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Summer is my favorite time of year, except for one thing: mosquitos. Without fail, I’m bombarded by these blood-sucking, disease carrying insects every time I step outside. Mosquitos lay their eggs in water, and they can even reproduce in mud. Since my house is smack dab in the middle of a lake, stream, and wetlands, it’s virtually impossible to escape. It gets so bad, that we always have to call the local EPA to spray for mosquitos. However, they tell you to bring your pets inside, close all of your windows, and run for the hills- because it’s toxic. This has always terrified me, wondering how many critters were accidental casualties to the mosquito spray. And since I have an indoor-outdoor cat, I didn’t want her to get sick.
Finally, it dawned on me- There must be a pet-friendly mosquito repellant out there. Sure enough, I found a brand online called Colton’s Naturals that made a liquid concentrate. It cost roughly $30 per bottle, and I also purchased a $13 hand pump sprayer by Vivosun so that I could spray it around my yard. The bottle I purchased was amazing. For the first time in my life, I could imagine myself inviting people over for an outdoor party. Before, the mosquitos ruined our ability to go outside, and it wasn’t enjoyable at all. Now, I can enjoy my own yard.
I highly recommend Colton’s to anyone who doesn’t have the time or resources to make this product themselves. For anyone with a small backyard in the suburbs, one bottle could last you all summer. However, my personal situation is so bad here in the swamp, we really need to spray once every two weeks. If I bought the jumbo-sized bottles of Colton’s all summer long, I would end up spending hundreds of dollars. So I figured out how to make this on my own for the fraction of the price.
Here’s What You Need to get Started:
1 Jar of Minced Garlic $1
1 Cup of Water Free (unless you need to buy a Pyrex measuring cup.)
A Nutribullet $50.
Pour 1 cup of water and half of the jar of minced garlic into a small Nutribullet cup. If you’re using a larger cup, go ahead and add the whole jar. Add a few drops of Cedarwood oil.
Blend the ingredients together for a few seconds until you get a milky consistency.
Strain the liquid through a cheesecloth, to ensure that there aren’t any solid chunks. Alternately, you could use a drip coffee filtration system. However, I strongly recommend you go with the cheesecloth. I tried the coffee filter, and it took forever for the liquid to drop through. Eventually, I lost patience and put it in the sprayer without straining properly. Surprise surprise, the machine got clogged with little bits of garlic! This is why I went ahead and ordered a cheesecloth online.
Pour approximately half of a small Nutribullet cup (or 25% of a large cup) of the filtered garlic juice concentrate into your sprayer, and fill the rest with water.
Attach your nozzle, and you’re ready to spray! It takes a few pumps before you’ll build up enough pressure. Make sure the spray is coming out as a fine mist. This helps you coat all of your plants, driveway, lawn, and woods with the juice. The combination of cedar wood oil and garlic will kill the mosquitos, but it also helps to keep the survivors away, since they hate the smell.
Coat your entire backyard, paying special attention to any moist or wet areas. If you have permanent water on your property like a koi pond, fountain, or bird bath, I recommend buying anti-mosquito pellets online. Pour out any temporary standing water you find around the property. This happens most often on top of tarps, in flower pots, and buckets. Personally, I like to go around my property twice on the first round of spraying.
After your first initial spray, you are supposed to wait until the next time it rains. Once it stops raining, repeat the process by spraying your yard again, and pouring out the standing water that has collected during the rainfall. Keep in mind that mosquitos only live for 7 days. So the mosquitos that have managed to survive your first round won’t have any moisture left to breed in your backyard.