Natural mosquito repellants can be made from essentials oils at home. Mosquito bites can lead to West Nile virus, malaria, and other health conditions, however many commercial mosquito repellants contain toxic ingredients such as DEET that can also be harmful. You can replace these toxic ingredients with essentials oils to make inexpensive, natural mosquito repellants.
Toxic ingredients in mosquito repellents
DEET is one of the most commonly used ingredients in commercial insect repellants. DEET, which was first introduced in 1957, continues to be a popular mosquito repellant because its protection can last as long as 300 minutes, which other mosquito repellants last only 20.
N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide, or DEET, can cause skin conditions such as rash, burning and numbness, as well as dizziness, headaches and nausea. Rats exposed to DEET at a Duke University study, experienced brain cell death.
Eucalyptus Oil as mosquito repellent
One of the most effective mosquito repellents is eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus oil has even been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for use as a mosquito repellant. Extracted from the Eucalyptus citriodora plant, the oil is thought to work by disguising the scent that the mosquitoes use to find their prey.
Other natural essential oils that act as mosquito repellants
Many essential oils are known to act as mosquito repellants. These include lavender, cinnamon, clove, thyme, catnip, citronella and patchouli. Peppermint can also be used, as well as lemongrass and cedar. Citronella is made from lemongrass and even the use of citronella candles repels mosquitoes. Neem oil is an Ayurvedic medical plant that repels mosquitoes. Recent research using 2% Neem oil combined with coconut oil showed good results. Adding soybean oil to essential oils has been shown to extend the effectiveness of the natural oils in the repellants.
What attracts mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are attracted to sweat, bacteria, carbon dioxide and odor. Different combinations of these things attract different species of mosquitoes. Exercise increases carbon dioxide excretion, which then attracts mosquitoes, as well.
Other ways to prevent mosquito bites
There are other ways to prevent mosquito bites than using chemicals. Long sleeves and pants prevent bites, as well as wearing dark clothing. Since mosquitoes are attracted to sweat, wash clothing often.
About the author:
Melanie Grimes, CCH, is a writer, health educator and homeopath. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists. She has taught at Bastyr University and lectured internationally. Follow her blog at MelanieGrimes.com. To order professional quality vitamins, like detox products, visit her online vitamin shop at https://www.healthwavehq.com/welcome/mgrimes.