Natural Mosquito Repellants
NATURAL MOSQUITO REPELLANTS
When you are in your home environment, there are many things you
can to to stop mosquitoes from invading your space. When you are
away, on camping trips, traveling, or for other outdoor
activities away from home, you need to be armed with a good
repellant. Most over the counter products contain DEET, a
powerful and effective repellent. Many people prefer to stay
away from using DEET. DEET, while effective, is still toxic to
humans and incautious use may have negative health consequences.
While the Center for Disease Control and other governmental
authorities recommend its use, many medical experts caution
against it. Instead, consider using a natural mosquito
repellant. Like the rest of us, mosquitoes find certain scents
attractive, and some repel them. Natural mosquito repellants
have been around much longer than their manufactured chemical
counterparts. And, it is safe to say that what works for one
person will not work as well for another. When applying natural
mosquito repellants, keep in mind that, because of their gentler
nature, they will probably have to be applied with greater
frequency, generally at least once per hour, and after heavy
perspiration. There are many, many different "home remedies", so
experiment with all of them to see which natural mosquito
repellants work best for you.
CATNIP OIL One of the most promising new natural
substances for repelling mosquitoes is catnip oil. The active
substance in this oil, nepatalone, is 10 time more effective at
repelling mosquitoes than DEET,according to a recent study at
the University of Iowa. Catnip oil repellant can be obtained in
three ways. First, you can grow your own, crush the leaves and
rub it on your skin. Catnip is very easy to grow and is a short
lived perenneal in most of the United States. The second way is
make your own infusion. You can take two or three large handfuls
of the stalks and leaves, cover them with olive or canola oil,
heat very gently for 15 minutes and let sit overnight. Then
strain the solids out, and refrigerate the oil. Or, if you are
not inclined to grow and bottle your own, you can buy essential
catnip oil from a limited number of herbal oil suppliers.
HORSEMINT You can do the same thing with horsemint. This
natural mosquito repellant is made by infusing horsemint
(Monarda punctata) in olive oil. Horsemint has a scent similar
to citronella. Place the leaves and flowers in a saucepan. Cover
with olive oil and heat over low heat for approximately 15
minutes. Allow to stand overnight and then strain. Store in a
cool, dark place. Rub on skin before going outdoors. Horsemint
grows wild in most of the Eastern United States, from Mexico,
Texas up to Minnesota to Vermont. This oil is not available
commercially, so you make your own or do without.
ROSEMARY OIL Rosemary oil is another great natural
mosquito repellant. The procedures for making your own oil are
the same as for catnip oil. Most essential oil merchants have
this oil available for purchase.
BOUNCE Grab a sheet of Bounce fabric softener and rub on
exposed areas. This is even safe for babies and it is easy to
tuck a few extra sheets into the ever-present diaper bag, for
Mom and Dad too. And, like all of the more natural mosquito
repellants, it needs to be reapplied often.
Several suppliers have done the hard work for you and combine
some of these natural oils in easy to use preparations. A few of
the better ones are:
BUZZ AWAY Buzz Away is an herbal, all natural mosquito
repellant that is very effective. It contains natural oils of
cedarwood, citronella, peppermint, eucalyptus and lemongrass,
which gives it the added plus of giving it a nice, clean scent.
It has been awarded the National Parenting Center Seal of
Approval. One advantage is that it contains a variety of oils.
There are many different types of mosquitoes, so having a broad
spectrum of natural mosquito repellant ingredients is a better
JUNGLE JUICE Jungle Juice is another plant oil based
natural mosquito repellant which is also quite effective. It
contains essential oils of clove, eucalyptus, geranium, orange,
palma rosa, rosemary and sage. No chemical preservatives,
alcohol or artificial colorings are used. It is also waterproof.
Its aroma is very pleasant, resembling a mix of cinnamon and
cloves. Jungle Juice, as a natural mosquito repellant, is a
great solution. It is safe, easy to use and completely natural.