image by: Haluch’s All Natural Bug Spray
Encountering wildlife outdoors can be a profound experience. Encounters with buzzy, creepy crawly creatures, though, move us in other ways: to swat, to mutter, to slather. And, as the number of diseases and the range of pests that transmit them grow, choosing and using insect repellents wisely is more important than ever. That said, it can be confusing figuring out which methods are most effective at repelling insects while minimizing our own exposure to chemicals we might want to avoid.
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People do the darnedest things in hopes of avoiding mosquito bites. They burn cow dung, coconut shells or coffee. They drink gin and tonic. They eat bananas. They spray themselves with mouthwash or slather themselves in clove/alcohol solution. And they rub themselves with Bounce.
Which is worse, bug bites or bug repellent?
Choosing the right bug repellent can make a hike, picnic or outdoor event a pleasure instead of a painful, itchy experience that may have serious consequences.
For a bug repellent that’s safe and effective—and that won’t stink or leave a puddle of oil on your skin—skip the DEET and get a picaridin formula, like Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent. It’s the best bottle of bug spray we found after testing 23 repellents and talking to everyone from the EPA to the American Mosquito Control Association.
Despite its risks, the popular insect repellent is often still the best option.
Protecting yourself from bites is important, but if the repellent annoys the mosquito, have you ever wondered if it can also hurt you?
In Alaska, where I grew up, mosquitoes outnumber people some 24 million to one. That makes it a great place to test the very latest in mosquito shields.
Products such as DEET are effective at repelling insects, but they contain chemicals many of which are toxic to the human body. Many of them recommend washing hands thoroughly immediately after handling the product. In my search for a more natural way of repelling mosquitoes, I came up with the following methods...
The bad news: there's no sure, completely safe way to prevent bug bites. All bug repellents have pros and cons. The good news: some repellents are effective and relatively low in toxicity -- provided you take precautions when using them, particularly on children.
There are also non-DEET/non-Picaridin repellents that seem to work moderately well. These repellents use natural ingredients such as citronella, cedar, soybean, etc. Let me be very clear: these repellents do NOT work as well, but they may be good enough for those trying to avoid stronger chemicals.
Banish bugs from your homestead WITHOUT using toxic sprays.
Bug repellents are made up of two types of ingredients. Active ingredients are the active repelling chemicals and must appear on the label. Inert ingredients are everything else in the products and can range from solvents and preservatives to anti-caking or foaming agents and even fragrance. None of these inert ingredients are required to be listed on the label.
With the help of modern science we’re now able to know with certainty which natural substances work best at repelling insects. Covering your skin in specially prepared concoctions will have the bugs reeling back before they even get close enough for you to hear them buzzing or feel them crawling. For a natural alternative that you can pick up straight from the shelf, soy-based insect repellents work great.
Most conventional insect repellents contain DEET (also listed on labels as N, N-Diethyl-m-toluamide or N, N-Diethyl-3-Methyl benzamide). DEET is highly effective at repelling mosquitoes, but is also an eye irritant and can cause blisters and rashes on some users. More rarely, DEET has been associated with lethargy, confusion, disorientation, and mood swings. These concerns have resulted in Canada’s banning DEET in concentrations higher than 30 percent.
Leslie Vosshall is trying to block mosquitoes’ sense of smell, but the blood-suckers are proving to be tricky foes.
Encountering wildlife outdoors can be a profound experience. Encounters with buzzy, creepy crawly creatures, though, move us in other ways: to swat, to mutter, to slather. And, as the number of diseases and the range of pests that transmit them grow, choosing and using insect repellents wisely is more important than ever.
While bug repellents can go a long way towards fending off insects, some of them aren’t very effective or may not be doing your health any favors. Check out this guide of common bug repellents to help fend off annoying and potentially disease-causing bugs.
incognito is an ethical company that manufacture a spray & roll-on proven to protect 100% against Zika carrying mosquitoes They both have a pleasant aroma.
You'll find lots of valuable information here about insect repellents, including facts and “urban legends,” along with what scientists and medical professionals say about repellents. Finally, there’s information to help you select the right repellent and learn to apply it properly.