Mosquitoes are not only unpleasant and irritating, but they can also transmit diseases. To avoid their bites, there are many chemical repellents on the market. However, these products can be harmful to health and the environment. Fortunately, there are environmentally friendly and safe alternatives to repel these unwanted insects. In this article, we will introduce you three natural repellents to prepare yourselfbased on plants with insect repellent properties such as lemon verbena, basil and thyme.
Lemon verbena: a powerful natural repellent
Lemon verbena (Aloysia citrodora), also known as lemon verbena or lemongrass, is a plant native to South America, particularly appreciated for its fresh, lemony scent. Its leaves contain essential oils with repellent properties against mosquitoes and other biting insects.
Lemon verbena repellent spray
To make a repellent spray based on verbena-lemongrass, you will need:
- 100ml water
- 50ml white vinegar
- 10 drops lemon verbena essential oil
Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake it well before each use. Spray on your clothes, your skin (avoiding the face) and areas where you want to keep mosquitoes away.
Basil: a repellent and aromatic plant
Basil (Ocimum basilicum), this aromatic herb popular in the kitchen, also has insect repellent properties. Indeed, its characteristic scent is little appreciated by mosquitoes and other flying insects. It is therefore enough to cultivate a few basil plants near windows or on the edge of a terrace to take advantage of their repellent action.
A basil-based lotion
To prepare a basil-based repellent lotion:
- Infuse 30 g of fresh basil leaves in 200 ml of boiling water for 30 minutes
- Filter the infusion and let it cool
- Add 50 ml of white vinegar and 5 drops of lavender essential oil
Pour the preparation into a spray bottle and apply it directly to your skin. You can also spray this lotion around your outdoor space to keep mosquitoes away.
Thyme: a natural repellent with multiple virtues
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), another aromatic herb commonly used in cooking, is also an excellent natural mosquito repellent. This Mediterranean plant contains thymol, an active component that acts as an insect repellent and can be extracted as an essential oil.
Thyme repellent candle
To make a thyme repellent candle:
- Melt 200 g of soy or beeswax in a bain-marie
- Add 20 drops of thyme essential oil and mix well
- Pour the preparation into a pot or mold, then insert a cotton wick
- Allow to cool and harden before use
Light the candle when you are outdoors or in a room where mosquitoes are present. The fumes given off by the combustion will effectively repel these pests.
Advice and precautions for use
The natural repellents shown here are generally safe for most people. However, it is recommended to do a patch test before applying these preparations directly to the skin. Additionally, pregnant women and children under 3 should avoid using certain essential oils. If in doubt, consult a healthcare professional.
Finally, remember that natural repellents are not as effective as commercial chemical products. They can nevertheless constitute an interesting alternative to reduce the use of harmful substances and participate in the preservation of our environment.