Simple Preventives on How to Avoid Mosquito Bites. By Dr. Mercola. Summertime calls most of us to spend time outdoors, but this means we must share our space with mosquitoes. Scientists say that about one in five people are especially appetizing targets for the little bloodsuckers..
Many studies have found DEET to have harmful effects. There are also several natural remedies that can help take the sting out of your insect bites, should your preventative efforts fail. That is simply untrue as there are many safer and effective alternatives, like the bug spray we have in our store.
Mosquitoes Plan Their Attack from Behind the 5. Yard- Line. Mosquitoes are attracted to a number of chemical compounds that they can detect from an impressive 5. The males are not interested in your blood, but the females are a different story, thirsting after the protein and iron in your blood to produce their eggs. Humans have only about 1. Some of us have a collection of microbes that are particularly irresistible to mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are especially drawn to carbon dioxide. Larger people naturally emit more carbon dioxide than smaller people, which is one of the reasons adults seem to be bitten more often than children.
So if you're exercising outside on a warm summer evening, you're the perfect target—especially if you're short of breath! Mosquitoes Like OLD Sweat, Not Fresh Sweat. It was once believed that mosquitoes were attracted to human sweat, but science has disproven that the sweat itself attracts them.
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Instead, they are drawn by the chemical changes produced by bacteria in your sweat. Sweat itself is odorless until bacteria act upon it. Although mosquitoes are not attracted to fresh sweat, if you offer them up some . During this time, bacteria in the sweat multiplied, which changed its p. H from acidic to alkaline as sweat components decomposed into ammonia.
One of these compounds is 1- methylpiperzine, which blocks mosquitoes' sense of smell so effectively that they are rendered oblivious to the presence of a juicy human hand nearby. Insect sprays containing 1- methylpiperzine are in the works, but thus far scientists have not been able to determine how to keep the substance from evaporating off your skin, as naturally occurs over time. If a chemical melts plastic or fishing line, it's not wise to apply it to your skin—and that is exactly what DEET does.
Children are particularly at risk for subtle neurological changes because their skin more readily absorbs chemicals in the environment, and chemicals exert more potent effects on their developing nervous systems. Based on 3. 0 years of clinical studies, DEET exposure can potentially cause the following adverse health effects: 7. This chemical is a member of the synthetic pyrethroid family, which is known to be neurotoxic. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also deemed permethrin carcinogenic—capable of causing lung tumors, liver tumors, immune system problems, and chromosomal abnormalities. Pyrethroids have recently been linked to behavior problems in children as well.
It is used as an ingredient in some topical flea products, so when you see . For more information, please refer to the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) extensive 2.
Simple Preventative Measures to Avoid Mosquito Bites. Naturally, the best way to avoid mosquito bites is to prevent coming into contact with them in the first place.
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You can avoid insect bites by staying inside between dusk and dawn, which is when they are most active. Mosquitoes are also thicker in shrubby areas and near standing water. The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) has a helpful factsheet. For more on buying a bat house or constructing one yourself, visit the Organization for Bat Conservation. Planting marigolds around your yard also works as a bug repellent because the flowers give off a fragrance that bugs dislike. A simple house fan may also help keep mosquitoes at bay if you're having a get- together in your backyard. Dragonflies are also very useful.
I have literally thousands of them flying in my backyard. They are the two- inch variety and I haven't had a problem with mosquitoes as they are nearly as effective as bats at reducing the mosquitoes. Plants Hold the Key to Repelling Mosquitoes Safely. Fortunately, there are highly effective mosquito repellents on the market comprising natural botanical oils and extracts that are every bit as effective as DEET, but with none of the potentially harmful effects. You can also make your own repellent using: Cinnamon leaf oil (one study found it was more effective at killing mosquitoes than DEET)Clear vanilla oil.
Wash with citronella soap, and then put some 1. Java Citronella is considered the highest quality citronella on the market. Catnip oil (according to one study, this oil is 1. DEET)1. 5Lemon eucalyptus was found very effective in a 2. Australian study; 1. DEET repellent that gave 1. Use a natural formula that contains a combination of citronella, lemongrass oil, peppermint oil and vanillin to repel mosquitoes, fleas, chiggers, ticks, and other biting insects,which is recommended in a June 2.
Alter. Net. 1. 7. Extra Thiamine May Make Mosquitoes Think You Stink.
A study back in the 1. B1 (thiamine) may be effective in discouraging mosquitoes from biting. However, studies since then have been inconclusive. The theory is, taking more vitamin B1 than your body requires causes the excess to be excreted through your urine, skin, and sweat.
Vitamin B1 produces a skin odor that female mosquitoes seem to find offensive. Janet Starr Hull recommends taking one vitamin B1 tablet a day from April through October, and then adding 1. B1 to a B1. 00 Complex daily during the mosquito season to make you less attractive to mosquitoes. You may also want to forgo bananas during mosquito season, as something about how they are metabolized appears attract mosquitoes. Research also suggests that regularly consuming garlic or garlic capsules may help protect against both mosquito and tick bites. Treating Bites and Stings with Herbs and Natural Agents.
Once you've been bitten, the objective changes from repelling to treating the itch and inflammation caused by the bite. Fortunately, a variety of herbs and other natural agents are soothing to the skin, and many have anti- inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. So, for your occasional mosquito bites, try some of the following. An article in Scientific American.
According to an article published in the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin,2. The authors conclude that the best course of action for mild local reactions is to simply clean the area and apply a cold compress. Naturally, make sure the spoon is not too hot. It shouldn't be scalding enough to actually hurt, so please use some common sense, and make sure to test it on your own skin before applying the heated utensil to a child. Gizmodo. 25 tested it and concluded that it works as advertised, giving it four out of five stars. The receptors that respond to heat are the same ones that respond to cold, so you will likely achieve the same benefits with a metal spoon taken from your freezer, or simply rubbing ice cubes on it. I have also found that simply covering your bite with tape works really well to suppress the itch.
How to Enjoy the Outdoors Without the Buzzkill. With a little planning and preparation, you should be able to enjoy the outdoors without getting eaten alive. Remember the Three Ds of protection from mosquitoes: drain, dress, and defend. Eliminating the breeding grounds for mosquitoes is the first step to limiting their numbers. Planting marigolds around your yard and maybe installing a bat box or two can also go a long way toward preventing them in the first place.
When it comes to defense, I recommend avoiding harsh chemical concoctions and experimenting with some natural alternatives instead. Should your preventive measures fail, there are well over a dozen different home remedies that can help, from herbs to baking soda to ice packs or heat, whether in the form of a heated or cold spoon, compress, or electronic gadget, or maybe even just a piece of tape.