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Natural mosquito repellents

The best way to prevent mosquitoes is through professional mosquito control methods that create a barrier around your property to eliminate mosquitoes during all of their life stages all year long.

For your own personal protection, having a licensed pest control company apply a commercially available repellent is your best option.

There are some who prefer natural methods to stop mosquito bites. Many people say that there are plants to keep mosquitoes away, although they often do not work quite as well, or as long, as other methods.

That's why the best mosquito repellent is to use caution during certain times of day and to hire a professional mosquito treatment provider for your home and property. While Ehrlich cannot endorse any of these methods, here are some of the most popular methods of natural mosquito repellent.

Plants that repel mosquitoes

A natural mosquito repellent usually means using plants that can be grown at home. Some people use plants to create a homemade mosquito repellent. There are also commercially-prepared mosquito repellents that have already formulated the right amount of each herb, oil and plant to be effective.

Which one is the best mosquito repellent? The most popular oils and methods of natural mosquito repellents include:

  • Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus - probably one of the best known and most effective natural mosquito and insect repellents on the market. It is the only plant-based method of mosquito repellent that is recommended by the Center for Disease Control..

  • Citronella - you have probably seen citronella used in candles and coils, but it is also a grass that you can grow in the garden. Do not expect that just because it's growing that it's going to work. You have to break and crush the grass to release the oil that acts as a repellent.

  • Catnip - the same stuff that can drive your cat crazy, according to an Iowa State University Study, can also repel mosquitoes.  The study also goes on to suggest that it might have stronger properties than DEET.

  • Essential Oils - one of the newer and more popular theories is that the use of what are known as essential oils can be made to repel mosquitoes. The theory is that mosquitoes are repelled by scents and oils such as peppermint, lavender, lemon, eucalyptus, thyme, sage, cloves, cinnamon, rosemary and even geraniums can be reduced to an oil, mixed together, and then sprayed on people or around the property to repel mosquitoes.

  • Picaridin - a product available over-the-counter and derived from plants that became very popular in countries like Australia and across Europe before becoming available in the U.S. in 2005. The World Health Organization has recommended it as an alternative to the popular chemical DEET and suggested that it can be just as effective.

Risks of natural mosquito repellents

Many people are worried the chemicals such as DEET might have serious health problems for people who use them. A person has to balance the very serious and real health risks that mosquito bites cause with any potential issues that may come from using chemicals to repel mosquitoes.

Some of the things you need to consider when using natural mosquito repellents are:

  • Repeat applications - DEET can last for hours, depending on the formulation used. Using natural methods may work, but it will last for much less time than other chemical methods. Be sure to read directions and re-apply as necessary for maximum protection.

  • Increased bite risk - because of the concerns over a shorter time for the repellent to work you are potentially exposed more often to risks of being bitten. Natural methods don’t kill mosquitoes; just make them less likely to bite. That means they are likely still around once the repellent wears off and may come back to bite.

  • Allergies - some people do have allergies to natural methods including many types of plant oils. Watch for skin reactions such as rashes or any other problems such as difficulty breathing.

  • Incorrect dosages - if you try making repellents on your own, you do run the risk of getting the mixture wrong and creating a repellent that is not as effective as a commercially-available product.

The best mosquito repellent

Although studies show that natural mosquito repellents can be effective, they require a lot more care and work and more repeated applications than other methods. Studies continue to show that DEET is still the best mosquito repellent and offers the most comprehensive protection from mosquitoes. DEET keeps mosquitoes away and lasts a long time, making it easier to use at family outings and for kids because parents do not have to remember to re-apply it every few hours.

The risks of mosquito bites

The problem with testing and using alternative methods of mosquito bite prevention is that you run the risk of mosquito bites if the natural mosquito repellent is not applied properly or at regular intervals. Diseases from malaria to the Zika virus are potential risks for those who do not have adequate mosquito bite protection. Your health is too important, so using the most effective mosquito prevention methods is recommended.

Ehrlich mosquito prevention

The best way to make sure you are protected from mosquito bites is to work the experts at Ehrlich.

Call Ehrlich today at 1-800-837-5520 and schedule a consultation with a pest control professional.

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