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Nature’s Repellents Outdoors – Part 3

 night_porchImage Source: http://farm4.staticflickr.com

For many, a serene evening under the stars is obstructed by various visitors of winged and multiple limbs. Indeed, contact with some of these pests poses health risks, as with the connection between mosquito bites and dengue fever. Still, though they are sometimes pesky in the context of our daily lives, these minute creatures do play a intrinsic role in the web of biodiversity.

Thus, it is not always wise to seek out chemical solutions in order to rid of them. Not only do chemical pesticides harm insects, but humans and pets as well. They also leach into the soil and groundwater (and thus, the water supply) when used in excess. Fortunately many safe repellents exist within close reach of your home. They are perhaps even stowed away in your kitchen cupboard as you read this. Even better, there times when a simple switch in your habits is adequate enough to restrict your contact with these pests.

emperor_moth

Image source: www..wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons

Moths

Whether traveling alone or flocking by the dozens to your porch light, moths are far less harmful than other pests, but can nonetheless be invasive of your personal space. Perhaps the most natural form of repellents can come in the form of your own garden. By growing herbs like mint, thyme, and lavender in your garden, the scent, while pleasant to humans, will be potent enough to send moths elsewhere. Herbs can also be grown from potted plants to be arranged throughout your patio and other outdoor seating areas.

These same herbs can be harvested and dried for use inside. Fill sachets with dried mint, cloves, ginger, thyme, ginseng, or lavender. Place the sachets within your home or outside on a dry day. You can also dip cotton balls or cloth in essential oils with the scents of these spices and herbs.

Should moths become more invasive, place sachets in closets and drawers or burn cedar wood incense. You can often find it in cone or stick form. Cedarwood oil can be applied indoors, and should be used to anoint your furniture. This works especially well with trunks. More so if the furniture already happens to be made from cedarwood.

Luna_Moth

Image source: www.images.google.com

But remember, just because a creature is at times an inconvenience does not entitle us to assume the role of vanquishing its existence. Moths are, aside from their obnoxious gravitation to light, rather extraordinary creatures. If you’ll briefly fasten your eyes, the above portrait may be allowed to illustrate this point further.

mosquito

Image source: www.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons

Mosquitoes

Mosquito bites are known instigators for the transmission of HIV and Dengue fever. Beyond that, they can simply be bloody irritating. To lessen their attraction to you, you should generally avoid wearing dark clothing, as mosquitoes harbor preference for dark-shaded articles over lighter shades, like white or yellow. Additionally, one should never cloak themselves in fruity fragrances before heading outside, as mosquitoes find such scents to be particularly alluring.

If you’d like to take it a step further, you could invoke the nepetalactone of catnip by anointing yourself with catnip oil. It drives mosquitoes away much in the same way it does cockroaches. A spray can be made with the catnip oil by mixing it with water in a spray bottle. An ideal ratio for this would be 25 drops of oil for every 1-cup of water.

tick_leaf

Image source: www.images.google.com

Ticks

Often, you may find yourself returning from wooded areas dotted with tiny, blood-sucking acquaintances, who piggy-back on any, if not all, fleshy spaces available to them.

Beyond the use of repellents, it is best to simply diminish the opportunity for ticks to attach themselves to you.  This can be achieved by tactfully placing gravel or wood chips around seating and play areas. In doing so, you limit the migration of ticks to common spaces that receive the most human interaction, which will furthermore prevent the transmission of Lyme disease.

Nature’s Repellents – Part 1
Nature’s Repellents – Part 2

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