Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide - something we all emit. Some people however emit more than others and are simply easier to find. Natural mosquito repellents work by masking your odour and making it hard for a mosquito to find you. Making a natural mosquito repellent is as simple as either dabbing an essential oil like lavender on your ankles or wrists or mixing an essential oil with a carrier oil or alcohol and rubbing on your exposed skin. (You will need to dissolve the essential oil in alcohol or a carrier oil as it won't dissolve in water.)
Simply add a few drops of each of the essential oils you choose to the carrier oil and mix it well. Depending on the essential oil you choose, around 10 drops : 2 tablespoons of carrier oil is about the right balance.
The carrier oil should be light and have very little smell of its own. Choose oils like olive, sunflower, macadamia or hazelnut - anything you have in your cupboard. The essential oils you choose is really your personal preference, but some people like to mix a few together for a greater chance of success.
The best essential oils are geranium, lavender, rosemary, citronella (lemon balm), thyme, lemongrass or lemon eucalyptus. At Christmas, you can add clove and cinnamon! Watch the balance of oils you use, bearing in mind that some are very strong and may irritate your skin.
This mosquito defence tip is based on how you can mask your own smell, but you might also consider attacking the mosquito.
Dealing with mosquitoes is simple once you understand how they function. Insects do not have lungs. Instead, they breathe through narrow breathing tubes that bring oxygen directly into their tissues. If you clog the tubes, and the insect cannot breathe.
Hence things like sprays, flea powder, or smoke-producing candles contain tiny air-borne particles.
Some commercially available eco-friendly insecticides that you squirt directly onto the insects contain nothing more than vegetable oil that clogs those breathing tubes.
Mosquitoes seem to love dark clothes too, so if you are venturing into mosquito territory, avoid wearing black, blue or red.
Tiger Balm is also an excellent mosquito repellent. For information on how to rid your house of mosquitoes see Keeping Mosquitoes at Bay.