Summer would be so much better without mosquitoes! I'm sure there is some legitimate reason for these little blood suckers to be around,perhaps they play  a key role in the fine balance of nature. I don't care, I hate mosquitoes.

flickr User, James Jordan
flickr User, James Jordan

The worst part is with all the rain we have been getting, and lots and lots of standing water for them to breed in, they will be out like gangbusters this year. So if you are like me, you will be looking for ways of keeping them away.

You may know that most repellents you buy at the store contain a chemical called, "DEET". Well why DEET may in fact be poisonous to these little guys it is also poisonous to us. So what are the natural ways to repel the little devils, well I found an article at that gives us some pretty good alternatives to DEET.

1. Citronella: We all use it in our candles and tiki torches but did you know you can also get it in an "essential oil" form that you can run right on your skin? Though I have to be honest, I'm not sure I want to smell like a citronella candle all day.

2. Soy Oil: Apparently soy oil is both inexpensive and pretty easy to find. It also turns out to be a great moisturizer but some studies have shown it slows hair growth when applied topically, so keep that in mind.

3. Neem Seed Oil: It comes from a plant in India and researchers have found it to be more effective than DEET.

4.Lavender: Who can't get behind this one? It is another traditional repellent that works great and you smell good too!

5. Catnip:  I'm not sure how this would work applied to the skin but according to a study by the Iowa State University, catnip is 10 times more effective than DEET! Wow.

Finally, the article did mention one other all natural repellent, but I'm not sure you will want to try this one. Garlic, if you eat fresh garlic until that small is coming out of your pores, the mosquitoes will not want to get anywhere near you! Keep in mind however, no one else will want to get near you either.

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