Mint: A Natural Insect Repellent
Mint is an economical and effective, nontoxic insect deterrent. Particularly useful in keeping mosquitoes, ants, and flies at bay, mint can be used and prepared in numerous ways to fend off in pests in your home and yard.
Tip: Growing your own mint will save you even more money. However, be aware that mint is an invasive plant and can take over an area very quickly. Plant mint in a large coffee can with the bottom cut out to keep it from taking over your garden.
Begin by placing mint leaves in several sachet bags. Place these around your house, especially in areas where flies are particularly problematic. Break the mint leaves when placing them in the bag to release some of the natural oils and scent that keep bugs away.
Crushed Mint Leaves
In places where ants are a problem, crush some dried mint leaves and sprinkle them around. You can also use mint tea bags if you do not have fresh mint.
Insect Repellant Spray
Create a homemade insect repellant using a ratio of five parts rubbing alcohol to one part peppermint oil. Spray this mixture on your body before going outdoors.
Alternatively, you can cut fresh leaves, peppermint leaves and citrus (orange or lemon) peels to make a deterrent. Place the pieces in a small pan covered with water and bring to a boil. Allow the mixture to sit overnight, and then in the morning, strain the liquid. Mix the mint-scented water with an equal part rubbing alcohol and put in a spray bottle to use as insect repellant.
Plant different varieties of mint in your yard or garden to keep mosquitoes away. Use bubblegum mint, hummingbird mint, and giant hummingbird mint plants in your landscaping as a natural repellant. When enjoying your yard or when mosquito problems are particularly bad, crush a few of the leaves on the plant to release the scent and oils.
Tip: Cut mint to the ground and cover with compost at the end of each growing season.
Protect Your Animals
Use mint on your cats and dogs to keep biting insects off of them. As usual, crush a few mint leaves to release the oils, and then rub the substance on your cat or dog’s fur before they go outside.
Mint is an effective and safe insect repellant. Use these different applications and see how you can keep bugs away without using harsh chemicals. As an added bonus, mint is a very pleasant smell alternative to chemical insect deterrents.