Are you a mosquito magnet – always reaching out for protection? You may already know that most coils, plug-in vaporizers, sprays and creams are laden with a common chemical called DEET (N,N-Diethyl- m-toluamide, or simply put diethyltoluamide). Although DEET is approved by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is unsafe to use on babies below two months, and frequent exposure to this pesticide can cause rashes, skin irritation nausea, headaches and dizziness even in adults. See our post Poison On Our Plate for more information on the slow poisoning effects of regular exposure to pesticides.
So what’s the alternative to DEET based mosquito repellents? Well, there are some off the shelf options available from most natural skincare companies. There are also several natural mosquito repellents that you can try for free:
- Essential Oils: Citronella, Lemongrass, Eucalyptus, Neem and Peppermint are natural mosquito repellents. All you need to create a mosquito repellent moisturizer is to mix an equal proportion of a few of these, with aloe vera gel, coconut oil or a cream base. You can also you can also put few drops in an oil diffuser, or add it to the bucket of water used for your daily mopping. Just remember, natural ingredients aren’t tested for allergies so before you start using it, do a patch test, and use them carefully with young children in particular.
- Garden Guardians: Plants like Lemon, Lavender, Basil, Lemon Grass, Rosemary and Garlic are good to plant in and around the house – mosquitoes apparently hate them. If you live on a farm, or can influence the upkeep of your housing society, plant Eucalyptus trees – which create a natural repellent against insects.
- Clove Lemons:Take a Lemon, cut it in half, and and insert 10-15 cloves on each half. Place it near your body or any corner of the rooms on a plate, and keep mosquitoes away.
- Camphor: Take a couple of camphor cubes and put them in an aromatic diffuser, turn it on and let it do its job. You could also place a bowl of water with camphor cubes in it in different corners of your house, or simply burn it like it’s done during Hindu prayer ceremonies. Apparently mixing small pieces of Onion with a crushed cube of Camphor and placing it in a room with mosquitoes really works.
- Net up!: Window and door nets can put a little bit of dent on the aesthetic appeal of our homes, and most high rises don’t provision for these, but Nets remain one of the most effective ways of keeping mosquitoes outside, and away.
Try these natural mosquito repellents out, and let us know what you think!