Keep Mosquitoes Out of Your Sukkah With This Homemade Repellant

Nobody gets bitten by mosquitoes quite like me. I am such a magnet for mosquitoes that my husband jokes with me (sort of a joke but not really) that he never has to wear repellant because he’s got me as bait. So you can imagine for me how scary some of the news has been lately about mosquito born illnesses like West Nile Virus and Zika. When I heard that in the LA area we had West Nile in the San Gabriel Valley I just figured, that’s it for me then. Bye.

You may be like me or perhaps know someone who is, so as we approach this season where we will all be sitting outside in our sukkahs, give a thought to how you will be handling mosquitoes. Of course you can wear repellant, but sometimes they are really nauseating and as the hostess you will want to do something in addition just in case your guests haven’t prepared and you don’t feel comfortable offering to spray them down!

Hardware stores sell big citronella candles and torches but they have a tendency to be real smokers that create an overwhelming toxic atmosphere (which I appreciate is part of the point). Here is a project I am going to try that tones down that approach: make your own citronella lantern. I am using lemons because they are reminiscent of the etrog. You can also use an etrog, but in my area they are about $45 each so, yeah, no.

The project only requires a few things:

  • Jars or vases (mason or otherwise)
  • Floating citronella candles (available near you or on Amazon)
  • Lemons
  • Rosemary sprigs

DIY Bug Repellant | Chai & Home

And here is what you do:

  1. Slice the lemons.
  2. Place lemons on the outside of the jar, using the rosemary sprigs as stuffing so the lemons stay put.
  3. Fill gently with water.
  4. Float one or two candles on top.
  5. Light it up!

DIY Bug Repellant | Chai & Home

You can find instructions for using citronella oil instead but when I costed it out, it seems like buying a pre-made citronella candles is more cost effective. As always, be very careful when doing projects with flames and always keep candles away from children. I’m going to place this in the center of the table to avoid little inquiring hands…and of course, one around my neck.

L’Chaim!