Mosquitoes can be annoying on a summerís night as we try to enjoy the evening. They also are capable of transmitting diseases like malaria, yellow fever and many strands of encephalitis as well as West Nile virus to humans and animals. Did you know that there are 176 species recognized in the United States? Itís best to avoid them and use a natural mosquito repellent to keep them away.
The EPA recommends and approves three repellents:
1) DEET ( N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide)
2) Picaridin (KBR 3023)
3) Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (p-methane 3,8-diol, or PMD)
I would not recommend DEET or Picaridin and would recommend that you not use them. DEET and Picaridin are both made with chemicals. Your skin can absorb any compound you rub or spray on it including lotions and repellents.
People with sensitive skin can have a reaction to the chemicals in repellents. Prolonged use of either product can cause toxicity in your body. Chemicals accumulate in your body and can become a burden to your liver thereby compromising your immune system over time.
I would recommend the use a Natural Mosquito Repellent, this one you can make yourself.
Natural Mosquito Repellent
15 drops each - Essential Oils (citronella, lemongrass, lemon, eucalyptus, geranium essential oils and a scent you enjoy like lavender, tea tree oil, peppermint or cedar wood essential oils)
14 ounces Witch Hazel
16 ounce Spray Bottle
1 quart Glass Jar
Pour witch hazel into the glass jar. Add approx. 15 drops each of citronella, lemongrass, lemon, eucalyptus and geranium essential oils. Add any other essential oil scent that you prefer to make it smell nice (suggestions are listed above). Put the lid on the jar tightly and shake vigorously until the mixture becomes opaque or cloudy looking. Pour the mixture into the spray bottle. Now itís ready for use!
Caution: Do not spray onto the face or on hands of children.( They might rub it into their eyes.)
Other suggestions to avoid mosquitoes:
1) Wear light color clothing because mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors.
2) Drain all containers in your yard including childrenís toys, old tires, garbage can lids, bottles, barrels, buckets, canoes or other boats, tarps and pool covers.
3) Change water in pet water bowls and bird baths at least once a week.
4) Repair leaky outdoor faucets and avoid creating water puddles.
5) Keep downspouts clear and free flowing making sure the water drains quickly and does not pool in the yard.
I hope this information keeps you mosquito free this summer. If you have any other tips or hints to keep your yard mosquito free we would love to hear them. Leave a comment below or use the forum to share your ideas.