I've never really been around a bunch of mosquitoes. Where I live there are very few. When we went to Hawaii half of our group got bit, half didn't. I was in the half that didn't so I never really worry about mosquito protection. For work we've been given bee/mosquito veils to wear if we need it. I did notice when I was at the bug-out place that there are mosquitoes. My renter friends have complained about them somewhat.
With the wet weather we had this winter I have noticed more mosquitoes around here. Now that the rains are over we are on a mission to eliminate the places where mosquitoes breed. Toys, buckets, even a shovel lying on the ground can hold enough water. Even a spoonful of water, if it's pooled for a week is enough water and time for eggs to hatch and the larvae to mature. All you can do is clean up your property; you can't really deal with the stuff on the neighbor's property so you will have mosquitoes no matter how much you clean your place up.
After Rourkes column today about his discovery of a mosquito repellent that seems to work well according to Rourke and Amazon's product reviewers, it got me to thinking about natural and non-natural repellents. The one Rourke discussed needs butane and repellent pads. I don't know how long that lasts, and what the daily cost is. I do know that it works over a 10-15 foot area so you could sit at a table in the evening and not be attacked by mosquitoes.
At work, when I'm in areas that are highly infested with mosquitoes and other bugs I spray on Sawyers mosquito repellent. It gets sprayed on clothing. I bought the hand pump bottle and refills a couple years ago. This way, I can keep it in my truck and not worry about an aerosol can exploding in the heat. It works pretty well, too. I've never had to break out the netting. We are supposed to keep it on us in case we stumble upon bees.
Anyway, back to mosquito repellent. I did have a zapper light that worked pretty well. It needed electricity. I gave it to either the bug-out renters or my oldest daughter, I think. All I know is that it isn't here anymore. I was thinking about getting some more zappers and having them run off a solar panel and a battery. I wonder how much power that would take?
What about having a several year supply of mosquito repellent? I have that for myself with the Sawyers except I don't use it all the time. What about if I needed it daily? How much would I need for myself, or for a dozen people? Should I buy it or is it something that I can make? There are many home recipes but I really don't know how effective they are.
I'll list them anyway.
1. 10-25 drops of essential oil, 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil or alcohol. Rub onto skin or clothing (although I don't really think rubbing oil onto clothes is a good idea)
essential oil - cinnamon, lemon eucalyptus, citronella, castor, basil, cedarwood, juniper, lemon, myrrh, pine, rose geranium and/or rosemary
carrier oil or alcohol - olive oil, sunflower oil, and other cooking oil, witch hazel, vodka
2. Garlic - eating it so it permeates through your pores.
3. Our animal water tanks all have goldfish in them. One of the tanks has some other kind of fish. I don't know how we got those but they are there. They look like the little mosquito eating fish.
4. Having a light on in the chicken coop, especially one that is low to the ground will attract swarms of bugs. The chickens will be happy to eat them.
5. Bats. These wonderful creatures will eat up to 10,000 mosquitoes per day. Amazing! (Although if other bugs are around they'd prefer them)
6. Citronella candles and oil. Lighting these works well. It's not too hard to stock up on the oil or the candles. I did have a bunch of the candles but they somehow evaporated away. I'm not sure what happened there!
7. Rose-scented geraniums, catnip, basil, lemon grass, and lemon balm growing in your yard are all reported to help keep mosquitoes at bay.
8. Using a fan while you are sitting on the patio.
9. 1/2 vanilla, 1/2 water. This one would be really, really expensive!
I think we will plant many of the mosquito repelling plants at the bug-out place this year. Now is the best time to figure this out. Next year may be too late.