JUN 24 2022
Keeping Mosquitoes at Bay
You’ve created a perfect paradise with your Highwood furniture and accessories. Now you are ready to sit back, close your eyes and enjoy. But wait! Instead, you’re batting at mosquitoes, scratching bites, itching, and ready to go back inside. What can be done?
Quite a bit as it turns out.
Let’s start with a few general precautions. Clean up any standing water in and around your property, including buckets, bird baths, garbage cans, and puddles. Mosquitoes love to breed in standing water.
Next, be aware of what you’re wearing. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark-colored clothing, so opt for lighter colors, and wear clothing that is as loose-fitting as possible. Mosquitoes can bite through tight clothes, especially yoga pants and spandex. It’s also a good idea to avoid scented body products, as mosquitoes are attracted to these as well.
Classic Commerical Repellants
These are your traditional bug sprays, and there are endless choices in the stores. Most come as different sorts of sprays or lotions.
One of the main repellant ingredients is DEET, a chemical that works by preventing the bugs from sensing human scent. Some people have reactions to DEET, though, such as eye irritation or swelling, and DEET should not be used on young children.
Another easily found commercial repellant is a Citronella candle. Made from a mix of herbs, these can provide protection to picnic areas or conversation grouping.
Certain plants, such as marigolds, have a scent that can keep mosquitos and other pests away while attracting useful insects. Others include basil, thyme, lemongrass, mint, peppermint, and petunias. In addition to repelling mosquitoes while they’re growing, some are effective when you rub their leaves on your skin or can be ingredients in do-it-yourself repellants (see below).
Even if you have a limited growing area, you can grow your own repellants in any Highwood Planter and take advantage of patio or sidewalk areas as well as balconies.
Do-it-Yourself Natural Repellants
There are many natural repellants as well. Lemon eucalyptus oil, for example, has been well known since the 1940s and is even approved as an effective ingredient by the CDC. Try combining one part lemon eucalyptus oil to 10 parts sunflower oil or witch hazel. Be aware, however, that some research cautions against using this on children under age 3.
Crushed lavender flowers are another natural repellant, as mosquitoes are repelled by their fragrance and oil. Cinnamon oil is another.
Catnip, when rubbed between your hands, then applied to other areas of your skin, has been shown to be just as effective as DEET. Other natural products include tea tree oil, Greek catmint oil, and thyme oil. Thyme leaves thrown into your campfire may can offer some protection for up to 90 minutes!
The smoke from fire pits or other open flames can keep mosquitoes and other insects away. This method is only effective, obviously, as long as your fire keeps burning.
Treating Your Bites
Sometimes, despite your precautions, bites happen. Try to minimize scratching, as that can lead to open sores and infections. Over-the-counter remedies like Benedryl and Calamine lotion can be effective, as can rubbing apple cider vinegar on the bite. And a slice of raw onion or freshly cut garlic to stop the itching and protect against infections.
Keeping it All Together
Of course, your repellants, candles, zappers and remedies are only helpful if you keep them at the ready. That’s where your furniture—such as the Classic Westport Adirondack Fireside Set—will shine, with comfy chairs and side tables keep your supplies handy. If you’re outside gathered around a dining table, such as our round, square or rectangular tables you may want a citronella candle on the table protecting your guests. Or if you’re sitting and talking to friends, in any of our Adirondack chairs, you’ll want to have one of our many side tables nearby as well.
All in all, in the battle of mosquitoes vs enjoying your outdoor space—you won’t let the mosquitoes come out ahead.
How do you keep the mosquitoes away? We want to hear about it in the comments below!