Mosquitoes. Those little pesky bugs that fly around in a Kamikaze fashion singing Tora! Tora! Tora! as they swoop down on their prey.
Mosquitoes have very few life goals. Bite people, animals and lay eggs in bodies of water. During the summer, it is important to remember to drain any kind of stagnate water from flower pots and to treat fish ponds, etc. Many have suggested that the world would be better off without them, but unfortunately, they, like all creatures on earth are needed, despite how much trouble they cause.
Mosquitoes carry a variety of diseases. Some of the more common ones are: Chikungunya Virus, Dengue Virus, Jamestown Canyon virus, Japanese Encephalitis Virus, La Crosse Encephalitis virus, Malaria, Western and Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus, West Nile Virus, Yellow Fever and Zika Virus.
For travelers, the most common virus threats are:
- Chikungunya virus is primarily found in Africa and Asia yet was found in 2013 for the first time in the Western Hemisphere.
- Dengue fever is primarily a tropical disease and rarely occurs within the continental United States. Small outbreaks have occurred in the past in states such as Florida, Hawaii, and Texas.
- Malaria is a mosquito borne disease caused by a parasite. It is found in many countries, including sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, as well as Central and South America. Malaria is a serious illness and may be deadly but prevention methods are available. Most cases of malaria in the United States occur in travelers and immigrants.
- Yellow fever virus is a rare tropical illness in Minnesota travelers with vaccination being one of the most important steps in prevention.
- Zika virus is a concern in many parts of the world. While most people who become infected with Zika virus have mild symptoms or no illness at all, the virus has been linked to serious health conditions, including Zika congenital syndrome in babies.
Mosquitoes are usually less active in the morning as they cannot withstand the rays of the sun. In fact, they may even get dehydrated and killed when exposed to too much sunlight. However, it is a different story in the evening. The moment the sun begins to set, mosquitoes begin their hunt for their next host.
We’re all familiar with DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) and other remedies in an attempt to keep the mosquitoes away, but not every one can use these. Some people have allergic reactions to DEET. For those, here are five more natural do it yourself at home remedies.
- Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
Take the following: A 100 mL bottle and add 10 mL of lemon eucalyptus oil to it.
Add 90 mL of any carrier oil to the lemon eucalyptus oil and mix well. Apply this mixture directly to the affected area.
Lemon eucalyptus oil contains compounds like citronella and p-methane 3,8-diol. While citronella is believed to show a little repellency against mosquitoes, p-methane 3,8-diol is highly effective against these tiny creatures.
- Peppermint Oil And Coconut Oil
Take the following: 12 drops of peppermint oil and 30 mL of coconut oil and mix well. Apply this mixture directly to the hands and feet.
Peppermint oil is another essential oil that works well in repelling mosquitoes. Combining it with coconut oil enhances its mosquito repellent potential and basically makes it your very own natural bug repellent. While peppermint contains compounds like limonene and menthol that keeps mosquitoes at bay, coconut oil contains unsaturated fatty acids and emulsifiers that slow down the evaporation of the repellent molecules of peppermint oil.
- Neem Oil And Coconut Oil
Take the following: 10 drops of neem oil and 30 mL of coconut oil. Mix well and apply this directly to the exposed areas of your body.
Neem oil is derived from the seeds and fruits of the neem tree. It is believed to have natural mosquito repelling properties due to its composition and strong aroma. In fact, a study has proved that 2% neem oil, when used in combination with coconut oil, provided significant protection against different species of mosquitoes.
- Apple Cider Vinegar With Essential Oils Spray
Take the following: 50 mL of apple cider vinegar, 50 mL of water and
10-12 drops of essential oil (clove, citronella or eucalyptus oil). Mix apple cider vinegar and water in equal proportions. Add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice and mix well. Store this solution in a bottle with a pump.
Apple cider vinegar is an effective and mess-free base that can be used to increase the repellent potential of certain essential oils. When you use a carrier oil with an essential oil, it can end up becoming oily and messy and make you feel uncomfortable. In such situations, a non-oily base is appreciated. Apple Cider Vinegar promotes the repellent activity of essential oils by creating a slightly acidic pH on the surface of your skin, which can lure mosquitoes away from you.
- Lavender Oil, Vanilla, And Lemon Juice Spray
Take the following: 10-12 drops of lavender oil, 3-4 tablespoons of vanilla extract, 3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1-2 cups of water. Mix the lavender oil with vanilla extract and lemon juice. Add this mixture to two cups of water.
Shake this solution well and spray it on your exposed body parts.
While the smell of lavender essential oil has a calming effect on us, it is quite repelling to mosquitoes. Lavender oil contains compounds like limonene, linalool, eucalyptol, and camphor, all of which are known to naturally repel mosquitoes and insects. Vanilla has natural insect repelling properties, and lemon juice has high acid content that helps in keeping mosquitoes at bay.