5 cheap tips to keep mosquitoes away
Mosquitoes can be a dangerous and obnoxious pest. But you can bug them as much as they bug you without putting the bite on your budget.
Nothing will ruin your summer fun like mosquitoes. These pesky bugs are not only annoying, they can be dangerous disease-spreaders as well. So it pays to keep them to a minimum.
But that doesn't mean spending a ton of money on things like electronic traps or slathering yourself with unpleasant, expensive and nasty sprays. Put mosquitoes out of your misery with these five simple, inexpensive steps.
First check out the following video news story I shot in my backyard, then meet me on the other side for more.
Now, here's the rest of the story:
Look around your yard and get rid of any standing water -- and yes, that includes your pets' water dish: When they're outside, fill it up; when they're not, empty it. If you have a birdbath or a pond, try surrounding it with plants that mosquitoes aren't fond of: rosemary, marigolds or lavender. If water collects in certain parts of your yard after a rain, see if you can improve your drainage by using a shovel to level the ground or encourage runoff away from your house.
Make sure the lid on your garbage can fits snugly. Remove scented candles or anything else that emits a perfumed smell.
- Citronella oil.
- Eucalyptus oil.
- Cinnamon oil.
- Castor oil.
Note, however, when reviewing the list above, that "natural" doesn't necessarily mean "safe." You could be sensitive to plant oils, especially on your face, and some of the oils above could even be toxic. So while these oils may sound friendlier than deet and other synthetic chemicals, always follow the manufacturer's instructions and use sparingly.
While a fan isn't free, you can get one nearly free at a yard sale.
The idea is simply to mix one of any number of essential oils that mosquitoes hate (see list above) with a carrier fluid, like olive oil, other cooking oil or alcohol -- even vodka would work. You want to mix 5% to 10% essential oil with 90% to 95% carrier oil. Again, be aware that this stuff can be potent, so use it sparingly and don't apply it to sensitive areas.
Bottom line? Repelling mosquitoes doesn't require expensive gadgets or dangerous chemicals. Like many overpriced household products from laundry soap (see "Do-it-yourself laundry detergent") to metal cleaners (see "Household products vinegar can replace"), it's easy to combine simple ingredients with a little common sense and save yourself some serious scratch.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Nearly half of family caregivers spend more than $5,000 a year, plus caregiving affects their jobs and retirement plans.
- America's most counterfeited products
- Driver survey: Men irked by phone talkers, women by lane cutters
- 5 reasons to take the company buyout (and 5 not to)
- Tired of Fed-watching, saver? Check out these banks instead
- New software targets credit card thieves at gas pumps
- Thinking of holiday shopping? Do a reality check first
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'