September 8, 2016
No one likes getting bitten by mosquitoes. They’re a nuisance and their bites can be itchy and extremely irritating–enough to ruin any outdoor barbecue or picnic. There’s also the risk of the West Nile Virus that has sprung up all over the country in recent years (those most at risk are the elderly, young children or people with compromised immune systems).
However, the most serious danger by far has nothing to do with the West Nile Virus but instead is posed by the pesticides we use to keep the mosquitoes away. And while you likely don’t have much control over the community-wide fogging geared at reducing mosquitoes (other than running indoors and making sure all your windows are tightly shut), you do have control over the pesticides you use personally.
Most insect repellants out there are loaded with toxic chemicals, including the pesticide DEET, which is so poisonous that even the Environmental Protection Agency says you should wash it off your skin when you return indoors, avoid breathing it in and not spray it directly on your face. Think about it–if this chemical can kill mosquitoes, it can likely do some harm to other life forms too.
The good news is that there are natural alternatives out there that can keep mosquitoes away while keeping you safe. My favorite is neem-based Outdoor Botanical Gel. It’s made from an organic blend of neem leaf extract, aloe vera base (to soothe bites you already have!), neem oil, citronella oil and geraniol so it’s actually good for your skin–and, unlike DEET, it’s safe for the whole family–even infants and children. You may also be able to find other varieties in health food stores, but be sure to read the label to be sure they’re truly chemical-free.
Other tips to keep mosquitoes away while still enjoying the outdoors this summer include:
- Staying indoors from dusk to dawn, the peak mosquito biting hours.
- Wearing long sleeves, pants and socks when possible.
Cinnamon Oil Better for Killing Mosquitoes Than DEET: Not only is cinnamon oil useful in baking but it is now being tested as a mosquito pesticide. Find out how cinnamon oil is the safer and healthier alternative to other pesticides and learn about the deadly mosquito repellant that you want to avoid.
What to Use for Insect Repellant–Hint: It’s not DEET: No one likes mosquito bites. But don’t trade permanent neurological damage or even death for temporary partial immunity to mosquito bites.
How to Prevent Mosquito Bites: Find out some natural methods you can use to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
How Insecticides Harm You: If it can kill insects, doesn’t it make sense that it might harm you too? Get a clue.
Are Pesticides the Cure or the Cause for West Nile Virus?: Find out why the pesticides being used to fight the West Nile Virus may do more harm than good.
Blowing the Whistle on West Nile: The pesticides being used to prevent West Nile Virus pose a much greater health hazard than the virus itself.
Five Ways to Protect Your Kids This Summer: Learn the five most important precautions you need to take this summer to ensure your child’s safety and find out what to do in the event your child experiences an accident.
Controversial Pesticide Used in New Home Construction Halted by the EPA: The Environmental Protection Agency recently informed Dow Chemical Co. that they would no longer be able to sell the controversial pesticide Dursban used in new homes. Learn what this means for your health.
Reports From Midwest Indicate Possibly Massive Bird Die-Off: West Nile seems to have affected my home state of Illinois significantly, but is it really West Nile that is killing the birds and people?