Natural mosquito repellents and Zika

By Doug Williams
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Natural mosquito repellents and Zika

Doug Williams
 
 
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Mosquitoes are usually attracted to bite humans by a combination of light, scent, humidity, and heat. There are many kinds of mosquito species, and they all like slightly different conditions. For example, mosquitoes that carry malaria are attracted by sweat and bacteria. Others are attracted to certain skin odors and carbon dioxide. One thing is for sure, we hate the itchy and bumpy skin they cause, and we don’t want to add any disease on top of the irritation they bring.

If you want to protect yourself from mosquito bites, there are many ways of doing so without having to use chemical-based repellents, which can potentially cause environmental and health problems. Unless you are visiting places with a high risk of mosquito-borne diseases like the zika virus or malaria, we recommend you avoid the chemical products and protect yourself with something more natural.

Mosquito
Mosquito

The risk to health from mosquitoes and other insects is serious in countries such as Malaysia. The first case of zika, spread by mosquitoes, was recently announced in that country. A 58-year-old woman was infected. The Ministry of Health attributes the risk of zika to the Aedes mosquito.

In Malaysia, people often use natural insect repellents as well as the commercially available chemical-based compounds. The resources needed to produce these are usually readily available and cheaper. The Malaysian government has advised its people to grow trees and shrubs that will repel the noxious insects, especially plants that produce a form of citronella oil, such as lemongrass and kaffir limes. Holy basil is also effective.

Natural oil mosquito repellents
Natural oil mosquito repellents
  • Various oils, particularly citronella, lavender, tea tree, and lemon eucalyptus repel mosquitoes as well.
  • It is recommended that beer is not consumed.
  • Eating garlic and ginger is another suggestion.
  • Mosquitoes are attracted to high temperatures, so people often wear light-colored clothing which reflect heat and are thus cooler.
  • Anyone experiencing troubling symptoms is urged to seek medical attention immediately.

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