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 attack strategy. 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.