Mosquitoes are certainly one of the least likable creatures of this planet. If we could, we would surely eradicate the complete species from existence. But the thing about these tiny creatures is that the more advanced mass killing machines we develop, be it the mats, coils, liquids or the new tennis racket lookalikes that can vaporise them just like Harry Potter’s magic wand, these resilient insects just give rise to a stronger and much more resistant generation who are least affected by our defence artilleries and ready as usual for a bloody revenge.
A thing that is more alarming and which you should be seriously concerned about is the harsh chemicals and toxic pesticides that are employed in killing these pests. These chemicals are creating a bigger menace on the natural world. They are polluting the environment, the lakes and rivers, the air we breathe and are extremely hazardous to our health. Some doctors say that the chemicals such as pyrethrum used in the repellents can cause harm in the long run by aggravating asthma and other allergic manifestations in people, particularly children.
So should you just raise your hands to surrender and willingly get a bite that may even give you malaria or dengue? That surely is not a choice. What might be a choice is to keep them at bay using natural ways.
Mosquitoes usually enter the home just after sunset so your grandmother is right when she asks you to close all doors and windows at dusk. This age old practice does help keep the menace outdoors. Modern homes also have net covers on windows that makes the task a bit easier. It is also not a bad idea to take the old mosquito net out from the closet and use it when sleeping, even if it seems like a task hanging the net every night. At least it is a safer choice.
Natural deterrents are a very good alternative to chemicals as they are highly effective in shooing away the bugs without spreading the poisonous chemicals into the atmosphere. Most of these natural mosquito repellents are essential oils extracted from plants and smell delightful to humans but deter bugs. And the plus point is, once the bugs leave you in peace, there are also other uses of the oil as bath oil or natural air fresheners.
Here are some ways to let the mosquitoes know that they are least welcome at your home,
- Add one part Eucalyptus oil to one part garlic juice and five parts of water. Keep this in a small spray bottle or dip strips of cotton cloth in it and hang as a localised mosquito repellent.
- Neem oil contains sallanin, a compound that the mosquitoes detest. You can use this oil to burn a water burner and keep the mosquitoes away.
- Citronella oil, cinnamon oil or castor oil too may be used in the same way to repel mosquitoes. You can also soak cotton wool balls with the oils and keep at specific places.
So the next time instead of buying the new improved bug killer that harms the environment, shop around for a natural mosquito repellent easily available in the market or you can also get a good supply of essential oils like tea tree, rosemary, lavender, cedar, eucalyptus, citronella etc. and keep them in a cool dark place. These last for months and can be used in a number of ways to keep the creepy crawlies away.
Image Credit tanakawho via cc/Flickr