Mosquito season is in full swing and I can’t bear to use deet based products after doing the research. Deet is classified as a pesticide and research shows that deet is a neurotoxin to insects and mammals. It was thought to interfere with a mosquito’s sense of smell but a new study published in the journal BioMed Central Biology, suggests that deet may function by interfering directly with insects’ nervous systems.
“We’ve found that deet is not simply a behavior-modifying chemical but also inhibits the activity of a key central nervous system enzyme, acetylcholinesterase, in both insects and mammals,” the researchers said.
Deet is still considered safe in low doses but my concern lies with putting this chemical on skin which is the body’s largest organ. If we are reapplying it, how much is still considered a low dose, or does that end up being a large dose? “Use of DEET concentrations above 50 percent have been associated with increased skin irritation and similar reactions. In very rare circumstances, slurred speech, confusion and seizures have been associated with the use of DEET, particularly in children.” We are not supposed to put deet on irritated skin, and to try and spray it on our clothing rather than skin. It is also recommended to wash it off before bed and remove any clothing containing deet before we go to sleep.
Thankfully there are natural things like essential oils that work to repel mosquitos. Essential oils like lavender, citronella, eucalyptus, vanilla, clove, garlic, rosemary, cedar and lemon grass oil can be used as natural repellents against mosquitos. In a nutshell, mosquitos don’t like the way they smell, and in some cases the oils work to interfere with the mosquitos sense of smell.
At first I was skeptical about how well they would work but after having used a mixture of Citronella, Lemon Grass, Lavender and Witch Hazel I am a believer. You do have to reapply this mixture every hour to two hours but that is worth it to me. I feel good about using essential oils on my family because they don’t come with the same warnings that deet does.
I will be on CTV Morning Live Calgary tomorrow July 25th at 8:05 am MST to show you how easy it is to make mosquito repellent using essential oils.
Cheers to natural products that work!