Word has it this is going to be a horrendous year for mosquitoes. Great! Besides rain, nothing ruins a beautiful summer’s eve on the patio more than mosquitoes – especially if you live in Wisconsin – the home of July, August, and winter! I dread mosquitos, not just because they’re annoying, but because I’m highly sensitive to their bite (I itch for two weeks and my arms & legs look like those of a 6 yr. old!) I’ve also had Lyme Disease and know that many respected Lyme literate doctors believe mosquitoes can spread Lyme. So, protecting myself from bug bites is a big deal – the problem is finding a repellent that works but won’t harm me in the process (like DEET). The information you find on the internet can be conflicting but there is anecdotal evidence to support it. So here’s a look at some of the more natural repellents along with a few products, and you can decide what works for you!
B – Vitamins
My research didn’t lead me to anything scientifically conclusive, but based on comments from real people and others in the natural health arena, either the B-1 vitamin (thiamin) or a B – complex containing B-6, were effective for many people in keeping the biting bugs at bay. The caveat to the B vitamins is you should not expect them to work overnight. It’s best to start taking them weeks before you venture out – but you can also use a liquid B-1 supplement and dab it on your skin. I’m eager to see if the B-vitamins works. I’ve been faithfully taking my B-complex every day so the real test will come when I head to our community garden plot and make myself a living sacrifice to the mosquitoes and “no-see-ums!”
The CDC has confirmed that lemon eucalyptus oil is a proven mosquito repellent with no threat to human health. It’s simply eucalyptus oil mixed with natural lemon and lemongrass oil (w/no neurological damage) and it works. This is another one I’m going to have to try.
Another widely used essential oil, geranium oil is also known to be effective in keeping mosquitoes away. It is often used in combination with soybean oil. You’ll find geranium oil in many formulas of natural insect repellents like our Herbal Armour Insect Repellent from All Terrain.
This is likely one of the most popular essential oil used as a repellent and is also an ingredient in many natural repellent formulas. It’s probably most recognized for its use in candles and incense. A study done by the University of Guelph in Ontario and published in PubMed found that people positioned near a citronella candle had 42.3% fewer bites and those near the incense had 24.2% fewer bites. It’s best not to rely on the candles as your only source of protection.
This one is still under investigation, but many say consuming extra garlic will help deter mosquitoes.
Many organic gardeners are familiar with neem oil as an insecticidal spray for their vegetables, but it has also been used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine.
If you’re looking to be proactive about the mosquitoes in your yard, especially before a big event like a graduation party or outdoor wedding and want to pass on the toxic chemicals, then Natura’s Organic Repellent No-SeeUm is the way to go! It contains lemongrass, citronella, cedarwood, cedarwood & garlic oil. Just spray your lawn and shrubs – it will last for 14 – 21 days (unless it rains) and the best part for me is, it protects against tics and it’s safe for pets, too!
There’s no hard-fast solution for what’s “bugging” us, but now you have a little more ammo for the battle of the bugs.
+Mary Bloomer is an advocate for natural health and wellness and writes regularly for Natural Healthy Concepts. Visit the site today to browse a wide selection of herbal nutrition supplements, homeopathic medicine and natural skin care!
- Episode 33: Dealing with Ticks and Mosquitos (terrytalksnutrition.com)
- Natural Ways To Fight Mosquitoes: Go Chemical-Free To Stay Bite-Free! (greenearthbamboo.com)