India presently is facing an outbreak of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne tropical disease, worst affected states being Tamil Nadu, Delhi and West Bengal. The death toll has already crossed 100 across the country, with new cases being reported everyday.
Though we always use mosquito coils and liquidators, the chemicals used in these products are highly toxic and may cause serious side effects in the long run.
Here are 10 natural ingredients which repel mosquitoes naturally:
1. Lemon eucalyptus oil
Lemon eucalyptus oil is the natural oil extracted from the leaves and twigs of lemon-scented gum eucalyptus plant. You may mix lemon eucalyptus oil and sunflower oil in 1:10 ratio and apply as a protection against mosquitoes.
2. Lavender oil
Research has found that fragrance of crushed lavender flowers are too strong for mosquitoes. Lavender oil not only acts as a great mosquito repellent but also helps soothe mosquito bites.
3. Cinnamon oil
A study conducted in Taiwan has found that cinnamon oil can not only repel mosquitoes but also kill the eggs. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon oil in 4 ounce water and spray the liquid on your skin, clothes, home, and mosquito-sensitive places.
4. Thyme oil
Tried and tested, thyme oil has been found specially effective against malarial mosquitoes. You may mix 4 drops of thyme oil in olive or jojoba oil and apply. Another way to do it is to make a spray with 5 drops of thyme oil in 2 ounce water.
5. Neem Oil
Neem oil is a natural insecticide. Safe to use, you may apply neem oil on skin to ward off mosquitoes. You may make a herbal liquidator – take an empty bottle of mosquito liquidator, put four pieces of camphor in neem oil and pour in it, attach with the machine and use.
6. Soybean oil
A research by the University of Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory found that soybean-based products tend to provide long-lasting protection against mosquitoes. You may make your own mixture with soyabean oil and a little lemongrass oil.
7. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is not only a natural antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory product, but also an effective insect repellent.
Citronella oil is one of the essential oils obtained from the leaves and stems of different species of Cymbopogon (lemongrass). When outdoors, you can get 50% more protection against mosquitoes by burning citronella candles. Citronella oil, if formulated correctly, can repel mosquitoes for about two hours.
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9. Catnip oil
Catnip or Cat Mint essential oil, with its mint-like aroma, has the power to repel mosquitoes effectively for two-three hours.
Geraniol is a monoterpenoid and an alcohol, which is the primary part of rose oil, palmarosa oil, and citronella oil. It is also found in small quantities in geranium, lemon, and many other essential oils. It is also a strong, natural mosquito repellent that can keep off mosquitoes for about three hours. However, be careful while using it as geraniol may cause eye and skin irritation.
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Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.