There is a riddle in Nigeria that goes; “I am something. everywhere I go, people clap for me”. This is how infamous and embedded they are in our lives. Since from our forefathers, they are a part of life and our environment and language through stories, riddles, metaphors, idioms etc. The mosquito is often described as stubborn, annoying, dangerous etc.
As for us, we know them for their dreadful, irritating, whiny noises that can drive you up the wall, the itchy bites, not to mention the diseases that some of them carry and spread generously to everyone. They simply refuse to allow us peace in our lives but all hope is not lost. These malarial carrying parasites are not impossible to be dealt with though they can prove to be stubborn which is why you have to out do them with your determination.
Mass produced mosquito repellents are the most commonly available and used means of protection against mosquitos. these are often not the go-to option for many because of their dangers and many of them are not even very effective in killing the mosquitoes. Since sub-Saharan Africa has been the a place where mosquitos flourish, one has to wonder what those in the ancient times did to ward off these awful insects? Surely they didn’t allow them to keep growing and feeding off of them.
You can read on the post I wrote on strategies of getting rid of mosquitoes in your homes here. This is because it is not enough that you just use insect repellents when your home is a breeding ground for them. No matter how many repellents you use, they will not go away completely. So read up on that post then continue to the natural repellents.
Natural mosquito repellents
Most of the traditional knowledge or natural methods of mosquito control have disappeared but research is bringing back some of that knowledge to us. today we will discuss the best natural ways of getting rid of these insects without causing harm to yourself and your family. These options are very safe (and cheap too) so, one does not have to leave the room when they are applied. they include:
Neem is a very popular plant known for its numerous properties which include it being a very effective insect repellent. In this case, it is prevents the mosquito from biting the person’s skin. this is especially useful when in situations where one cannot or does not have mosquito repellents.
How to use: Neem oil should be diluted with olive oil, coconut oil or other carrier oils in the ratio 1:2 respectively. Apply the oil all over the body or in appropriate areas.
Where to get it: It is available in health stores and shops for natural products.
As stated in my previous posts on getting rid of mosquitos you should read it for tips on how to get rid or control the mosquito population in your home. i digress, coming back to my main point, planting specific plants alone will not stop mosquitos from breeding on one’s property or home. There is need to either burn, squeezed or process them before they can become mosquito repellents.
Lemongrass is one of those plants that are hailed for their insecticidal property.
How to use: Using a heated charcoal that has been prepared like you are about to add some perfume material for incense, get a stalk or two of lemongrass and place it on the hot charcoal. it will then start to release its chemicals which act as a mosquito repellent.
Where to get it: Lemongrass is commonly sold by people selling seedlings, in the market where they sell mint and stuff or you might know a neighbor who has it in their backyard and can help you out with some stalks.
If you are going to keep using this method of repelling insects, then it is best and cheaper for you to plant them in your garden or in a spacious potted plant so it is easier on you and your wallet.
Abokin Sauro Herb
This herb has been used for generations and from its name, it means ‘mosquito’s friend’. It is very commonly used in villages and our local societies where they depend on natural methods to repel mosquitoes and insects.
How to use: It is used similarly to the lemon grass incense where charcoal is heated until it is red hot and giving off smoke. place it in the appropriate position then add the herb of Abokin Sauro to the red charcoal and it will start to chase away the mosquitoes in the area. You can do this indoors or outdoors which ever you prefer.
Where to get it: It is available in the local herbal market.
The citrus peel through research has been found to have numerous benefits and they are commonly used for cleaning, beauty, as a freshener, baking etc. Citrus peels include the peel of oranges, lemons, tangerines, limes and grapefruits. when you want to get rid of mosquitoes, they can be very effective and easy to find. In case you are not going to use the fruit immediately, just peel it and keep it in the fridge and it will keep well because leaving it outside will make it it dry up.
How to use: Peel the citrus fruit. heat about 2-3 pcs of medium sized charcoal until they are red in colour (just like you are preparing for a barbecue). Add the peel to the hot coal slowly while monitoring it.
For best results, use the peel of a combination of citruses as mentioned above for a more effective repellent.
The good news about natural repellents is that they are not harmful to our health. If you are unable to get these plants as they are, you can use their oil in a vapouriser or an incense burner to give you similar results. While using these repellents indoors, it is best to close the doors and windows of the area to increase its concentration and make it more effective.
Other plants that can be used according to other soyrces though i have not had personal experience with them include African basil also called efirin in Yoruba and daddoya in Hausa, peppermint, cloves, thyme and eucalyptus leaves. Do try them and let me know if they are as effective as the ones mentioned above. You can also try the oils of these mentioned plants in the same process of the one mentioned in neem oil and let us know of your experience. Do not forget to test for sensitivity when applying a new oil to your skin for the first time.
I hope you got what you came looking for. I am interested to know if these options worked for you. let me know in the comments below whether they did or they didn’t. I hope you had a good time here on the blog.
Until next time, bye!