Those pesky little pests which bite you when you are unaware is the most irritating feeling I’m sure we all have witnessed. You notice a round and puffy bump forming on a mosquito bite which becomes red and hard with a small amount of swelling. It is also not uncommon to get multiple bites around the same time. If one has a an impaired immune system then a more severe reaction such as a large patch of swelling and redness or swollen lymph nodes become common. That bite which leaves you with a stinging sensation later on develops an itch which is quite annoying.
People are usually prone to bites due to a combination of scent, heat, light and humidity. If one becomes a mosquito magnet then you have become tired of having an itchy, bumpy skin. Different species of mosquito are attracted to different things. The ones that carry Malaria prefer bacteria and sweat. Others are attracted to carbon dioxide and certain hand odors.
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Home Remedies for Mosquito Repellent
So let’s discover some alternatives to mosquito repellents which are less hazardous for the environment and our health.
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
Lemon Eucalyptus oil since the early 1940s has been a well known mosquito repellent. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has even approved eucalyptus oil as an effective repellent against mosquitoes. As per a latest finding a mixture containing about 32 percent of eucalyptus oil provides protection against mosquitoes for three hours. You can even try making this mixture at home with 1 part lemon eucalyptus oil to 10 parts of sunflower oil, however not recommended for children below 3 years of age.
Another useful oil used as an effective mosquito repellent is thyme oil, which is the best at providing protection. For a homemade brew, combine 4 drops of thyme oil to olive or jojoba oil and for a more liquid consistency such as a spray, mix 5 drops of oil with 2 spoonfuls of water. Even burning thyme leaves offer 85 percent protection against mosquitoes for about 80 to 90 minutes. So the next time you go for a camping trip, do throw a handful of thyme leaves in the bonfire.
Cinnamon besides being an awesome addition to applesauce or oatmeal is also proven to kill mosquito eggs as per a latest research conducted in Taiwan. Cinnamon oil also acts as a repellent against adult mosquitoes the most notable being the Asian Tiger mosquito.
When lavender flowers are crushed, they produce a fragrance and oil potent enough to repel mosquitoes. In essence lavender is known to possess antiseptic, anti-fungal and analgesic qualities, which means in addition to being a mosquito repellent it also has a calming and soothing influence on the skin. Growing lavender in your outdoor garden or in indoor planters is easy. Crush the flowers and apply the oozing oil to bite sensitive areas such as below the knee and arms. Even collect some oil in a cloth and then rub on the skin.
A member of the mint family Nepeta Parnassica related to a catnip is used to ward off mosquitoes. The white and pink flowers of catnip grow upto 18 inches but the extract and oil from bruised leaves are the most valuable. Catnip is considered to be 10 times more effective than chemical based repellents, warding off mosquitoes for 2 to 3 hours.
Soybean oil when mixed with lemongrass oil
Soybean oil when mixed with other essential oils could provide long lasting protection from mosquitoes. In addition, Soybean oil when mixed with lemongrass oil enhances protection qualities against mosquitoes.
Citronella is a common, natural and effective essential oil that works against mosquitoes. When in outdoors citronella candles can provide up to 50 percent extra protection. Tea tree oil from Australia is known for anti-inflammatory properties, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties as well. Tea Tree oil is also an effective insect, bush flies and biting midgets repellent.
Neem Oil Too?
Although neem oil is a natural alternative however recent findings have given mixed results. A recent study claims, neem oil has the power to provide more than 70 percent of protection for three hours straight, though it can cause skin irritation and hence is advised to dilute neem oil in water, oil or lotion before use. It also becomes important to use extra virgin oil for dilution purposes.
Even after applying chemical based mosquito repellent you may get itchy and painful symptoms. Some home remedies such as rubbing apple cider vinegar or putting a raw slice of onion or freshly cut garlic can provide relief and protection against increasing infection.
Recent researches and studies have considered the importance of home made and home grown remedies which is a good news for people looking to avoid harmful chemical based repellents especially for young children and pregnant women. This is even an easy way to ward off those minute pests.
So, keep experimenting!!