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Get Mosquitos to Buzz Off — naturally July 16, 2007

Filed under: Natural Family Living, Green Family, Health & Wellness — apconnect @ 10:24 pm

North Texas’ torrential rains this spring and summer have brought more than blessed relief from the summer heat. They’ve brought mosquitos … Swarms of hungry moquitos that are making play dates at the local sandbox a miserable experience for parents, babies and children alike.

“This sudden explosion of mosquitos is a result of the recent rains which have flooded low-lying areas where Aedes vexans mosquito eggs have laid dormant for two years,” explains Scott Sawlis, Entomologist for Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS). “And while, these mosquitos do bite and are definitely a pest, they do not pose a risk of exposing humans to mosquito borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus. In North Texas, the culex mosquito or southern house mosquito is the vector for West Nile virus.”

But you don’t have to resign yourself to dousing your family in chemical-laden repellents for the rest of the summer — there are effective natural alternatives! “If you’re looking for an effective insect repellent without the potentially harmful chemical deet, you’re in luck,” writes Consumer Reports’ Greener Choices. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that two commercially available alternatives to deet are just as effective.”

Topping Consumer Reports’ list of effective green choices is oil of lemon eucalyptus, “a plant-based chemical repellent that the CDC considers as effective against mosquitoes as deet,” notes Consumer Reports. “In Consumer Reports’ tests, Repel Plant Based Lemon Eucalyptus, containing 26 percent lemon eucalyptus, offered the best protection of the deet-free products we evaluated. It beat out three repellents with 7 percent deet and protected against both mosquito types for an average of 5 to 6 hours and against ticks for about 8 hours.

Learn more about other natural repellent alternatives in Consumer Reports’ “Deet-free insect repellents.”

While the mosquitos currently heckling the area are not carriers of West Nile virus, if you’re a resident of Dallas County, you can find out if mosquitos carrying West Nile virus are in your neighborhood. Send an e-mail to [email protected] to be added to the email list forthe West Nile Watch. This publication is distributed by email weekly during mosquito season and contains a list of locations within Dallas County where mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile Virus. For more information about mosquito activities in Dallas County, call the DCHHS Environmental Health Division at (214) 819-2115.


One Response to “Get Mosquitos to Buzz Off — naturally”

  1. apconnect Says:

    I can personally vouch for lemon eucalyptus. I run on a jogging trail surrounded by fields bursting at the seams with hungry mosquitos, and they were munching me to literal tears before I started using this spray. Highly recommended!

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