Preventing Tickborne Disease — Minnesota Dept

Preventing Tickborne Disease

Contents

Got tick or mosquito questions?

Join us in March 2020 for a webinar tailored just for you. Check out our Ticks, Mosquitoes, & Our Health page for registration information.

Preventing exposure to ticks requires diligence.

Be aware of ticks

  • Blacklegged ticks (deer ticks) are found in wooded or brushy areas while American dog ticks (wood ticks) are found in grassy, more open habitat and woods.
    • American dog ticks are found throughout Minnesota while blacklegged ticks have been found throughout most of the wooded parts of the state.
  • You should know whether the areas where you live, work, or play have blacklegged ticks.
    • High Risk Areas for Tickborne Diseases in Minnesota
      A map that shows counties of highest tickborne disease risk in Minnesota.
  • While ticks may be active whenever it is warm outside (i.e., above freezing with little to no snow cover), be aware of when ticks are most active here in Minnesota so you can be extra diligent during these months:
    • Blacklegged tick adults are most active in the spring and fall
    • Blacklegged tick nymphs (immature ticks) are most active from mid-May through mid-July
    • American dog tick adults are most active in the spring and early summer

Use tick repellent

  • Choose an EPA-registered product so you know it is safe and effective against tick bites.
    • EPA: Find the Repellent that is Right for You
      Interactive website with information on how to find an insect repellent that is right for you, United States Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Products containing permethrin, which are used on clothing and gear, are especially recommended for people who spend a lot of time in wooded areas.
    • Do not use permethrin on your skin.
  • Standard DEET-based products are another option.
    • Use a product containing no more than 30 percent DEET for adults.
    • Concentrations up to 30 percent DEET are also safe for children (according to reports from the American Academy of Pediatrics). Do not use DEET for infants under two months of age.
    • Products containing DEET or permethrin will also protect you from mosquito bites and mosquitoborne diseases.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions for all repellent applications.
  • This 2-minute video shows you how to choose and use a safe and effective bug spray that will protect you from ticks and mosquitoes and the diseases they may carry.

Check for ticks

Check frequently for ticks – at least once a day.

  • Ticks must remain attached for one to two days before they can transmit the Lyme disease bacteria.
  • Some research suggests that anaplasmosis may be transmitted more quickly.
  • Bathe or shower after coming indoors to wash off and more easily find ticks that may be crawling on or attached to you.
  • Search your entire body closely, especially hard-to-see areas (e.g. behind knees, groin area, and arm pits).
  • Ticks may look like a speck of dirt or freckle on skin so use a parent or a mirror to help you.

If you find a tick on yourself, remove the tick as soon as possible.

  • Prompt tick removal is important in order to lower your risk of tickborne disease transmission.
  • Use a pair of tweezers or your fingers to grasp the tick by the head, close to the skin.
    • Pull the tick outward slowly, gently, and steadily
    • Clean the area with soap and water.
  • Avoid folk remedies like VaselineВ®, nail polish remover or burning matches — they are not a safe or effective way to remove ticks.

Watch this 1-minute video that shows you how to quickly remove a tick.

Talk to your veterinarian about safe and effective tick repellents for your pet.

  • Several different topical and oral products are available.
  • Carefully read and follow the product label.
  • A Lyme disease vaccine is available for dogs. However, the vaccine will not protect against other tickborne diseases and will not stop your dog from bringing ticks into the home.
  • Check your pets for ticks daily and remove any attached ticks right away.

Don’t forget about ticks that may be on your clothing or gear.

  • Check gear and clothing before bringing indoors.
  • Tumble dry clothing and gear in a dryer on high heat for at least 10 minutes to kill blacklegged ticks.
    • Ticks may survive wash cycles, especially if hot water isn’t used.
    • If the clothes are damp or need to be washed first, additional dryer time may be needed: 90 minutes for low heat or 60 minutes for high heat.

Consider some basic landscaping techniques

If you live near the woods in an area with ticks:

  • Keep your lawn and trails mowed short.
  • Remove leaves and clear the brush around your house and at the edges of the yard.
  • Keep children’s play-sets or swing-sets in a sunny and dry area of the yard.
  • Make a landscape barrier (such as a three-foot wide border of wood chips) between your lawn and the woods.

More Information

  • Ticks
    To better understand how you can best protect yourself from tick bites, learn more about tick identification, life cycle, and habitat.
  • Tickborne Disease Materials
    Downloadable and printable tick ID cards, brochures, and slide show (with all of our main talking points included in the notes section).
  • CDC: Ticks
    Information about ticks and how to avoid ticks on people, on pets, and in the yard, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Ticks and Minnesota’s domestic animals and livestock
    Information from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health about ticks of concern in Minnesota and how to prevent tick bites in animals.

    Spotlight

    Got tick or mosquito questions? Join us in March 2020 for a webinar tailored just for you. Check out our Ticks, Mosquitoes, & Our Health page for registration information.


    Check out our new video series: All About Ticks.

    Tick Monitoring
    Do you have a tick that you want to be identified?

    Contact us:

    If you have questions or comments about this page, use our IDEPC Comment Form or call 651-201-5414 for the MDH Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Division.

    651-201-5000 Phone
    888-345-0823 Toll-free

    Information on this website is available in alternative formats upon request.

    www.health.state.mn.us

    Preventing Tickborne Disease

    Got tick or mosquito questions?

    Join us in March 2020 for a webinar tailored just for you. Check out our Ticks, Mosquitoes, & Our Health page for registration information.

    Preventing exposure to ticks requires diligence.

    Be aware of ticks

    • Blacklegged ticks (deer ticks) are found in wooded or brushy areas while American dog ticks (wood ticks) are found in grassy, more open habitat and woods.
      • American dog ticks are found throughout Minnesota while blacklegged ticks have been found throughout most of the wooded parts of the state.
    • You should know whether the areas where you live, work, or play have blacklegged ticks.
      • High Risk Areas for Tickborne Diseases in Minnesota
        A map that shows counties of highest tickborne disease risk in Minnesota.
    • While ticks may be active whenever it is warm outside (i.e., above freezing with little to no snow cover), be aware of when ticks are most active here in Minnesota so you can be extra diligent during these months:
      • Blacklegged tick adults are most active in the spring and fall
      • Blacklegged tick nymphs (immature ticks) are most active from mid-May through mid-July
      • American dog tick adults are most active in the spring and early summer

    Use tick repellent

    • Choose an EPA-registered product so you know it is safe and effective against tick bites.
      • EPA: Find the Repellent that is Right for You
        Interactive website with information on how to find an insect repellent that is right for you, United States Environmental Protection Agency.
    • Products containing permethrin, which are used on clothing and gear, are especially recommended for people who spend a lot of time in wooded areas.
      • Do not use permethrin on your skin.
    • Standard DEET-based products are another option.
      • Use a product containing no more than 30 percent DEET for adults.
      • Concentrations up to 30 percent DEET are also safe for children (according to reports from the American Academy of Pediatrics). Do not use DEET for infants under two months of age.
      • Products containing DEET or permethrin will also protect you from mosquito bites and mosquitoborne diseases.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s directions for all repellent applications.
    • This 2-minute video shows you how to choose and use a safe and effective bug spray that will protect you from ticks and mosquitoes and the diseases they may carry.

    Check for ticks

    Check frequently for ticks – at least once a day.

    • Ticks must remain attached for one to two days before they can transmit the Lyme disease bacteria.
    • Some research suggests that anaplasmosis may be transmitted more quickly.
    • Bathe or shower after coming indoors to wash off and more easily find ticks that may be crawling on or attached to you.
    • Search your entire body closely, especially hard-to-see areas (e.g. behind knees, groin area, and arm pits).
    • Ticks may look like a speck of dirt or freckle on skin so use a parent or a mirror to help you.

    If you find a tick on yourself, remove the tick as soon as possible.

    • Prompt tick removal is important in order to lower your risk of tickborne disease transmission.
    • Use a pair of tweezers or your fingers to grasp the tick by the head, close to the skin.
      • Pull the tick outward slowly, gently, and steadily
      • Clean the area with soap and water.
    • Avoid folk remedies like VaselineВ®, nail polish remover or burning matches — they are not a safe or effective way to remove ticks.

    Watch this 1-minute video that shows you how to quickly remove a tick.

    Talk to your veterinarian about safe and effective tick repellents for your pet.

    • Several different topical and oral products are available.
    • Carefully read and follow the product label.
    • A Lyme disease vaccine is available for dogs. However, the vaccine will not protect against other tickborne diseases and will not stop your dog from bringing ticks into the home.
    • Check your pets for ticks daily and remove any attached ticks right away.

    Don’t forget about ticks that may be on your clothing or gear.

    • Check gear and clothing before bringing indoors.
    • Tumble dry clothing and gear in a dryer on high heat for at least 10 minutes to kill blacklegged ticks.
      • Ticks may survive wash cycles, especially if hot water isn’t used.
      • If the clothes are damp or need to be washed first, additional dryer time may be needed: 90 minutes for low heat or 60 minutes for high heat.

    Consider some basic landscaping techniques

    If you live near the woods in an area with ticks:

    • Keep your lawn and trails mowed short.
    • Remove leaves and clear the brush around your house and at the edges of the yard.
    • Keep children’s play-sets or swing-sets in a sunny and dry area of the yard.
    • Make a landscape barrier (such as a three-foot wide border of wood chips) between your lawn and the woods.

    More Information

    • Ticks
      To better understand how you can best protect yourself from tick bites, learn more about tick identification, life cycle, and habitat.
    • Tickborne Disease Materials
      Downloadable and printable tick ID cards, brochures, and slide show (with all of our main talking points included in the notes section).
    • CDC: Ticks
      Information about ticks and how to avoid ticks on people, on pets, and in the yard, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    • Ticks and Minnesota’s domestic animals and livestock
      Information from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health about ticks of concern in Minnesota and how to prevent tick bites in animals.

      Spotlight

      Got tick or mosquito questions? Join us in March 2020 for a webinar tailored just for you. Check out our Ticks, Mosquitoes, & Our Health page for registration information.


      Check out our new video series: All About Ticks.

      Tick Monitoring
      Do you have a tick that you want to be identified?

      Contact us:

      If you have questions or comments about this page, use our IDEPC Comment Form or call 651-201-5414 for the MDH Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Division.

      651-201-5000 Phone
      888-345-0823 Toll-free

      Information on this website is available in alternative formats upon request.

      www.health.state.mn.us

      Why some are ditching the vault and coffin for natural burials and at-home funerals

      Jeffrey Rich woke up last July to find his husband not breathing beside him in bed. When Jeff Wright, 57, could not be revived, Rich started looking for ways to honor his life, and to help the living heal.

      The couple had talked of death. “I want to be food for trees,” Wright had said, leading Rich to decide on a natural burial at Carolina Memorial Sanctuary near Asheville, N.C.

      He searched the 11-acre grounds for the perfect spot in which to place Wright’s un-embalmed body that would be covered in a home-dyed quilt. He found it on a slight rise with views of two mountains where a dragonfly, uncommon for that terrain, had alighted. The insect was a Wright totem.

      But before family and friends shoveled dirt over the body and “every gladiola I could find,” Rich said, there had been a home funeral. Wright’s body lay for two days in the house he shared in Burnsville, N.C., during which time visitors talked to him, shared stories and sang, solemnly prayed or held his hand.

      “It was not like the stiff viewing at a funeral home,” Rich said. “It felt so natural. You could say things to him. It was important to people to say them and to his spirit to hear them.”

      Funerals are being personalized to make them more meaningful, said Dani LaVoire, vice president of the National Home Funeral Alliance, whose membership has gone from about 400 to more than 2,000 in the past six years.

      Grieving at a conventional funeral can be abstract, short and finite, she said, while at home it is more slow, allowing the reality of the death to settle in.

      “The experience with the body engages the senses and lets people understand what has happened more deeply,” LaVoire said.

      But even though the practices are reminiscent of how dying used to be treated in this country, our “fractured” relationship with death now limits their acceptance, said Cassie Barrett, operations manager for Carolina Memorial Sanctuary. Natural burial sites are few and far between and at least nine states, including Illinois, require involvement of a funeral director in body disposition, which can stifle home services.

      “We live in a culture that is very afraid of death,” Barrett said. “If we were to embrace mortality, we could live a fuller life. There’s a sense of fear we’re always carrying, causing us to hold back in other areas of life.

      “The No. 1 regret people always have when they’re dying is that they didn’t live true, the life they wanted. If we’re more comfortable with death, it’s easier when death comes and it’s going to come,” she said.

      Carolina Memorial Sanctuary is one of only nine conservation burial grounds in the U.S., meaning its natural state is guaranteed because of a special easement. Guidelines forbid the use of heavy machinery, so graves are dug by hand. There can be no paved roads, fallen trees cannot be removed, markers must be natural stone and caskets or shrouds must be biodegradable. Only native plants and trees can serve as memorials.

      Some traditional cemeteries offer natural burial sites. In Illinois, Windridge Memorial Park & Nature Sanctuary in Cary and Willow Lawn Memorial Park in Vernon Hills have “nature trails” carved out of acres of manicured lawns. Graves follow curving, mulched paths edged in river rock, are dug with a small machine, and marked with boulders retrieved from quarries. Plantings are encouraged, said Kelly Lawyer, sales manager at Windridge.

      “Every spring, families come with a little red wagon full of flowers to plant,” she said.

      Demand for natural burials has been high enough that the 48-acre cemetery is planning to add 400 sites, which Lawyer hopes will be available within a year. Parents of children lost to car accidents, drug overdoses and suicides, as well as disease, are often choosing this option, she said.

      “There’s just something about it. It’s so healing,” Lawyer said.

      www.chicagotribune.com

      11 myths about bedbugs you need to stop believing

      • Even if you’ve never encountered them yourself before, there are probably some things about bedbugs that you think you know.
      • The problem is, there’s quite a bit of common knowledge surrounding the topic of bedbugs that isn’t exactly correct.
      • From the way bedbugs move to the best ways to eradicate them, there are tons of myths that need dispelling.

      If you’ve ever dealt with bedbugs before, you’ve likely learned the hard way that there are a lot of things that people get wrong about them. And because bedbugs can cause some headaches for those who encounter them, you might want to know what’s true and what’s not. Bed bug myths are pervasive, but experts are here to set the record straight.

      «Understanding the truth behind common bed bug myths is half the battle,» Jeff Zimmerman, CEO and owner of Prevsol , told INSIDER. «It’s important to dispel these myths so that others understand the signs of bed bug infestation and how to appropriately treat them.»

      Bedbugs fly.

      Because many bugs do, in fact, fly, you might think that bedbugs do as well, but the truth is that they don’t. «Bed bugs do not have wings,» Dr. Sydney Crawley, a public health entomologist who works with Scotts Miracle-Gro , told INSIDER. «They are crawling insects, and travel approximately one meter per minute. They are also incapable of jumping.» So that’s at least one less thing to worry you.

      Bedbugs only bite at night.

      You might think that bedbugs are solely a nighttime threat, but that’s not actually true. You need to be aware of their affect during the day, as well.

      «Bed bugs are typically associated with nighttime because they often prefer to live in your mattress, where they can feed on human hosts at night,» Chuck Cerbini, the executive vice president of Corbett Exterminating , told INSIDER. «They’re attracted to the heat and carbon dioxide that you provide when you’re sleeping, but they’ll feed during the day if it’s safe as well.

      Bedbugs bite in threes.

      Just because you don’t have bedbug bites in groupings of three, it doesn’t meant that they’re not bedbugs.

      «People often state that an individual bed bug tends to probe three times before reaching an acceptable spot to feed, creating a line of three bites along the skin,» Crawley said. «What is more likely is that multiple bugs are biting at the crease where your skin meets a surface. Clusters or groups of bites are often an indication that multiple bedbugs are present. Do not wait for a pattern of three to tip you off to bed bug presence — bite patterns look very different on different people.»

      Any kind of unexplained bites should be looked into.

      If you don’t have bites, you don’t have bugs.

      Unfortunately, a lack of bites doesn’t mean that you definitely don’t have bedbugs. Bed bugs don’t bite absolutely everyone.

      «Many people do not react to bed bug bites at all, and bites can take anywhere from one to 14 days to surface when the affected individual does react,» Crawley said. «Do not let obvious signs of bedbugs (shed skins, small brown fecal spots, or a ‘musty-sweet’ odor) go unaddressed just because you are not exhibiting bite reactions.»

      If you have bedbugs, it means your space is dirty.

      Bed bugs don’t only live in dirty spaces, even if you might assume that they would. “While cleaning up and getting rid of clutter can help treat bedbugs faster, bedbugs can live anywhere, even places we would consider clean and tidy,” Zimmerman said. Keeping your space clean probably wouldn’t hurt (for many reasons), but bedbugs don’t mean you’re dirty.

      You can’t see them.

      Some people think that you can’t see bedbugs, but they’re probably bigger than you thought. Fully-grown bedbugs can be about one to five millimeters by one to three millimeters wide, Chris Stidd, CEO of EcoClear Products , told INSIDER.

      «While small, this is certainly large enough to see with the naked eye—especially considering that most bed bug species are a distinct reddish-brown color,» he added. «Even their tiny translucent eggs, which are usually no larger than a pinhead, can be seen upon close inspection with the naked eye. They have the tendency to hide in small crevices so they can be difficult to see.

      Bedbugs only live in beds.

      Maybe one of the biggest myths about bedbugs — likely due to their name — is that they’re only found in beds. That’s definitely not true, though they, of course, can be. They’re also found many other places.

      «The name bedbug itself can be a tad deceiving because bedbugs can be found on headboards, couches, travel bags and luggage, and even on our family pets,» Jerry Lazarus, owner of Braman Termite & Pest Elimination , told INSIDER. «They can also be found on the transportation you take to travel – including planes, trains and automobiles.»

      Bedbugs spread nasty diseases.

      «As far as we know, bedbugs are not a primary vector of any pathogens,» Crawley said. «Although there is preliminary research suggesting that bedbugs might spread Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, it remains to be seen whether such transmission can occur from bedbugs to humans in a natural, real-world setting. As it currently stands, adverse dermatological issues stemming from bed bug bites are a more common concern.»

      So while you don’t want bedbugs, by any means, you probably don’t (at least as of now) have to worry about contracting any serious diseases from your bedbug infestation.

      Getting rid of your mattress is the only good way to get rid of the bedbugs.

      «Some people suggest tossing your mattress since it’s not advised to treat it with insecticides — but simply throwing your mattress out is not a guarantee that there aren’t other bedbugs lurking in your home,» Cerbini said. «There are steam, chemical, and heat treatments available to treat your mattress completely.»

      Throwing out your mattress doesn’t need to be your first move. You’ll likely be able to treat the bedbug infestation without having to sacrifice your mattress and shelling out the money for a new one.

      You can carry bedbugs like you would ticks or lice.

      Don’t worry too much about carrying bedbugs around on your body like you can lice and some other insects.

      «Bed bugs, unless searching for a blood meal, are not attracted to heat like ticks or lice,» Crawley said. «They are much more likely to move from place to place via luggage, shoes, backpacks, and other inanimate objects.»

      Chemicals are the only good way to get rid of bedbugs.

      Chemicals certainly aren’t your only option when it comes to getting rid of bedbugs, and even if you opt to go the chemical route, that doesn’t mean that you won’t need to add in additional methods and techniques.

      «In most cases, chemical application will also need to be supplemented with vacuuming, steaming, and laundering belongings where bedbugs can hide, and even that may not be enough to fully rid your space of bedbugs,» Zimmerman said. «That’s why we recommend using a bedbugs heater. They are eco-friendly, efficient, and 100% effective at killing bedbugs.»

      Finding bedbugs is stressful, upsetting, and a bit frustrating, but knowing how to separate the facts from the commonly-believed myths can help you face an infestation with a clear head and know what you need to worry about and what you don’t.

      Sign up here to get INSIDER’s favorite stories straight to your inbox.

      www.insider.com

      Bug repellent made from coconut oil works better than DEET, government study says

      When summer arrives and mosquito season comes, all my family gets bitten like crazy. I like to make my own natural homemade mosquito spray which is a natural bug repellent as I don’t like to use the commercial products that contain nasty and harmful chemical ingredients. Therefore you’ll find here natural solutions to repel mosquitoes, which are the best and healthiest ways to keep them off anyone.

      Mosquito bites are the itchy bumps that appear after the mosquitoes use their mouth-parts to puncture your skin and feed on your blood. Most mosquito bites are harmless, but occasionally a mosquito bite causes a large area of swelling, soreness and redness. This type of reaction is most common in children.

      Coconut Oil Compounds Repel Insects Better than DEET

      Compounds derived from coconut oil are better than DEET at repelling blood-sucking insects, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) study published in Scientific Reports journal.

      In some cases, the all-natural compounds worked even better than DEET, the synthetic active ingredient used in many widely used mosquito repellent products.

      It’s important to note that “coconut oil itself is not a repellent,” lead researcher and entomologist Junwei Zhu clarified in a press release.

      However, it’s the coconut oil-derived free fatty acid mixture—lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid as well as their corresponding methyl esters—that showed strong repellency against blood-sucking insects such as mosquitoes.

      According to the USDA: “When the researchers encapsulated these coconut fatty acids into a starch-based formula, field trials showed it could protect cattle against stable flies for up to 96 hours or 4 days. To compare, DEET was only 50 percent effective against stable flies, while the coconut oil compound was more than 95 percent effective.”

      The study showed that as for bed bugs and ticks, DEET lost its effectiveness after about three days. However the coconut oil compound lasted for about two weeks.

      According to the press release: “Using repellents is one of the most efficient ways to prevent disease transmission and discomfort associated with insect bites. For more than 60 years, DEET has been considered the gold standard in insect repellents—the most effective and long-lasting available commercially. However, increasing regulations and growing public health concerns about synthetic repellents and insecticides like DEET have sparked interest in developing plant-based repellents that are more effective and longer lasting.”

      Some people refuse to use DEET and turn to folk remedies or plant-based repellents. Most currently available plant-based repellents work for only a short period, Zhu noted.

      These coconut oil-derived compounds offer longer-lasting protection than any other known natural repellent against insect blood-feeding, according to Zhu.

      How to Make Mosquito Repellent Using Coconut Oil

      To make the coconut oil mosquito repellent mix 1 Tbsp. of coconut oil with 4 drops of citronella oil or peppermint oil.

      Here are other simple homemade mosquito repellents.

      Other Simple Natural Mosquito Repellents That Work

      Here are natural ways that will help you to keep the mosquitoes away:

      1. Natural homemade mosquito spray

      How to Make Homemade Mosquito Repellent That Works

      It is very easy to make your own mosquito spray – it literally takes just a few seconds to mix it and it’s a great alternative to the conventional mosquito repellents that are full with harmful chemicals.

      Ingredients:

      • 12 oz. bottle witch hazel (available in Amazon)
      • 30-50 drops of one or more of the following essential oils: citronella, lemongrass, peppermint, eucalyptus, basil, rosemary, tea tree, geranium, lavender and thyme. The more oils you use, the stronger the spray will be. (Essential oils are also available in Amazon)
      • A funnel
      • An empty spray container
      • An empty mixing jar for mixing the contents

      Directions:

      • Pour the witch hazel in the mixing jar and add the essential oils.
      • Shake well and place in your spray bottle using a funnel. Shake it before use.
      • Make sure you don’t get any in your eyes, and when using for your kids just place a little bit over a small area to make sure they are not allergic to any of the essential oils.

      2. Aromatherapy burner to repel mosquitoes

      Another way of using essential oils is to vaporize them, and this can be done by using an oil burner.

      To use an oil burner fill the bowl at the top of the burner with water and add a few drops of essential oils from the list above (a mixture of few oil types is preferred), then place a tea light candle underneath the bowl.

      The heat will evaporate the water and the essential oils, creating a 2-3 meter radius of mosquito free zone.

      Make sure not to leave the tea light candle unattended and don’t let all of the water evaporate from the bowl. If you are interested to learn more about essential oils you can find useful information in my e-book Magical Aromatherapy. This book will help you to discover the power of essential oils and the most effective ways to use them.

      3. Cleaning with essential oils to repel mosquitoes

      When you wash your floors, add 20-40 drops of citronella essential oil (or mix with the other essential oils mentioned above) in a bucket full of water and a little bit of soap and wash the floors, especially near the entrances.

      You can also clean the windows by filling a spray bottle with water, a little bit of soap and add 10 drops of citronella essential oil (or mix with the other essential oils mentioned above). Shake well and spray onto window surfaces and wipe off with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.

      4. Grow mosquito repellent plants

      You can grow your own citronella plants around your yard and outdoor eating areas. They can be grown in the ground or in a pot or container and enjoy full sun and well-drained soil.

      Citronella is generally hardy in warm climates, but requires plenty of water. Keep the plant indoors if the overnight temperatures are below freezing.

      Other good plants that repel mosquito are lemon balm (also known as horsemint), ageratum (also known as flossflowers), marigolds, catnip, peppermint, rosemary, lavender, basil and garlic. You can also keep some of these plants on your windowsills to keep the mosquitoes away from your home.

      You can also crush and rub catnip, citronella, lemon balm and lavender directly to your skin to deter mosquitoes.

      4. Apply neem oil

      Neem oil is extracted from the Neem tree which is native to India and is a natural insecticide.

      A research published in the Journal of Insect Science suggested that preparations made from parts of the neem tree could be an alternative method for repelling mosquitoes.

      To make an effective natural insecticide mix neem oil and coconut oil in equal parts and rub it on your body to keep mosquitoes away.

      6. Mosquito traps

      There are several versions of these mosquito traps, either with beer or brown sugar and yeast or with liquid dish soap added to water. There are mixed results with these, but you may want to try them yourself. As an added bonus these traps can also help you get rid of gnats.

      Here are the instructions for how to make your own natural brown sugar and yeast mosquito trap:

      – Cut the two liter plastic bottle in half. Please do not discard any of the two parts (as you will need to use both parts).
      – Mix the 1.7 oz. (50 grams) of brown or white sugar with 150 milliliters of hot water. Allow the mixture to cool.
      – Pour the mixture in to the lower half of the plastic bottle. Add 0.03 oz. (1 gram) of dry yeast but do not mix. The yeast will produce carbon dioxide (Insects are attracted to the CO2 gases released when the yeast attacks the sugars).
      – Place the top of the plastic bottle into the bottom of bottle, upside down.
      – Cover the circumference of the bottle with tape or cloth, not covering the top. It is recommended to wrap the trap in something black as mosquitoes and most other insects are attracted to black.
      – Each bottle works effectively for up to 2 weeks. After this time, replace the bottle with a new one by following the above steps.

      7. Eat garlic to repel mosquitoes

      Some people swear that eating garlic daily repel mosquitoes. It hasn’t been proven effective in scientific studies, but if it doesn’t repel mosquitoes, at least you will enjoy the health benefits of garlic.

      8. Rotating fan blades

      The rotating blades of a fan create currents of air which disturb mosquitoes which can only fly in still air.

      9. Garden maintenance

      – Get rid of any stagnant water sources in your yard which are good breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
      – Clean out your roof guttering regularly to prevent stagnant water.
      – Mow the lawn regularly and trim shrubs, as too much grass and foliage can create breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

      10. Beer drinkers beware

      According to several studies, just a single 12 oz. bottle of beer can make you more attractive to these insects. It is still unknown what the exact reason for that is, but you can use it for your own advantage: give your friend a few bottles of beer so that the mosquitoes will be attracted to him/her (instead of a mosquito spray, just get a beer buddy).

      Other creatures that I don’t like in my house are ants, fleas and spiders. I’ve already written on how to get rid of those creatures naturally:

      www.healthyandnaturalworld.com

      See also:  How to Treat a Rat Bite or Scratch
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