Warm weather seems to be synonymous with the mental imagery of mosquito bites, and that unmistakable buzzing sound as they swarm in on you. Never fear, there are some natural steps you can take to protect yourself!
At last, you can find relief with these natural tips on stopping mosquitoes before they stop you.
The first line of defense most people consider are commercial repellent products, but these can come with some very unpleasant side effects, especially if they contain DEET. DEET has been linked in studies to side effects like headaches, nausea, skin irritation, dizziness, rashes, and numb lips.
It was discovered in a study by Duke University that long-term exposure to DEET is capable of killing brain cells in rats and causing behavioral changes.
Defend your yard naturally
There are some plants you can grow in your yard that have built in natural insect repellents such as geraniol and citronellal. Plants like rose-scented geraniums and lemon balm have proven very effective in keeping mosquitoes at bay.
According to the pest management guidelines from the University of California, several plant oils work as effective repellents to mosquitoes. These oils include bluestem grass, pine, spearmint, birch, geranium, rosemary, yarrow and lantana.
In a study by researchers from Iowa State University, it was revealed that the essential oil in catnip, properly known as nepetalactone, was ten times more effective than DEET at repelling the pesky insects.
Citronella essential oil can be diluted and applied to the skin, but it may cause skin irritation in some people. It is advised to apply a small amount to a test area before widespread use on the body. Citronella has also been found to provide the greatest amount of repellency in the first 4 minutes following application. Therefore, it will need to be regularly reapplied throughout the day.
For more natural ways to deal with mosquitos, check out our article.
Other Preventative Measures
· Avoid wearing flowery or sweet smelling perfumes and sprays (most of these fragrances are chemical-based and toxic anyway).
· Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, and pants which cover your ankles.
· Use mosquito netting in bedrooms to keep pests away from your sleeping space.
· Eliminate places for mosquitoes to breed in your yard, like standing water in gutters, old tires, and buckets.
· Burn organic citronella candles on your patio or deck, especially near doors and other entrances.
· Use yellow bulbs for outdoor lighting at night, as these are less attractive to insects than white bulbs.
-The Alternative Daily