Kolkata, April 13, 2021: Natural mosquito repellents are far more effective from synthetic mosquito repellents as they are less toxic on human skin and no doubt on the environment. Natural repellent impairs the sense of smell in mosquitoes and hence making it difficult for mosquito to feed on human. There is no doubt in people wishing for a repellent that is both effective in fending off mosquitoes as well as gentle on the skin. This article aims to tell you about plants that naturally repel mosquitoes. Mosquitoes carry several harmful diseases such as Japanese Encephalitis, Malaria, Chikungunya and Filariasis. Itchy red bumps on the skin caused by insects which feed on human blood and in doing so spread deadly pathogens.
Plants that naturally repel mosquitoes
Laboratory findings prove that natural repellents are effective in protecting against several species of malaria carrying mosquito. While choosing the right kind of repellent, two basic questions pop up in our mind: Firstly, the risk mosquito transmitted diseases and secondly its effect on human skin. There are plants that naturally repel mosquitoes too. Plant based mosquito repellents are successfully effective in keeping mosquito nuisance at bay and hence can prove a better alternative to chemical based repellents.
However, before we get onto the plants that can repel mosquitoes, we need to know the components of a chemical repellent.
The contents of chemical repellents are DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) or Picaridin. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated it to be unsafe for children and adults if used incorrectly. Health Canada has banned insect repellents containing DEET with a concentration more than 30%. This act was introduced in the year 2004.
There are wide range of chemical repellents to choose from but why should one choose the natural route? The answer is simple. They are superior to chemical filled sprays and creams by being safe and effective. They are ideal for sensitive skin, affordable and have an aromatic scent. They are also free from artificial fragrance. Although chemical based repellents are effective and used in a wide area, they have a well-documented toxicity.
Go the natural way, plants that naturally repel mosquitoes
As the saying goes, “One arrow, two targets.” There are many plants that naturally repel mosquitoes. These plant-based repellent act as a decorative item in your garden and will also protect you from nuisance creators-mosquitoes. Bonus added, they are very easy to grow with less maintenance. Another advantage being, you can have peaceful evening hours as well as outdoor dinner without the mosquito buzz. By opting for these natural routes, you can accomplish other goals simultaneously. Now that you are familiar with why to choose natural over chemical let’s take a look at some plants which will block away mosquitoes.
Basil – It is a great effective mosquito repellent because they contain geraniol, among other constituents. Some basils such as African Blue Basil, Holy Basil also contain Eugenol. Studies have shown that this natural constituent can keep mosquitoes at bay for a short interval.
Catnip – Catnip plants offers to keep mosquitoes away. Its oil is extracted from Nepeta Cataria plant. According to EPA, it will offer mosquito protection up to seven hours. Research suggest that is effective in repelling yellow fever mosquitoes.
Oil or leaves of plant-based repellent
There are plants whose leaves can act as a mosquito repellent. Now, isn’t that exciting. You can get these plants at your home and try repelling mosquitoes.
Thyme – Another effective mosquito repelling plant. One can extract its oil or burn its leaves to repel away mosquitoes. Laboratory studies have shown that it can repel mosquitoes for straight ninety minutes i.e., 85%.
Clove — Cloves may also help prevent bothersome mosquito bites. The clove oil mixtures protected against yellow fever mosquitoes for up to 96minutes. In a 2013 study, researchers mixed clove essential oil with bases of olive and coconut oil, which volunteers then applied topically to their skin.
Keeping mosquitoes at bay
Research found that heated eucalyptus leaves provided roughly 72% protection against mosquitoes for two hours during a field study. In the study, the researchers placed the leaves on a hot plate over a stove to fumigate the area.
Eucalyptus-The authors of a 2011 study tested the effectiveness of eucalyptus oil with a coconut oil base. It provided approximately 93% protection against the filarial mosquito in India for up to 4 hours.
Peppermint-Using peppermint may be another natural way to repel mosquitoes. A study in 2011 found that peppermint essential oil was effective against mosquito larvae and provided 100% protection against bites from adult yellow fever mosquitoes for up to 150 minutes.