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Do Essential Oils Keep Mosquitoes Away?
Can Essential Oils Keep Mosquitoes Away?
There’s no doubt about it, mosquitoes are straight up pests. Not only are they incredibly annoying when they buzz around in your face, but they also leave itchy red spots that last for days after they bite. When they come out in swarms during the summertime, they can not only just be bothersome to deal with, but a genuine threat to your well-being. Because mosquitoes suck blood from humans and even other animals in order to reproduce, you’re at risk of being affected.
Mosquitoes can spread diseases due to their tendency to draw blood. These diseases include West Nile virus, Zika virus, malaria, and yellow fever to name a few. So, when you see any sort of mosquito repellent, you might be inclined to buy it if you need protection outdoors. However, you shouldn’t just be buying any old product that claims to repel mosquitoes. In this article, we’ll discuss which repellents you should be staying away from. Read along to learn more.
Natural Mosquito Repellent
You may have seen mosquito repellent that incorporates essential oils into the mix. The companies that sell these products generally tout them as “alternative” to traditional mosquito repellent that uses chemicals to keep bugs away. The truth is that we don’t even know if mosquito repellent with essential oils is actually effective at what it claims to do.
If you rely on these types of products as your go to mosquito repellent, you’re basically making a gamble on whether mosquitoes will go near you or not. So while the essential oil mosquito repellents sound like a great way to use natural remedies for bug repellent and, let’s face it, also smell good at the same time, the research shows that it’s generally not super effective.
Because of all of the potential consequences to being bitten by mosquitoes, you want a repellent that will actually protect you. The trustworthiness of a mosquito repellent starts with approval from the EPA. This is because we know that the EPA thoroughly tests products and makes sure that they do what they are meant to do.
Insect repellents that contain DEET or picaridin must undergo extensive testing with the EPA. So when everything is said and done, these products can be labeled with their full ingredients, whether or not they are suitable for children. As for essential oil based repellents, the EPA categorizes them as minimum risk pesticides. This means that they don’t undergo this intense testing.
There’s really no way for manufacturers of essential oil based repellent to get legitimacy as a true bug repellent. Because they are not pesticides, they simply can’t undergo the testing to make sure they’re actually effective.
Homemade Mosquito Repellent
Not only can you buy essential oil mosquito repellent at the store, there are plenty of tutorials online to show you exactly how you can make your own. We strongly recommend against relying on either of these faux repellents as actual or full protection from mosquitoes and other bugs and insects.
Aside from the issues with the EPA, research simply shows that they are nowhere near as effective as repellents that contain DEET. In fact, these products might as well be used as a placebo.
The biggest issue with essential oils is that they evaporate incredibly quickly. Mosquitoes have many chemical receptors, which is what attracts them to you. The way that repellents work is by shutting down these receptors so that a mosquito can’t find you.
Essential oils don’t block nearly as many of the receptors as manufactured mosquito repellant. Plus, since essential oils evaporate quickly, you have to reapply them much more frequently. Some might even need to be applied as often as every twenty minutes.
Peppermint Oil for Bugs
Many people who are proponents of using natural products swear by peppermint oil as a bug, insect, and rodent repellent. Their reasoning is that the smell will confuse these pests and drive them away from the area. While there is some truth to the idea that peppermint oil is known to kill or ward off some bugs and insects, it’s not exactly the best DIY solution for your mosquito problems.
You’re wasting both your time and money by going out of your way to put peppermint oil all over your house or even yourself in hopes of getting pests to stop bothering you. Not only is there no research that shows that peppermint oil will repel mosquitoes, some essential oils can be phototoxic. These oils, when applied to skin, will become irritable, red, and inflamed when exposed to the sun. These rashes can last anywhere from days to weeks afterward.
You should try to be careful about the information you see online when it comes to caring for yourself and your home. Some articles and YouTube videos out there can cause people to create DIY fixes that end up harming them in the long run.
Keep Yourself Protected From Mosquitoes in all Situations
We at Skeeter Beater know all about keeping mosquitoes away from your person, your campsite, and your home. Skeeter Beater offers an organic treatment which is a garlic based product that eliminates mosquitoes, fleas & ticks. It’s safe for animals and humans and we guarantee up to 10 days after each treatment and will re-spray if you experience mosquitoes within that time at no additional fee. If you have any questions about the effectiveness of essential oils for repelling mosquitoes, about Skeeter Beater, or about other effective methods of getting rid of mosquitoes, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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