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How to Repel Mosquitoes Without Using Chemicals

Shauna believes that we can all take steps to bring ourselves and the environment back to good health using items you have in your pantry.

Bat House on Oak Tree in My Backyard

Bat House on Oak Tree in My Backyard

Pesky Introduction

Today’s topic really gets under my skin… mosquitoes! Did you know Florida is number two in all of the US of A to boast the highest percentage of retirees per capita? If you’re a full time resident, that comes as no surprise, I’m sure. And I would venture to say all who live here full time would agree we’re number one for the highest percentage of mosquitoes per capita, huh? OK, enough banter, I’m itching to get on with

Green Tip #12 - Battling Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are nasty little creatures, thriving on stagnant water – and blood! One way you can deter them from breeding in your yard is to make sure all unused open containers, such at pots and garbage cans are covered or turned upside down so water doesn’t collect. Keeping your yard free of leaves, especially those that collect around the perimeter of your house, collecting rainwater is another deterrent.

A very green and effective way of keeping the mosquito population down is to install bat houses on your property. Yes, I actually recommend encouraging bats to share your space. As you know, bats are nocturnal; coming to life under the cover of darkness to feed on night flying insects. A single little brown bat consumes hundreds of mosquito sized insects an hour. Contrary to popular belief, bats are very clean animals and do not attack humans or animals. They live on bugs, which is why many farmers install bat houses on their barns and throughout their crop producing fields. Unfortunately, people’s misconception about bats has led to their decline. Installing bat houses will give them a home, encourage growth in population, and cut down on your yard pests.

Bat houses should be installed at least 15’ above ground (the higher the better), facing south to southeast to take advantage of the morning sun. An ideal placement is on poles, although bat houses can also be installed on sides of buildings and tall trees, without obstruction. I’ve attached a picture of my bat house, installed on a huge oak tree in my back yard.

How to Choose a Bat House

Other Ways to Repel Mosquitoes

While installing bat houses will reduce the mosquito population, it won’t eliminate them, so I will share some tips to keep the uninvited guests from spoiling your evening soirees.

  • A few tips back, I warned against using fabric softener sheets in your dryer. Don’t throw them away! Take a dryer sheet and hang it through your belt loop. Mosquitoes do not like the smell and will leave you alone. Or loop one through each arm of an outdoor chair.
  • If you have camphor trees in your yard, take a leaf and break it open. Rub the leaf on your skin. Camphor trees are natural mosquito repellents.
  • Rub Avon’s Skin So Soft on your exposed body parts. Skin So Soft contains picaridin, a safer alternative to DEET.
  • Fill a spray bottle with antiseptic mouthwash and spray the lawn and deck area or whatever area in which people congregate outdoors. I didn’t believe it myself until I tried it. It works!


Alas, these pesky, annoying creatures will still find a way to bite. When you do get bitten, take you fingernail and press a deep cross into the welt. It instantly relieves the itch. My mother taught me this trick when I was a little girl and it works! If you have access to it, you can also swath the bite with rubbing alcohol to relieve the itch.

Well, that’s about it for this week. You’ll have to excuse me while I go spread some cow manure!

See you next time!

Shauna L Bowling

Scratch my itch

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Shauna L Bowling

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Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on May 21, 2013:

Kas, the dryer sheets really works. Just don't use them in your dryer because they clog up the vents. They really work for repelling mosquitoes. Rub them on your exposed body parts before looping them in your belt loops. You'll be amazed! This works really well with small children. It avoids using poisons.

The mosquitoes in Florida are rampant and as big as roaches sometimes. Dryer sheets really work, I swear!

Kas from Bartlett, Tennessee on May 21, 2013:

Loved loved loved this hub! Satan's leeches is usually what I term these things! I loved the dryer sheet thing on my belt loops, I'm going to have to try that. I remember how bad the mosquito population got in Argentina and we were attacked pretty much nonstop at night. I had a mosquito net thank God, but it was horrible. Voting this up and sharing....I'm also saving it for my bookmarks. I need this hub!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on April 20, 2013:

Good for you, onegreenparachute! I won't use DEET either. We have bats in our neighborhood, too. I was trying to get a colony of them to live in my back yard because the mosquitoes in Florida will eat you alive. They love me!

Carol from Greenwood, B.C., Canada on April 20, 2013:

When I was in college I wrote a paper on DEET. Scared the dickens outta me. No way I'm using that stuff. I'm all for bats but we don't need to install bat houses as there are already many bats in our area. They're interesting and they are hungry. Love 'em!

Voted up and shared.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on April 20, 2013:

You're welcome, Shiela. I need to buy a new one. Some of my son's friends shot my full of bee bee's. I could just wring their necks!

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on April 19, 2013:

I hate mosquitoes, those pesky little buggers love me! I have always been told I have very healthy blood, maybe it is tasty too! Hey, I can do bat houses! We actually like to watch them as they fly around when we are fishing at our pond. Plus, I have the perfect place for a bat house! We have a yard light on a tall pole between the pond and the house. I bet they could find plenty to eat there. I will be buying a bat house this week-end! Thanks for the information, voting this up, useful and sharing! :)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 30, 2012:

My pleasure, Connie! I hope to learn so much from you!

Connie Smith from Southern Tier New York State on December 30, 2012:

bravewarrior, I totally agree about chemicals polluting our entire environment. It's so great you are sharing all this good info so that more people will start 'going green'. I look forward to reading lots more green tips! Thank you as well for following me!


Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 30, 2012:

Thank you grandmapearl. I'm tickled you were able to save the little guy! I'm trying to rid my house of chemicals. The runoff is going into our aquifer and killing natural vegetation and life in the rivers and oceans. Not to mention the damage chemicals do to our beloved pets. Thank you for stopping by and thanx loads for the follow!

Connie Smith from Southern Tier New York State on December 29, 2012:

Super ideas, and I love that you are going green and skipping the DEET and toxic chemical pesticides! I actually rescued a little brown bat 2 days ago. It had somehow ended up on the ground in the snow (6" recently). Luckily we have an enclosed woodshed where it found a dark corner and settled in comfortably for the winter.

I heartily applaud your green tips! Voted Up, Useful, Awesome and Interesting. Also Shared.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on April 15, 2012:

Awesome, Deborah! I'm tickled you're finding use in my blathering! :-)

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on April 15, 2012:

Another great hub, bravewarrior. We have a bat that sleeps on the front porch every summer. It used to freak me out, but I realize he's keeping the mosquitoes away. Many of these tips are new to me. I will try some of them this summer.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on April 15, 2012:

You're right. They are good small space air fresheners, too. You can also rub them on mirrors to deter fogging, especially in the bathroom!

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on April 14, 2012:

I had stopped using them, too, for the same reason, but I stick them in suitcases and other closed places to try to freshen things, so I still have them around. Now I know what else I can use them for!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on April 14, 2012:

So glad you found this informative, Marcy. I don't use dryer sheets in the dryer, as it "gums" up the vent. However, they work wonderfully to keep mosquitoes and gnats away! I guess everything has it's purpose, huh?

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on April 14, 2012:

I've heard if the Skin-so-Soft tip, but not the fabric softener sheets or the mouthwash! I will remember these ideas. I keep fogettung how miserable mosquitoes can be - when I lived in Ohio, we had black swarms of them. I can attest to the effectiveness of bats - I live in Austin (we are famous for our beloved bats), and you literally almost forget there's such a thing as mosquitoes. We see them so rarely here!

Outstanding information! Voted up, useful and interesting!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on January 17, 2012:

You may want to try at least one bat house and see how it works for you. Thanx for the comment, phdast7!

Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on January 16, 2012:

Good Hub with some great suggestions for battling mosquitoes. I have used Avon's Skin So Soft for years and it is very effective and easy on the skin. I am allergic to products with DEET in them. I really hate mosquitoes, but I am not sure I want to install Bat houses. Thanks for all the great suggestions.

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