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Mosquitos

Natural Mosquito Repellents You Can Use Right Now

Thursday, July 23, 2009 by: Aaron Turpen
Tags: mosquitos, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Have you ever looked at the back of a bottle of insect repellent you might have purchased in the store? You`ll see chemical names like N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, N-diethyl-3-methyl-benzamide, 2-hydroxyethyl, and 1-methylpropyl ester.

Do you have any idea what those are? Most people don`t, but according to the Environmental Protection Agency`s website, the first two are the chemical names for DEET and the other two for Picaridin.

The EPA`s own study of DEET in 1998 found that it poses no specific risk to humans provided it is not worn for long periods of time and is used as a topical repellent only. Their tests of both DEET and Picaridin show them to only be "slightly toxic" when ingested.

This could be worse, but if you`re not interested in even slightly exposing your family to questionable chemicals--especially if a proven alternative exists--then there are ways to avoid them. Why expose yourself or your children to potentially toxic chemicals if you don`t have to?

Prevention First
The first step in keeping mosquitoes from biting is to not have them around in the first place. Your home, place of business, etc. might be a mosquito breeding ground. Drain or clean up any standing water.

If you have ponds or non-chlorinated pools, consider a circulation system to keep them fresh and clean.

Keep the gutters around your home clear of debris.

Two other attractants are evergreens (especially the heavy foliage types) and dark clothing. Consider using a natural insect killer like diatomaceous earth (DE) to treat your trees and shrubs. Finally, avoid dark clothing if possible, as it`s a natural visual cue for mosquitoes.

Natural Insecticides
There are a lot of natural insecticides you could turn to for help in keeping the pesky mosquitoes away as well. Many are available as topical oils and creams for ready use off the pharmacy or health store shelf. Others can be quickly (and easily) made at home from essential (non-dilute) oils.

Citronella Oil is commonly seen in sprays off the shelf, as candles you can burn to keep mosquitoes at bay, and even as scented hangers that react with the air to exude the scent. Most types of flying insects dislike the smell of citronella and will avoid it. Beware of allergies to this oil, however, and make sure to try only small amounts on a "test area" before applying whole hog.

Lemon Eucalyptus is another extremely popular essential oil. It can be found in many off-the-shelf sprays and creams. The base oil can be purchased and diluted in water. A 6oz spray bottle of water can have a few drops (maybe 8-12) of lemon eucalyptus added and sprayed on as a repellent.

Lemongrass Oil is another, similar repellent that can be used as lemon eucalyptus above. Cinnamon, Peppermint, Clove, Rosemary, and Castor oil are also popular alternatives, readily available in health food stores and pharmacies.

Many others are also available and popular, with varying degrees of success. Many oils can be mixed to create a pleasant scent to go along with the repellent as well.

There are many natural alternatives to spraying or rubbing on combination repellent/sunscreen as well, all of which can be just as effective as the chemicals in the commercial sprays. Be aware that mixing repellents with sunscreen, diluting with rain or sweat, and even time can reduce their effectiveness. If you`re using sunscreen as well as your natural repellent, put the repellent on clothing and use the sunscreen to protect your skin.

Make sure to have fun and enjoy the outdoors this summer, and stay protected too!

http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howthingswork/...
http://chemistry.about.com/od/healthbeautypr...
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Natural-Healt...


About the author

Aaron Turpen is a professional writer living in Wyoming in the USA. His blogs cover organic/sustainable living and environmental considerations (AaronsEnvironMental.com) and the science debunking mainstream medical and proving alternatives (HiddenHealthScience.com).

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