Consumer Reports recently reported their test results on mosquito control repellants: DEET or the chemical N-diethyl-meta-toluamide is the most effective mosquito control chemical available according to Consumer Reports. However, how do you feel about spraying your body with chemicals? Know effective natural oil and plant alternatives.
Mosquito-born diseases like Zika, West Nile virus, dengue, and malaria, are to be taken seriously. We all should take mosquito control seriously, Special shout out to all gardeners, and everyone who loves the outdoors. Be protected when gardening or barbecuing, especially at dusk or nighttime in your backyard. Protect kids when playing outside in the summertime. Protect your pets – just to mention a few outdoor activities as examples.
EPA Warnings and Recommendations
While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that DEET should be used, the agency is quick to add that it should NOT be applied over cuts, wounds, and irritated skin. It should NOT be under clothing – in other words, do not throw over a quick cover-up poolside or at the beach. And EPA states that after returning indoors, skin sprayed with DEET should be washed with soap and water. Ask yourself: Would you really do it?
In 1998 the EPA linked 46 fatal seizures to DEET. Furthermore, various animal testing with DEET resulted in renal lesions in male rats. The concentration levels affected the outcomes in the EPA study. So, one might argue that a simple spray of DEET with low dosages should be considered safe. However, it also begs the question of why use chemicals at all when there are effective natural oils.
Chemical-free, Natural Mosquito Control
It’s rather sad that Consumer Reports didn’t include any natural mosquito control agents in their testing. Mosquito control is important. How do you feel about spraying your body with chemicals? Know effective natural oil and plant alternatives.
Why not take advantage of other effective, natural mosquito control techniques? Why douse your body with chemicals? And, to make matters even worse – way worse – why employ services that spray entire backyards with “anti-mosquito chemicals? Do you really want your kids and pets playing in this kind of chemical bath?
There are a variety of effective natural repellents. It is easiest to buy them as oils. You can then either create sprays or lotions with them. Mix such oils into witch hazel for sprays or mix the oils into your favorite lotion. Experiment, and find the oil and fragrance you like the best. Find the ones that work the best for you, your kids, and your pets. Of course, if you have a diffuser, add a few drops into it and let the vapor do the rest for you.
Effective and easy-to-find natural oils are mint, lemongrass, geranium, eucalyptus, thyme, sage, and lavender.
Mix a spray in a little spray bottle and take it along on your dog walks. Our puppies are often targeted by a variety of nasty and annoying bugs. Lemongrass works particularly well with dogs.
Gardening & Grilling Tip
Grilling at night time, and even worse with light shining around you is a great way to make yourself a prime target for mosquitoes. But no worries – start the grilling with a sprig of rosemary on the grill and “the little buggers” will stay away.
One additional gardener’s tip: Plant allium, catnip, mint, lavender, or sage in the immediate vicinity of your grill. It will further dissuade mosquitos from coming over. Not only are these plants beautiful but they too are a wonderful element in natural mosquito control.
And then there are bug traps like Zevo, for example. Place a trap near the grill and /or sitting areas. The idea is that bugs are attracted to the Zevo traps and will skip humans altogether. This in turn avoids spraying chemicals on people’s bodies – what a simple and effective concept!
Make mosquito control with natural products one more opportunity to reduce the chemical overload in your life. Every bit counts. Your body will thank you.