It’s officially summertime here in the northern hemisphere, and for many neighborhoods and towns this means a crazy influx of flying, nipping, and nibbling insects. For some of us, the closest bottle of DEET-based insect repellant is a first response, but perhaps you would be interested in some more natural mosquito control methods? Did you know you can even make your own natural, homemade insect repellants . I’ve got mine ready to go, it stays in my backpack all the time – a few drops of citrus and eucalyptus oil in water, vinegar, and isopropyl alochol in a small spritzer bottle does the trick.
Even with spray-on protection, you might be in need of something more. If you’ve got flies and mosquitoes buzzing all about your yard and home, you may want a big trap to prevent those pesky critters from inviting themselves inside for a cool drink of your family’s blood. And if you’ve got a worm bin , it might be hatching soldier flies, fruit flies, or fungus gnats and other icky flying things you don’t want. Here are some interesting ideas to get your creativity buzzing.
Grow Your Own Defensive Plants
Lantana camara is an oily-smelling ornamental plant that has been shown to repel mosquitoes. The living plant itself is effective in shooing away mosquitoes. Other plants are also great for repelling mosquitoes, but they need to be broken and crushed in order to release their repellant smells. These include rose-scented monarda, lime basil, catnip, sacred basil and thyme, as recommended by Mother Earth News .
Sticky Paper Traps
Find something to use as your paper backing. You can consider using paper bags, plastic bags, or cardboard. Make a paste of sugar and water. Heat the mixture until it thickens, and when the mixture cools, spread the paste on the paper bags or cardboard and place them strategically around the house. They are best if hung up rather than laid down. The insects will be attracted to the sweet smell, but will get stuck in it as soon as they land on the bag or cardboard.
You will need:
2-liter soda bottle
1 cup sugar
3 cups water
packet of yeast
piece of black paper
Heat 1 cup of water until steaming hot (almost boiling). If using a microwave, heat on high for 2 minutes.
Add 1 cup of sugar to the water and stir until it is dissolved. Continue heating the water and sugar mix. If you are using a microwave, heat on high for 60 seconds.
Add another 2 cups of water and stir to make a light syrup.
Take your 2-liter soda bottle and measure 6 inches down from the top. Draw a line around the bottle and cut the bottle apart.
Pour the syrup into the bottom half of the drink bottle. Check that the temperature of the syrup is between 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit. If it isn’t, wait until it cools before moving to the next step.
Open the packet of yeast and sprinkle it across the top of the syrup. Stir the yeast into the syrup.
Flip the top part of the bottle upside down, and put it into the bottom half of the bottle. It will fit snugly into the bottle. Duct tape the sides, so it doesn’t come apart.
Put a piece of black paper around the bottle, and tape it in place.
Your bottle is ready! Place it in an area where you want to get rid of mosquitos. Mosquitos will be drawn into the bottle, but they can’t get out. You should change the liquid in the bottle about once a month to ensure it stays fresh.