Avoid the Itch. Natural Mosquito Repellants.

By: Bel Marra Health | General Health | Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 12:35 AM

preventativeThe annoying buzzing on your patio may make you want to head inside, but you shouldn’t let mosquitos ruin your summer! There are some natural mosquito remedies as well as preventative methods that you can use to help repel those nasty mosquitos.

Treatment and Natural Mosquito Remedies

There are a number of natural options that you can utilize to help keep the mosquitos away, including:

1.Lemon Eucalyptus Oil – a 40% concentration will act as a good mosquito repellant according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  However, it should not be used on children under the age of 3. A product called Repel is a lemon eucalyptus repellant that is available on the market.

2.Geranium Oil and Soy Bean Oil – a study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that Bite Blocker (which contains geranium oil, soy bean oil and coconut oil) provided lasting protection against mosquitos.

3.Citronella – citronella candles, lotions and sprays may provide limited effectiveness.  Ideally citronella should be used in combination with another repellant product.

4.Vitamin B1 – there is some evidence that taking 75-150mg of vitamin B1 daily during the summer months may help to change your natural scent and help to keep mosquitos away.  However, it should be noted that the research has not been conclusive, but it won’t hurt to try.

Preventative Measures for the Pesky Critters

Research is continually being conducted on other preventative remedies to repel against mosquitos.  Fennel, thyme, clove oil, celery extract, neem oil and garlic look promising; however, additional research is needed to determine the effectiveness of these natural remedies.

If you utilize the natural mosquito remedies above and find that the mosquitos are still annoying you, there are preventative steps you can take to minimize your exposure to these bugs, including:

1. Avoid dusk and dawn – according to the CDC, dusk and dawn are the peak times for mosquitos. Either stay inside during these hours or apply additional repellant and take other preventative measures to protect yourself.

2. Wear protective, light coloured, clothing – wearing long sleeves, pants and socks is one of the easiest preventative steps that can be taken to prevent a mosquito bite. Additionally, avoid dark coloured clothing as it attracts mosquitos.

3.Shower after exercising – after exercising you give off more carbon dioxide and lactic acid.  Both of these substances attract mosquitos.  Generally speaking, after exercising you skin will likely be moist.  Mosquitos are attracted to moisture. So step in the shower after a workout to protect yourself.

4. Get rid of standing water – as mentioned above, mosquitos are attracted to moisture.  Small amounts of water will attract them and standing water will allow them to reproduce.

5.Avoid scented perfume, soaps, detergents – fruity and floral scents attract mosquitos.  A simple preventative steps is to use unscented body and hair products as well as unscented detergents.

If you utilize a combination of the mosquito repellants and preventative measures, you will help to prevent bites.

Treatment for Mosquito Bites

If you don’t have success with the preventative measures above and you’re bitten by a mosquito, the first line of treatment is to wash the area with soap and water to lessen the effect of the bite.  The next line of treatment is to apply an ice pack if swelling occurs after the bite. Additional home treatment can include applying a topical ointment, such as a cortisone cream, to the bite area.  This type of treatment will help reduce the swelling and itching.  If the bite area continues to be itchy, treatment with an over-the-counter antihistamine may provide relief. If you notice that the redness, swelling or itchiness of the bite area gets worse over time, even with treatment at home, you should consult your healthcare practitioner.  Additionally, if you notice a fever or other signs and symptoms that you feel are associated with the mosquito bite, consult your healthcare practitioner in case you need further treatment.

Unfortunately, during the summer months, we need to live with pesky mosquitos.  Taking preventative steps will help to protect you and your family from suffering too many bites and will allow you to enjoy the nice weather.


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