Pet-Friendly Mosquito Repellent For Yard: Keeping Your Furry Friends Safe

Pet-Friendly Mosquito Repellent For Yard: Keeping Your Furry Friends Safe

When it comes to the health and safety of your family, including those furry, four-legged members, you know that mosquitoes are a threat. 

Due to their ability to carry and transmit deadly diseases like West Nile and Zika, mosquitoes can be a risk to humans.

But many people don’t realize they also pose a risk to pets.

Mosquitoes can pass heartworms to your dog, which could potentially infect their heart and lungs.

For these reasons, you might be considering mosquito control. But you don’t want to trade one risk for another. That’s why you want to know: Is mosquito spray safe?

In this article, we’ll address the safety of mosquito control in Louisville so that you can make a wise choice for your entire family.

Risks of Using Traditional Mosquito Repellent Around Pets: 

According to the ASPCA, both dogs and cats are sensitive to DEET. Using it could cause neurological problems, such as tremors, seizures, toxic substances, allergic reactions, ingestion risks, or even death.

There are pet-safe mosquito repellent products at your local pet supply store.

You should also check with your veterinarian for recommendations on such products.

Best Natural Mosquito Repellents: 

Natural mosquito repellents may help deter insects. Some natural ingredients may cause irritation if you have sensitive skin.

Read on to see which natural Pet-Friendly Mosquito repellent is best for your yard, and help Keeping your Furry Friends Safe is the best way to prevent mosquito bites.

Here are the Best 10 natural and pet friendly mosquito repellents for yard

1. Lemon eucalyptus oil 

Used since the 1940s, lemon eucalyptus oil is one of the more well-known natural repellents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have approved eucalyptus oil as an effective ingredient in mosquito repellent.

A 2014 study showed that a mixture of 32 percent lemon eucalyptus oil provided more than 95 percent protection against mosquitoes for 3 hours. 

DIY 

You can create your own mixture with 1 part lemon eucalyptus oil to 10 parts sunflower oil or witch hazel. Researchers from the University of Florida caution against using the mixture on children under 3 years of age.

2. Lavender 

Crushed lavender flowers produce a fragrance and oil that can repel mosquitoes.

An animal study from 2002 on hairless mice found lavender oil to be effective at repelling adult mosquitoes. Lavender has analgesic, antifungal, and antiseptic qualities.

This means that in addition to preventing mosquito bites, it can calm and soothe the skin. 

DIY

 You can grow lavender in an outdoor garden or in indoor planters. Crush the flowers and apply the oil to bite-sensitive areas of the body, such as your ankles and arms.

Also, drop some lavender oil on a clean cloth and rub it onto the skin.

3. Cinnamon oil 

Cinnamon is more than just a great topper to applesauce or oatmeal. According to a study in Taiwan, cinnamon oil can kill off mosquito eggs.

It can also act as a repellent against adult mosquitoes, most notably the Asian tiger mosquito. 

DIY 

To make a diluted 1 percent solution, mix 1/4 teaspoon (or 24 drops) of oil for every 4 ounces of water.

You can spray the fluid onto your skin or clothing, around your home, and onto upholstery or plants.

Be careful when applying cinnamon oil, as a concentrated dose can irritate your skin.

4. Thyme oil 

When it comes to repelling malarial mosquitoes, thyme oil is one of the best at providing protection.

In one animal study from 2002, 5 percent thyme oil applied to the skin of hairless mice provided a 91 percent protection rate.

You may also want to throw thyme leaves into a campfire. Research shows that burning thyme leaves offers 85 percent protection for 60 to 90 minutes. 

DIY

 For a homemade brew, combine 4 drops of thyme oil to every teaspoon of base oil, such as olive or jojoba oil. For a spray, mix 5 drops of thyme oil with 2 ounces of water.

5. Greek catmint oil 

Nepeta parnassica, a member of the mint family related to catnip, can ward off mosquitoes.

The white and pink flowers grow up to 18 inches, but it’s the extract and oil from the bruised leaves that’s the most valuable.

One study found that oil from the plant could repel mosquitoes effectively for 2 to 3 hours.

Researchers at Iowa State University also found catnip to be 10 times more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes.

6. Soybean oil

According to the University of Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, soybean-based products like Bite Block Kids (2 percent soybean oil) could provide long lasting protection from mosquitoes.

DIY 

In addition to soybean oil, you can also add a little lemongrass oil to your home mixture.

The combination has been tested to guard against different species of mosquitoes.

7. Citronella 

Citronella is a common natural and effective essential oil that works against mosquitoes.

Made from a mix of herbs, it’s an ingredient in many mosquito repellents. When outdoors, citronella candles can provide up to 50 percent extra protection.

Research from 2011 says that the formulation of citronella is important to how effective it is.

When the product is formulated correctly, it’s as effective as DEET and can protect you for up to 2 hours.

If the formula isn’t right, citronella can evaporate quickly and leave you unprotected.

8. Tea tree oil 

Tea tree oil, or melaleuca oil, is a popular essential oil from Australia. This oil is known for its antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.

But studies also suggest that tea tree oil may be an effective insect repellent.

Field testing shows that repellents containing tea tree oil are effective against mosquitoes, bush flies, and biting midges.

9. Geraniol 

Geraniol is a type of alcohol used as a fragrance or flavor. It’s from plant oils like citronella, lemongrass, and rose.

As an ingredient in mosquito repellent, it’s known to be effective for 2 to 4 hours, depending on the species.

Keep this oil away from your eyes, and try to avoid using it if you have sensitive skin. Geraniol may cause eye and skin irritation.

10. Neem oil 

Although neem oil is advertised as a natural alternative, there are mixed results about its effectiveness.

A 2015 study about the effectiveness of neem oil in Ethiopia found that it offered more than 70 percent protection for 3 hours.

Neem oil is not approved as a topical repellent because it can cause skin irritation.

It’s still best to use DEET when traveling to a country that’s high risk for mosquito-borne diseases. 

DIY 

To repel mosquitoes with neem oil, dilute 50 to 100 milliliters of neem oil in water, oil, or lotion. It’s also important to choose extra virgin, cold-pressed neem oil.

DIY Homemade Mosquito Repellents

Pet-Friendly Mosquito Repellent for Yard: Keeping your Furry Friends Safe

We recommend using one—or several—of the top 10 mosquito-repelling oils for maximum effect; choose from eucalyptus, lavender, cinnamon, thyme, tea tree, rosemary, chamomile, peppermint, cedarwood, or citronella.

The reason these work? The key to avoiding mosquitoes isn’t pushing them away—it’s preventing them from being drawn to you in the first place.

“These essential oils are found to be a mask for the odors that female mosquitoes are attuned to when searching for a blood meal,” says Harlow-Ellis. “Sweat, body odor, CO2, and sometimes even your blood type can emit smells that attract these bloodsuckers.”

Coconut Peppermint Mosquito Repellent 

One of the most effective DIY repellents calls for just coconut oil and peppermint, says Harlow-Ellis.

“While this combination of scents is delightful to humans, it will chase away mosquitoes,” she says.

To make it, mix 1/3 cup coconut oil and 15 drops of peppermint essential oil in a jar.

“At room temperature, the substance will be a liquid, but if you store it in the refrigerator, it will solidify,” says Harlow-Ellis.

“You can apply it with your fingers on a hot day for a refreshing way to keep mosquitoes at bay. Best of all, kids love the way it smells!”

Rosemary Mosquito Repellent 

“This effective DIY repellent has three ingredients—rosemary oil, apple cider vinegar, and water,” says Harlow-Ellis. Combine 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup water, and 40 drops of rosemary oil in a spray bottle and shake well.

“If you don’t like the smell of rosemary, you can also try lavender,” says Harlow-Ellis.

Eucalyptus Mosquito Repellent 

For a “foolproof recipe” that banishes mosquitoes, combine 1/3 cup witch hazel and 1/3 cup water with 40 drops of eucalyptus essential oil.

“Mosquitoes detest the strong aroma of eucalyptus, so this easy homemade mosquito repellent is sure to be a winner,” says Harlow-Ellis.

“On its own, witch hazel doesn’t have a scent, so you can also try adding lemongrass, citronella, or tea tree oil if you don’t care for eucalyptus.”

Yard Maintenance for Mosquito Control

There are actions you can take to greatly reduce or even eliminate mosquitoes from your backyard this summer.

Most are fairly simple and just require a different approach to taking care of your lawn.

The payoff can be a summer without itchy bug bites, giving you more time to enjoy your yard.

Avoid Standing water.

The best approach to mosquito control is to keep them from showing up in the first place.

You can accomplish that by removing places where they breed. And where do they breed? Anywhere there is standing water.

That can include spots as small as a bottle cap, so do a careful inspection of your yard to find any containers of water.

This includes kiddie pools, toys, plant trays, garbage cans, and gutters. The exception to this rule is a swimming pool, as the chlorine drives them away.

Keep your Grass cut.

In addition to water, mosquitoes like to hang out in cool, shady spots. Shady areas near trees, tall grass, or brushy areas are ideal mosquito habitats, so focus on getting rid of those spots.

As a bonus, the more sunlight that reaches your yard, the less likely you are to have wet or damp spots that foster mosquito breeding, disease, or even mildew.

Use Landscaping to Your advantage.

Some plants are known to help repel mosquitoes naturally and can add to your landscape.

Citronella is perhaps the most well-known of these options. Citronella is a clumping grass that emits a strong aroma that covers up other scents and helps keep bugs away.

However, there are also flowering mosquito-repellent plants that can do the trick, including marigolds, pennyroyal, and geraniums.

Spray Your Landscape 

If your mosquito issue is particularly bad, your own efforts haven’t worked, or you live near a water source that produces many mosquitoes (such as a pond), then having your landscaping sprayed can solve the problem.

The EPA has approved several mosquito repellents that are proven effective at eliminating the majority of the pests, and when applied by a trained professional, they are safe for your family.

Use Fans 

There’s a reason you see fans on porches in areas known for mosquitoes.

Not only do they help keep you cool, but fans can also help keep mosquitoes away.

The breeze helps to disperse the carbon dioxide emitted by humans that attracts the bugs while also making it more difficult for the bugs to land.

Follow the light.

Citronella candles have long been used to repel mosquitoes, but other forms of light can help with backyard mosquito control as well.

Consider replacing your outdoor light bulbs with so-called “bug lights.” These special bulbs are yellow and emit light at a wavelength that doesn’t attract bugs.

Although these lights alone will not keep the mosquitoes away, they can help prevent the large swarms of bugs that tend to happen around lights and reduce the number of mosquitoes near you.

Conclusion 

There is significant research suggesting that natural ingredients are a pet-Friendly Mosquito Repellent for the yard and also an effective way to repel mosquitoes in the yard.

This is good news for people looking to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals, especially young children and pregnant individuals.

Experimenting with different ingredients to create a blended, all-natural mosquito repellent that’s unique to you can be a fun way to stay safe from mosquito bites.

Following simple yard maintenance practices and incorporating natural repellents can help create a mosquito-free environment for both you and your furry friends, ensuring a more enjoyable time in your yard this summer.

References

  1. 10 Natural Ingredients That Repel Mosquitoes
  2. Pet-friendly mosquito repellents (that humans can use too)
  3. Are Mosquito Yard Treatments Safe for Pets? 3 Things to Know
  4. How to Make DIY Mosquito Repellent That Will Actually Prevent Bites.
  5. Mosquito Control for Your Backyard.

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