What can I eat to prevent mosquito bites?

Mosquito Control in Northern VA

Here are some foods that can be eaten to repel mosquitoes:

1. Onions and garlic

How it works: Garlic is the most well-known food linked to deterring blood-sucking mosquitoes. This popular Italian food ingredient releases a compound known as allicin, which is released through your pores when you consume it.

Allicin interferes with your natural scent, therefore helping to mask you from those persistent pests. Onions and other members of this plant family, such as leeks, shallots, and chives, also emit allicin when consumed, so they can be used interchangeably.

How to use it: Because allicin depletes the longer it is exposed to heat, many people suggest that this repellent method works best when these foods are cut into slivers and consumed raw.

However, if eating uncooked garlic and onions is unappealing to you, both make a great addition to your favorite pasta and tomato-based dishes. They can even be used to add some flavor to stir-fry, rice, and baked chicken!

2. Apple cider vinegar

How it works: Apple cider vinegar has been a commonly used natural mosquito repellent for many years. Like most of the other ingredients on this list, apple cider works by altering your scent. This makes you less appealing to those pesky mosquitoes.

Don’t worry – it won’t affect the way you smell to other people!

How to use it: Many tales claim that taking an undiluted tablespoon of apple cider vinegar at least once per day is just what you need to keep mosquitoes away for good. For a more pleasant experience, you can mix the dose with honey.

You might also try incorporating apple cider vinegar into soups, homemade salad dressings, and even cocktails and other beverages.

3. Lemongrass

How it works: Lemongrass contains an oil known as citronella, which is a popular natural bug repellent that is generally applied to the skin or used in other forms. Eating lemongrass has been shown to provide similar protection as well.

All of these methods are effective because this fragrant plant helps to conceal your natural odors, which makes it harder for mosquitoes to identify you.

How to use it: Lemongrass is frequently used in many styles of Thai cooking and makes a great addition to soups and curries.

If you want to protect guests at your backyard barbecue, try serving some delicious lemongrass wings!

4. Chili peppers

How it works: One word: capsaicin. This potent, heat-producing compound is the active element of the chili pepper, which produces its signature spiciness. Capsaicin is an irritant for many species, which is why you experience that burning sensation when you eat it. Because it is such a renowned irritant for many types of bugs, capsaicin is already used as a natural insecticide in many parts of the world.

In addition, mosquitoes are repelled by the smell that you release upon eating capsaicin-containing foods, so they steer clear.

How to use it: Chili peppers are a great way to add a little heat to your favorite foods. They are popularly used in chili, hot sauce, Pico de Gallo and other salsas, as well as many other tomato-based dishes.

5. Tomatoes

How it works: Tomatoes are one of several foods that are rich in thiamine, also known as vitamin B1. Many people suggest that a diet abundant with thiamine can be very effective at deterring mosquitoes and some other bugs, though this has faced some debate in recent years. Thiamin-rich tomatoes make you less enticing to mosquitoes and prevent them from biting.

If you still get bit, you can rub the juices from your leftover tomatoes on the affected area to stop the itching!

How to use it: With so many ways to use them, tomatoes can easily be incorporated into your daily meal routine. Try some simple favorites such as tomato soup and freshly tossed salads, or top your favorite pasta with a zesty tomato sauce – bonus points if you throw in some garlic and onions!

You could even make some bite-sized tomato and cheese cups to share with your friends at the next outdoor event.

6. Grapefruit

How it works: Not only is this juicy fruit an excellent source of vitamin C and health-boosting antioxidants, grapefruit has been linked to deterring mosquitoes and is also effective against ticks. It has been suggested that it may repel other insects such as bed bugs and head lice as well.

This is because of a compound contained in grapefruit called, nootkatone, which is used as both an insecticide and natural pesticide.

How to use it: Citrus fruits can make a great addition to your daily meal routine. Try eating half a grapefruit for breakfast before you start your day, or combine it with other citrus fruits to create a fresh fruit salad.

For an on-the-go dessert to keep you protected no matter where you are, you can whip up some grapefruit cupcakes.

7. Beans and lentils

How it works: Beans and lentils work in a similar way to that of tomatoes. All of these foods are rich in thiamine and release a smell that is repellent to bugs when consumed.

How to use it:  Beans and lentils can be added to just about anything to add some needed flavor or texture. Whether you use them as a side dish to complement your entre, create spreads such as hummus, or add them to your favorite spicy foods such as chili or burritos, these popular legumes are a great way to enhance your meals and shield you from mosquitoes.

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