It’s again that time of the year in India when the mosquito fraternity does its best party dance! The number of Dengue cases has risen in parts of the country with a steep surge seen in West Bengal. Like we weren’t enough trouble with the Coronavirus pandemic!
In these critical times, ignorance is unaffordable. People will be more cautious than ever to prevent themselves from mosquito bites and Dengue. Naturally, the demand for mosquito repellents will see a hike in the market. The repellents (come in the form of sprays, liquid vaporizers, creams, and coils) save us from the insects but leave ill effects on our health.
Mosquito sprays and liquid vaporizers contain chemicals like DEET (diethyltoluamide) and pyrethrin which cause skin irritations, respiratory problems, breathing difficulty, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, a stomach infection, and so on.
The market offers several natural nature repellents that have a strong unattractive effect on the skin while causing no harm to human health.
Here are some of them:
1. Citronella is a well-known mosquito repellent. As per studies, it is as effective as DEET. However, its effect lingers for a shorter time as it evaporates quickly. Nonetheless, it’s good for regular use against mosquitoes and the many unwanted insect bites.
2. Lemon eucalyptus: The lemon eucalyptus essential oil contains 85 per cent of citronella. Its fresh scent is another reason why users love it. Studies have shown that lemon eucalyptus is highly effective in keeping away several species of malaria-causing mosquitoes, even the yellow fever mosquito.
Also, unlike the short-term effect of citronella, lemon eucalyptus can prevent mosquitoes for as long as 3 hours.
3. Neem: Known for its holiness, purity and benefits, Neem is an excellent mosquito repellent. Cotton soaked in neem-water (water boiled with neem) if kept at the windows, prevents the entry of mosquitoes. Even burning neem leaves is capable of preventing 76 per cent protection against mosquitoes for as long as 2 hours.
4. Basil: The holy Basil leaf, or Tulsi, is a common ingredient of many cuisines. It is a moderately effective mosquito repellent. The potted plant can impart around 40 per cent protection against the malaria-causing Anopheles mosquitoes.
5. Lemongrass: A popular ingredient tea and several Asian cuisines, Lemongrass is a subtly citrus herb. Studies have revealed with the topical application of lemongrass essential oil gave a 74-95 per cent protection against mosquitoes for about 2.5 hours.
Using natural mosquito repellents are not only good for human health but are also eco-friendly. Mosquito-borne diseases spread at their peak during the monsoons, and this is just the time.
We hope you like these green alternatives of chemical-based mosquito repellents and take good care of yourselves!