DEET may be the best for repelling mosquitoes, but it may also be the worst for the skin. This article mentions four essential oils that can keep mosquitoes away and references a few scientific studies to support the claims.
Life would be a little less frustrating if mosquitoes only appeared in summer. Alas, the cretins can appear any time of the year — where there is stagnant water, there are mosquitoes. Worse yet, many people are quite sensitive to DEET, the main component in most mosquito repellents. Fortunately, there are other ways to repel mosquitoes without the use of chemicals.
Pure catnip essential oil is proof that nature can beat man-made products. An Iowa State University research team ascertained that catnip oil has 10 times more mosquito-repelling potency than DEET. Additionally, it works against all species of mosquitoes.
When undiluted, catnip essential oil can give the user as much as two hours of natural mosquito repellence. This essential oil can provide almost four hours of protection against some species of mosquitoes. Nepetalactone is responsible for catnip essential oil’s protection strength. It may irritate sensitive skin, so testing it out on a small area of skin is recommended.
This oil is extracted from the evergreen neem tree, native to the Indian subcontinental area. Naturally, the study that proved its efficacy was close to the neem’s endemic territory.
Back in September 1995, a field study was conducted in the Mandla district. Human volunteers used a mix of coconut oil and neem oil on all exposed parts of themselves. Neem oil was up to 91 percent effective for as long as12 hours against the genus Anopheles, which is the mosquito genus responsible for the spread of malaria.
Many essential oils can repel mosquitoes, but none of them are nearly as multipurpose as clove oil. This essential oil opposes viruses, bacteria and fungi. It also has properties which make it anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anesthetic. When clove oil is used undiluted, it gives two to four hours of protection against Aedes aegypti, Anopheles dirus and Culex quinquefasciatus.
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recognizes lemon eucalyptus oil as a practical mosquito repellent. This botanical oil is obtained by distilling the plant species Corymbia citriodora, formerly known as Eucalyptus citriodora. Lemon eucalyptus oil is loved for its sweet lemony scent. It does have a drawback, however; it is not to be used on children under 3 years old.
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