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Non toxic insect repellents

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Non toxic insect repellents ARTICLES

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Non toxic insect repellents

  1. 1. Non Toxic Insect Repellents
  2. 2. • Ang lamok! With the rainy season upon us, those damn mosquitoes are out again. It’s one of the perils of living in a tropical country; you have to deal with coin sized mosquitoes that carry dengue and other disease.
  3. 3. • The most popular solution in our country is to spray ourselves with OFF lotion or the house with Baygon mosquito spray or use Katol. It’s a convenient solution, but keep in mind that OFF lotion has DEET, with is a strong chemical agent that can cause rashes and skin and eye irritation. You may have lathered yourself with OFF lotion and lit all the Baygon katols but still find no relief.
  4. 4. • When I was younger, I accidentally managed to spill OFF lotion on my mom’s varnished/lacquered dresser (mom, I’m sorry I never told you. It wasn’t the dog, it was me). The formulation of the OFF lotion was strong enough to wash the varnish away, so that when I tried to wipe off the OFF lotion with a piece of tissue, I managed to wipe the varnish and the underlying paint clean off. I don’t know if they’ve changed the formulation of the lotion since then, but from then on, I’ve been leery of using OFF lotion.
  5. 5. • As I often seem to find myself in locations where mosquitoes are of the carabao variety – meaning, that they’re vicious enough to pierce carabao skin, and bite through leggings or tights, or arm warmers – I’ve been hunting around for tips and non toxic solutions to my mosquito bites vs. keeping- my-own-skin-intact dilemma. These are simple tips, I know, but it’s amazing how much they help:
  6. 6. • Keep your home sealed. Make sure that your windows and doors have screens to let the breeze in but keep the mosquitoes out. This is an inexpensive solution and it works and it’s chemical free. The gold old kulambo or mosquito net is inexpensive and still works. Use it in place of drapes if you have a canopy bed.
  7. 7. • Remove attractants. Mosquitoes love shallow stagnant water so remove these from your home. Turn over any empty basins and buckets, keep trashcans covered and throw out old tires. Clean out your gutter so there’s no place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. These bugs only need less than in inch of water to make it a viable habitat to lay their eggs.
  8. 8. • Surround yourself with neem plants. This locally grown can be as small as a shrub but can grow as big as a tree. The more the merrier and it smells like citronella. This is a natural repellant that contains sallanin, which the mosquitoes and bugs don’t like. Another alternative if you can find is Thai Lemon grass (it’s actually a plant). Place pots of the neem plant at the entrance of your home, or plant it in your garden near the windows. Neem plants like sun so if you bring it indoors, you will need to take it out regularly.
  9. 9. • Use citronella candles and oils. This is the most popular of non DEET based repellents but it may not be as strong warding off mosquitoes compared to commercially available products. Use it for young children, especially if you have asthmatics or children with allergies since it is milder. It leaves a soft lemony scent in the air.
  10. 10. • Use Lemon Eucalyptus based products. I find this to be more effective than citronella based products. One that I personally like is Repel Lemon Eucalyptus. It’s available at Target in the camping or outdoors section. A bottle costs about $6 but lasts a year but it’s rare that I see some sold locally. It is effective up to six hours. It’s safe to spray on clothing and for use with young children.
  11. 11. • Wear light colored clothing and avoid perfumed sprays and body products. Dark colors and strong perfumes attract mosquitoes so avoid it. • Install a mosquito zapper. Or get one of those tennis racquet mosquito zappy things, sold at most stalls and tiangges. They’re powered by AA batteries, and believe me, when you manage to zap a mosquito that’s been guzzling your blood; the satisfaction is like a mosquito-proof warm blanket over your itchy mosquito bites
  12. 12. • Alternatively, you could get an Imarflex device that kills any bug or mosquito that goes near it. These can be purchased in hardware stores. The bigger the better. At least if any mosquito gets past your defenses, it can get zapped before it bites you. • Try these and see what works for you. If you get desperate, eat garlic and avoid bananas. You may need to try a combination of approaches to get the best solution.
  13. 13. • Article and Powerpoint By • Green Home Philippines , Housekeeping Tips Website

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