Nadine Walder , 21 May 2024

Aromatherapy

10 tips against mosquitoes: What really helps?

Summer is just around the corner, the days are getting longer and temperatures are rising. But with the warmer months comes the return of an annoying side effect: mosquitoes. These tiny insects can spoil cosy summer evenings and can also cause discomfort within your own four walls. Find out in this article what particularly attracts mosquitoes and what tips there are for keeping the unwelcome insects at bay.


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes


Read on to find out: 

  1. What attracts mosquitoes?
  2. 5 tips against mosquitoes in the garden or on the balcony
  3. 5 tips against mosquitoes in the flat or house 

What attracts mosquitoes?

Who hasn't experienced it: a cosy summer evening on the balcony, suddenly you have an annoying buzzing in your ear and the relaxation is gone. Some people could go up the walls if they hear the "Bssssss" of mosquitoes from afar. Even worse are the nasty insects in the home and especially in the bedroom, where they can spoil some people's well-earned night's sleep. But where do these unpleasant insects come from and what attracts them? 

Mosquitoes are one of the most widespread insects in the world and can be found in almost every habitat. They are particularly abundant in humid and warm regions, where conditions are ideal for their reproduction. Due to global warming, increasingly mild winters and rainy summers, mosquitoes have also increased enormously in our latitudes and are becoming an ever-increasing nuisance. The nasty little creatures, which are native to our region, are generally harmless and only cause an unpleasant itch when they bite. You should be particularly wary of tropical mosquitoes such as the tiger mosquito, which can transmit diseases such as the chikungunya, dengue and Zika viruses. These are now also found in Switzerland, but the risk of transmission is low. According to the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, not a single case has yet been documented in Switzerland.

Mosquitoes are attracted by various factors, including heat, moisture and certain odours. Contrary to popular belief, they are not attracted to light, as mosquitoes cannot see very well. When female mosquitoes (only they bite) are looking for their blood meal, they orientate themselves by the smell of sweat, perfume and various scents. According to a study, people who emit carboxylic acids such as butyric acid or lactic acid are the most attractive to mosquitoes. However, the pesky insects are also attracted by carbon dioxide, which we emit when we breathe and through our skin. The fact that some people are stung more often than others can be explained by the vapourisation of different decomposition products and the different amounts of carbon dioxide exhaled. 

If you are one of those people who are often bitten, you should read the following tips carefully to protect yourself from these unpleasant insects. You should not kill mosquitoes, as they fulfil important functions for our ecosystem and serve as an important food source for many other animals.

5 tips against mosquitoes in the garden or on the balcony

  1. Remove stagnant water: To reproduce, mosquitoes need stagnant water. They lay their larvae there. Therefore, regularly check your garden tools, flower pots etc. for water accumulations and remove them to eliminate potential breeding sites. 
  2. Wear light-coloured clothing: Mosquitoes are known to like dark colours. So preferably wear light-coloured clothing made of thicker fabrics that mosquitoes can't bite through. Loose clothing is also an advantage. These also make it harder for mosquitoes to bite through. 
  3. Plant the right plants: Basil, tomato, lavender, lemon balm and lemongrass are among the plants that the little creatures don't like at all. Plant some on your balcony or near your garden seating area and you'll keep the mosquitoes away naturally. 
  4. Install mosquito nets: To keep your patio or balcony mosquito-free, you can use mosquito nets. These provide physical protection from the pesky insects and allow you to enjoy fresh air without being bitten.
  5. Use essential oils: Mosquitoes don't like certain scents at all. Use essential oils with citronella, geraniol or linalool against mosquitoes. You can find out exactly which oils are effective against mosquitoes and why in our blog post "Which essential oils can provide natural protection against mosquitos". You can easily diffuse essential oils on the balcony or in the garden using an aroma diffuser or other fragrance dispenser. The aroma diffuser should have at least IP44 certification for outdoor use. In addition to natural fragrances, you can also buy insect sprays with DEET as a repellent or other effective ingredients. There are also textiles and wristbands that are specially impregnated to repel mosquitoes.

5 tips against mosquitoes in the flat or house

  1. Install fly screens: Fly screens on windows and doors are an effective way to prevent mosquitoes from entering your flat or house. Don't forget to check regularly that the screens are intact and that there are no gaps. 
  2. Use a fan: The airflow from a fan removes sweat from our skin and thus keeps mosquitoes away. If the fan is certified for outdoor use, such as our Finn mobile, you can also set it up in the garden or on the balcony to repel mosquitoes outside. 
  3. Keep your home cool and dry: Mosquitoes prefer warm and humid environments. By keeping your home cool and dry, you make it unattractive to mosquitoes.
  4. Avoid strongly scented products: Mosquitoes are attracted to certain scents (e.g. violet or pineapple scent), so you should avoid strongly scented products such as perfume, artificial scented candles or synthetic room sprays. Instead, you can rely on natural fragrance sources such as essential oils made from lemongrass, lavender or mint. If you use essential oils in the bedroom, you have two benefits: you keep mosquitoes away and, depending on the essential oil, you also ensure a calming effect for restful sleep and less stress. However, caution is always advised when using essential oils, especially if small children are present. It is therefore advisable to consult a medical professional or pharmacist about the use of essential oils in the presence of small children. 
  5. Shower in the evening: As mosquitoes are mainly attracted to sweat, it is advisable to shower in the evening, just before going to bed. Showering also makes your own body odour, which can also attract mosquitoes, less intense for a while. But be careful: use the right shower product here too. Fragrances that attract mosquitoes should not be used. 

By applying these simple tips, you can protect yourself from the annoying insects and nothing will stand in the way of a cosy summer evening or a restful night's sleep. Have fun trying them out and here's to a mosquito-free summer.


Would you like to learn more about how aromatherapy works and how it can help you feel better and improve your mood?

More about aromatherapy


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