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It's a Beautiful Life

10 Ways to Repel Mosquitoes

By: Aly Walansky

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There’s nothing better than spending time basking in the outdoors during the warm summer months. But if there’s one thing we hate about the beach and barbecue season, it’s those pesky mosquitoes.

Are you mosquito bait? Find out if your habits are attracting mosquitoes by checking out our recent infographic. Then follow these latest, greatest mosquito-repelling strategies.

1. Stock up on scented dryer sheets.
Then, rub the sheets all over the exposed areas of your body before you go out, and you’ll stay bite-free!

2. Spray them away.

“The higher the concentration of DEET or picaridin in a product, the longer its protection will last,” says Dr. Susan Stuart, a board-certified dermatologist in San Diego. We believe it -- we’re obsessed with Avon’s Bug Guard line.

3. Go pale.

Wear light-colored clothing. Mosquitoes are attracted to darker colors.

4. Time your outings.

Stuart suggests staying indoors during dusk and dawn -- that's when many breeds of mosquito are at their peak biting time. 

5. Avoid floral scents. 

Mosquitoes love nectar from flowers almost as much as they do human blood, so stick with a less floral fragrance for the summer.

6. Steer clear of beer.

“Mosquitoes have been shown to prefer beer drinkers to those who drink water,” says Stuart. It's not confirmed if the extra biting also happens with other alcoholic beverages, but just to be safe, keep the bottles indoors.

7. Make your own mosquito repellent.

Bruce Lubin, author of Who Knew?: 10,001 Easy Solutions to Everyday Problems, has a nifty way of keeping pests at bay: Chop 1 small onion and 1 head of garlic. Mix together with 4 cups water, 4 teaspoons cayenne pepper and 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap. This mixture will last a week or so if stored in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and kept in a dark, cool place. Spray around your yard, deck and in places where your children play rather than on the children themselves.

8. Repel with peels.

Another ingenious way to keep mosquitoes from biting you: Rub any exposed skin with orange or lemon peels, says Lubin. Mosquitoes hate the smell and will find someone else to attack. Ants also don’t like the smell of lemon and orange peels, so grind them in your blender with some water, then spread the areas you find ants to keep them away.

9. Grow a garden.

It’s a little-known fact that mosquitoes hate basil and tansy. Keep those plants in your yard and around your porch. If you’re not familiar with it, tansy is a pretty yellow perennial, which has been harvested for its medicinal properties for several thousand years. “In colonial times it was used to preserve meat and keep insects away. It’s a low-maintenance flower, except for the odor, which irritates some people almost as much as the bugs,” says Lubin.

And once you have a bite? To soothe the itch in a flash, just add a dab of toothpaste or a green tea bag. 

Aly Walansky is Completely You’s beauty and lifestyle blogger. She also blogs at her own blog, A Little Aly-tude, and writes about beauty, fashion and travel. Her work has appeared on many websites, including MyGloss.com and SheKnows.com.

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