Life Style

High Methodology on How to Use Lemongrass to Repel Mosquitoes From Your Yard

The high-pitched, shrill, whine of a mosquito can quickly dampen a summer backyard barbecue. There are around 174 species of mosquitoes that buzz around the United States out of approximately 3,200 species across the world. While the sound their wings produce during flight is annoying, it’s often their bite that is more troublesome...READ THE FULL STORY HERE▶▶▶

Although they want to get a tasty meal, it’s no fun to get a mosquito bite. Mosquito bites can cause itchy, even painful welts that sometimes transmit infections like West Nile Virus. It’s much better to deter mosquitoes in the first place! Learn how to use lemongrass to repel mosquitoes from your yard, so you can get back to enjoying summer.

Why Do Mosquitoes Bite?
Mosquito outdoors against a green garden

Female mosquitoes are generally the ones that bite. After mating, female mosquitoes need to drink blood to get an energy boost, so that they can lay eggs. It’s an instinct that creates such a profound drive to find blood that they can fly anywhere from a ¼ mile to as far as 15 miles to seek it out, depending on the species.

While there are 174 species of mosquitoes across the United States, there are around 12 to 15 that are most problematic for public health such as Culex which transmits viral infections like West Nile Virus (about ³⁄₂₀ inches). Then, Aedes (ranges from ³⁄₂₀ to ¼ inches) and Psorophora (approximately ¼ inch) are also challenging because they can become hostile and are often bloodthirsty.

What You’ll Need
Lemongrass essential oil next to lemongrass on a counter

To deter mosquitos you can use lemongrass! Before you start, it’s best to gather a few essential supplies to ensure your project runs smoothly.

Lemongrass essential oil
Witch hazel
Apple cider vinegar (optional)
Spray bottle
Lemongrass plants
Mortar and pestle (optional for crushing leaves)

Create a Lemongrass Mosquito Bug Spray
Mosquito repellent. Woman spraying insect repellent on skin outdoor in nature using spray bottle.

Making a homemade lemongrass mosquito bug spray is an effective way to prevent mosquitoes from getting too close when you’re in your yard. First, gather your ingredients. You’ll need lemongrass essential oil, witch hazel, and a spray bottle.

Next, fill your spray bottle with 1 cup of witch hazel and then add about 10 to 20 drops of lemongrass essential oil. A variation on the recipe is to combine 2 cups of witch hazel, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (which also helps repel bugs like mosquitoes and black flies), and ½ teaspoon of lemongrass essential oil. After filling the bottle, place the lid back on, shake it up, and apply it before you head outside to your backyard.

Typically, when you make a mosquito repellent with lemongrass essential oil, it will evaporate anywhere from 40 minutes to two hours after applying it. So if you notice mosquitoes buzzing around you, it’s time to reapply. Then, the bug spray itself can last approximately one month after you combine the ingredients. After this point, you may want to make a new, fresh batch to maintain efficacy.

Essential oils, like lemongrass essential oil, contain high concentrations of herbal ingredients. Always apply to a small area of skin to test for allergies first. Contact a medical professional if you develop allergies and immediately stop using it if it is irritating. Certain essential oils can also be harmful during pregnancy, always follow the advice of your medical professional.

Cultivate Lemongrass Plants
rubbing lemongrass on hands as mosquito repellent

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a plant that naturally repels mosquitoes. While planting it in your garden will emit a delightful citrus aroma, to optimize its potency for repelling mosquitoes it’s better to crush the leaves.

When your plant is ready to harvest, gather the leaves and crush them using a mortar and pestle to release the oils. Then try applying lemongrass leaf paste to an area in your yard you want to repel mosquitoes (try adding some along a fence or near a patio). You can also use it topically as an alternative to bug spray, just remember the leaves are strong and could irritate skin so try a small spot first.

How to Grow Lemongrass

The best way to start cultivating lemongrass in your yard is to plant starter lemongrass plants from a garden center. Alternatively, if you live in zones 8 to 11 where it grows as a perennial you can split lemongrass bulbs and plant them after the last frost in spring. Although you can grow lemongrass from seed, it is rare and difficult to germinate, so it’s best to use a starter plant or divide an existing one.

Cultivate your lemongrass in an area that gets six or more hours of sun each day. Amend the soil before planting with 1 inch of organic compost for every 100 square feet, and then water the earth with a watering can, so the soil stays moist to the touch. You can harvest lemongrass once the foliage is ½ inch thick. Use a sharp knife, pruning sheers, or scissors to cut the stalks just about the surface of the ground. To preserve it for later, pop it in the freezer for up to six months.

Overwinter Lemongrass for Next Year

If you live in a colder region (outside of zones 8 to 11) where lemongrass can’t survive as a perennial (a plant that comes back yearly) you can overwinter lemongrass in a container instead. Remove 6 inches of lemongrass bulbs from the soil before the first autumn frost. Then, fill a pot that is about 1 foot in diameter with compost, plant the bulbs, and place it in a bright, sunny room indoors. Then, irrigate with a watering can to keep the soil moist.

Lemongrass is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. Keep pets away from the plants, crushed leaves, and essential oils.

Why Lemongrass Works
Woman holding stalks of lemongrass at a farmers market

Lemongrass is an effective mosquito repellent because of the oil it contains. Lemongrass oil affects a mosquito’s olfactory senses or its ability to pick up smells. When you use it as a bug spray or crush the leaves to release the oil you are essentially confusing mosquitoes by masking human scent. Instead of picking up on the scent of the carbon dioxide you exhale, they get a whiff of lemongrass, making them much less likely to seek you out in the first place.

Say Goodbye to Buzzing, Biting Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are commonly uninvited guests in backyards. Avoid them by creating a homemade mosquito repellent with lemongrass essential oil or cultivating lemongrass plants and crushing the leaves to release the oil. Lemongrass is an effective repellent because it masks scents to prevent pesky mosquitoes from finding you. Just remember to always test an area on your skin first to make sure you are not allergic and if a reaction does occur, call a medical professional immediately.

How do you repel mosquitoes naturally? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below!

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