Mosquitos are pesky flying nuisances that not only bite you causing an itchy bump; they also carry certain parasites and deadly viruses. Both male and female mosquitos feed off of fruit and plant nectar but it’s the female mosquito that bites their host. They pierce the skin; locate a capillary, before drawing blood and possibly infecting their victim. These flying (dirty needle) insects carry so many diseases that are quickly transmitted through only one bite. You could possibly contract: Malaria, Yellow Fever, Chikungunya, West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever, Filariasis, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Zika Virus and or several other mosquito-borne viruses. Infected mosquitoes can also bite pregnant mothers causing them to have babies with microcephaly (newborns with undersized heads). It is very important to avoid any mosquito bites if at all possible. Why subject yourself to a possible infection if it can be avoided.
There are many types of topical repellant sprays available to ward off these fierce biting insects. The main active ingredient in most repellents is called DEET, considered the ‘gold standard’ that repels mosquitoes. Recent research showed there are certain fresh smelling natural substances that perform in the same way as DEET. These essential oils repel mosquitos in the same fashion, but if concentrated, can still be irritating to the nose and eyes, so use them with care. Any of these natural mosquito repellants should be applied every two hours for best results. Oil of lemon eucalyptus
Lemon eucalyptus oil (Corymbia citriodora) is extracted from a plant which grows in Australia. This stand-alone oil extracted from this plant is similar to that of citronella, with a slight hint of lemon. Insect repellents created using this oil has been noted to have the same effects as DEET in preventing mosquito bites. Even though you may be tempted to purchase pure essential oil of lemon eucalyptus, it's recommended that you stick to prepared premeasured sprays and apply every two hours.
2-Undecanone is a natural substance found in bananas, strawberries, guavas and wild tomatoes. Sprays with 2% 2-undecanone are as good as those with the DEET ingredients in them in repelling mosquitos. Take note that 2-undecanone may also be used to repel cats and dogs from entering specifically sprayed areas. As an extra bonus, 2-undecanone sprays are also a great deterrent for raccoons. It's a good natural choice repellant when spending time outdoors and spraying around the perimeter of your property. Citronella oil
Citronella oil (Cymbopogon citratus) comes from a green plant that has a lemony smell and leaves a ‘fresh room’ scent. It’s been believed, throughout the years the odor of citronella plants and citronella candles are good for insect repelling. This may be true for some flying insects but is not as effective long term with mosquitos as the DEET ingredient. According to established studies; if you use citronella with vanillin extract (the essential oil in vanilla), your mosquito repellent works better than mere citronella alone.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) oil is a better proven repellant than DEET in deterring pesky mosquitoes, even in very low concentrations. The oil is also less irritating than DEET and its effectiveness can last up to 7 hours when applied. Although it may be enticing those furry felines we have, it has been tested to work the opposite way with most kinds of flies, including common houseflies. Catnip oil is such a great household repellant, many use it in their kitchens, attics and other enclosed rooms in clearing mosquitos.
The Geraniol oil is a clear to pale- yellowish oil that is native to South Africa. The aromatic fragrance is the primary component in citronella, palmarosa and rose oils. Although it is good for repelling mosquitos up to 4 hours; the rose-like oil is also used in many types of perfumes. Researchers found that Geraniol oil can be also used to reduce stress and as aromatherapy.
Clover Oil (Syzygium aromaticum)is a repellent proven better than DEET in deterring most types of mosquitos from its primary chemical eugenol. This oil is also an immune property that acts like a natural analgesic and antiseptic in helping in overall healthy wellness. It can be used for toothaches, indigestion, stress and a wide range of natural medical purposes. Clove oil is also used to flavor food, but avoid spraying on food because ingestion can cause undesirable effects. Clove oil is best used with Citronella for the most effective results, just make sure it’s diluted as not to irritate skin.