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April 04, 2019 2 min read
Aside Antarctica, mosquitoes are an annoying set of pesky pests present in every corner of the world. They are mostly active during summer, a time when outdoor parties and activities are best enjoyed. Left uncontrolled, they would ruin your outdoor party and merrily feast on your blood. But it isn’t a ruined party or sucked blood you should be worried about, it is the disease they transmit when feeding on the blood of their host that is really the problem. It’s no new thing that mosquitoes are responsible for the transmission of deadly viruses like Zika virus, West Nile virus and plasmodium, the parasite that causes malaria.
That said, mosquitoes are aggressive biters and until you take proactive steps to keep them away, they will always keep coming without an invitation. Of the several mosquito repelling tactics available now, the use of repellents like DEET or essential oil is the commonest. Of these two control tactics, the use of essential oil repellent is the safest. What about DEET, what’s wrong with it?
DEET based repellents are effective at repelling mosquitoes to a certain degree. Though some people experience allergic reactions when they come in contact with DEET repellents, most others don’t. The major problem with DEET repellent is that it contains synthetic compounds which to a great extent is toxic, and when they penetrate the human body, they would accumulate eventually damaging internal body organs and tissues after a long time. Essential oil on the other hand is perfectly safe because it contains 100% naturally occurring compounds which are biodegradable.
There are lots of essential oil available today which are really effective at repelling mosquitoes. Let’s consider some of them.
Lavender essential oil as you would expect is gotten by crushing and squeezing the lavender flower. This oil gives off a scent too strong for mosquitoes as well as other insect pests to bear. While mosquitoes find this scent very offensive, it is pleasurable to the human nose and has a soothing effect.
Citronella oil is what gives citronella candles their repelling power. It is sourced citronella lemon grass. The scent of citronella oil works best on Aedes aegyptimosquito, a specie of mosquito responsible for the transmission of Zika virus. To use, you can either extract the oil and apply it on your skin or grow citronella grass in your garden.
This oil is what you get when you crush and squeeze the leaves of eucalyptus tree. The scent of eucalyptus oil repulses mosquitoes and so surrounding your home with the tree will to a large extent make your home mosquito-proof.
Basil oil is effective not just against mosquitoes but also most other insect pest like flea. If you have got the time, you can crush the leaves of basil to extract the oil, otherwise buying commercial basil oil will be your best bet.
When it comes to effectiveness against mosquitoes, no plant belonging to the mint family of flowers beats catnip. Growing them in your garden will send a “no trespassing” signal to mosquitoes.
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