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Buzz off Mozzies: 13 ways to keep mosquitoes at bay

Thirteen ways to deter those bloodsuckers

By Stuart Lancaster, Mariko Kato and Kimberly Ng

With spring being in full bloom, the weather being warmer and life feeling just that little bit better, you and the family might be cruising into the summer months but watch out: the mozzies are back.

These ruffians want you and your children’s blood and must be kept at bay. If you’d rather skip the desperate 2am swatting sessions or watching your child futilely try to scratch away that itch, read on for some of the best ways to put a stop to these pests.

For those with newborns: with all creams and sprays, always check with your doctor first on the safe brands to use.

For your home

Burn citronella oil or candles

Burn citronella oil or candles

Citronella is a natural substance made from lemongrass extract and acts as a great mosquito deterrent on patios or balconies. Be careful, however, as candles and toddlers aren’t a great combination, safety-wise. So make sure to put it somewhere beyond their reach! 

Purchase a pack of 30 mini citronella tea candles for about 26RMB on JD.com. Click here to purchase.

Herb plants

Herb plants

Spruce up your home while keeping mosquitoes away with lavender, mint, basil or lemongrass plants. Mosquitoes hate strong, herbal scents, so investing in these will not only help to brighten up your home for the summer but will also help to keep your space pest-free. 

Coffee grounds

Coffee grounds

Photo: Devin Avery/Unsplash.com


For all you morning coffee drinkers out there, get your caffeine fix and keep the mosquitoes away with your used coffee grounds. Place them in stagnant water or areas where water collects easily, like the bottom of your flower pot, to prevent adult mosquitoes from laying their eggs there.

Garlic

Garlic

Photo: team voyas/Unsplash.com


If you don’t mind the smell, you can crush a few cloves of garlic, boil them and spray the solution around your home to keep the pests away. But if you ask us, we would stick to keeping the garlic in the kitchen and using essential oils around the house instead.

Mosquito coils

Mosquito coils

Photo: trini/Wikimedia Commons


A common sight in many Asian households, mosquito coils are pretty much the go-to when it comes to repelling the tiny pests. Usually made from a paste of dried pyrethrum powder, the spiral-shaped incense is lit and placed outside the home to keep the area mosquito-free. They can be purchased on JD.com for about 13RMB for a box of 40. Click here to purchase.

Ultrasonic mosquito repellents

Ultrasonic mosquito repellents

An electronic alternative to the other repellents on the list, this option is safe even for households with babies and pets. Plug this palm-sized device into a power socket and it will emit an ultrasonic sound that can’t be heard by humans but will repel mosquitoes and other small pests. Available on JD.com for 28RMB each. Purchase here.

Mosquito net for cot

Mosquito net for cot

Your baby getting bitten in the night? Give them a good night's sleep and cover their cot with a mosquito net. Click here for some options on JD.com. You getting bitten as well? Get giant ones here then.

For your body

Slather on the coconut oil

Slather on the coconut oil

For a natural alternative to products that use DEET, use coconut oil instead. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), compounds derived from coconut oil are better than DEET at repelling blood-sucking insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies and bed bugs. Slather it on after your shower to protect yourself from the bugs and smell great at the same time.


Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Photo: Tiara Leitzman/Unsplash.com 
Essential oils, whether used in a diffuser or as a spray, not only repel mosquitoes effectively but also smell amazing. Scents like clary sage, catnip, peppermint and geranium are great for keeping pesky mosquitoes away, while tea tree oil is great for relieving the itch from mosquito bites. 


If you're purchasing oils online be careful of low-quality options. Essential oils company dōTERRA is also selling alternatives such as arborvitae, lemongrass, or cedarwood essential oils. Contact their Beijing representative (WeChat: mandykv72) for more information with the message 'essential oils'.

To make a homemade bug spray, mix a few drops of your preferred essential oil with about 60ml water and 30ml witch hazel in a spray bottle. Alternatively, mix a few drops of essential oil with equal parts of a carrier oil like aloe vera or coconut oil and beeswax for an all-natural repellent that’s safe to use on skin. 

Want to use essential oils but not interested in sprays? Try out the Buzz Off Bean products, which uses soy wax and essential oils such as peppermint, clove and lemongrass, that come in candles, wardrobe fresheners and hand and body balms. The candles cost 250RMB, the wardrobe freshener is 80RMB while the hand balm is 70RMB. Contact Beanmade Candles (WeChat: sallyvbee) for more information. 

For outdoors

Mosquito spray

Mosquito spray

Fend off the mozzies by making your own natural mosquito repellant using essential oils as we mentioned earlier or with a cute spray that's safe for little ones. Click here for some options on JD.com. 

Mosquito net for pram

Mosquito net for pram

Keep your little one protected on the go with this handy net for prams. See your options on JD.com here.

Mosquito repellant patch and bracelet

Mosquito repellant patch and bracelet

These patches can be stuck on clothes, furniture or prams, to repel mozzies with the power of citronella oil. If you prefer to have something more close to your child's skin you could try the bracelet, which protects them for up to 72 hours. 

If you're desperate

Get a pet bat

Get a pet bat

Bats apparently eat an average of 1,000 mosquitoes a day so why not head down to the pet shop and acquire your own in-house mosquito killer? Completely not creepy and totally natural.

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