Fighting Mosquitoes the Natural Way

In many parts of the world mosquitoes carry blood- borne illnesses and are considered a serious health hazard. Here in Tampa Bay, they’re more of a nuisance than anything else… . unless of course you’re a mosquito magnet and have allergic reactions to the bites.

We’d have to quit breathing to be completely unappealing to mosquitoes — they’re attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale, as well as to body heat, fragrances, and certain body chemistry. Reduce your chances of being a mosquito main course by wearing light-colored clothing, covering as much skin – and hair as is practical, and avoid the peak biting times — dusk till dawn. Avoiding sugar and alcohol helps, as does eating garlic – lots of it – and taking thiamine, vitamin B-1.

Let’s talk about DEET…. a chemical found in hundreds of insect repellent products. N-diethyl-meta-toluamide is a powerful chemical. Since whatever you apply to the skin is absorbed into the bloodstream – well, it becomes a matter of weighing the benefit vs the risk. DEET  can peel paint and damage plastic… and cause extreme toxic reactions that include seizures and death. It should come as no surprise that it’s not my first choice. Then again, if you’re traveling to a jungle rife with malaria…

Deet should be used vary sparingly with children… in fact, I recommend spraying their clothing – not their skin. Or — choose a natural alternative. There are a number on the market today…. which utilize oils derived from plants called essential oils. They are all natural and perfectly safe. They do however, need to be reapplied more frequently -every 90 minutes or so – than chemical based repellents. Use sparingly on kids under 3, and never on infants. Drape their strollers with mosquito netting instead.

You can even make your own insect repellents… it’s easy, affordable, and fun! There are many aromatic oils and combinations of oils that get the job done. Here are 2 of my favorites.

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