.
    *Garden in an enclosed mesh area if its viable

    Garden attractants - with regards to trying to interrupt the breeding cycling try ALL of the following in unison.
    *Detergent in trays of water - it upsets the surface tension and a few drown.
    *Upset any water lying around - maybe using wind to move a paddle. Mozzie larvae drown very easily when you burst their air sacs.
    *zambezi fish or goldfish in ornamental ponds - they eat the larvae
    *Mozzie zappers - the more the merrier. They usually have a blue light/UV light/or black light, but if that breaks a white light still works. Mozzie zappers don't work well if you live in a well lit area. Every female you kill is potentially 900 less mozzies that will bite you in the future.
    *Disturb resting places - clad yourself completely - fly net your head and glove your hands as well and then walk around and knock all the foliage in your garden. Do this when it's dark, and hopefully that will draw them towards the mozzie zapper. Do this in the day time - and have someone standing by with the mozzie spray of your choice.
    *Mozzies are attracted to certain things - C02, dark clothes, hot skin, the smell of mushrooms, and the breath of grass eating animals like rabbits or cows. Use these "baits" if feasible near mozzie zappers - to draw them out.
    *I've heard if you sprinkle neem seeds in the water the mozzie larvae eat them and it interrupts their breeding cycle. However I've been unable to get neem seeds to try this.
    *Dragonflies apparently also eat mozzie larvae but again we haven't tested this.

    I sympathize with you when it comes to the mozzies. If I find something that works I'll let you know!
     

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