When you are in the season of the mosquito, it is looked upon with horror for those who suffer allergic reactions. But even if you do not get these reactions it is still looked upon by most as an unpleasant, unavoidable summertime irritant. No one wants to be bitten, especially with the threat of West Nile and other diseases. But what can you do?
The first step is to get yourself educated. Knowing what draws the mosquito to its host and what you can do to lessen being bitten can make your summertime outings and barbeques that much more enjoyable.
Here are some of the things that can attract the mosquito to you:
1) Dark clothes and flowery prints attract mosquitoes. When you go out, wear light colored clothing.
2) Sweet smelling perfumes, hair sprays and suntan lotions are an attraction. It is best not to be wearing any type of fragrance when you go out.
3) They also detect us from the carbon dioxide we breath out, (from as far as 75 ft away). It is recommended that if you must do anything strenuous, that it be done indoors. You do not want to promote heavier breathing because you are making yourself more of a target.
4) Mosquitoes are also attracted by the heat and sweat from your body. The heat mixed with our body chemistry determines whether you are likely to be bitten or not. There actually are people who rarely get bitten, and others who seem to be magnets for them. Studies are currently being done to determine what chemical compounds can be isolated so effective repellants can be made in the future.
5) Mosquitoes are more likely to bite you in the morning and at dusk. There are mosquitoes that can bite you throughout the day but the general rule is stay indoors in the morning and around dusk.
There are things you can do around your yard to control mosquito population. It takes only about a cup of water for mosquitoes to breed so if you have any water being pooled anywhere, take the steps necessary to make an unfriendly environment for mosquitoes to breed. You will be helping yourself and your neighbors.
For the last 50 years we have mainly relied on the controversial DDT sprays, which have been effective if used as directed, but we are now at a stage where some of us want a more natural approach to mosquito control. There are herbs that help in the control of biting insects. When you are looking for a product, check to see if any of these herbs are listed in the ingredients. The most effective sprays usually take several of the best herbs and put them together. Here is a list of tested workable herbs:
Oil of cedar, eucalyptus, pennyroyal, rosemary, goldenseal, tea tree oil, calendula, soybean, plus garlic and brewers yeast. It also appears that mosquitoes don't like B vitamins, in particular thiamine which is B1. If you eat brown rice, brewers yeast, wheat germ, black strap molasses, or fish, these will supply you with B vitamins. Or you can take a good vitamin B complex before your outing. This should help ward off those biting insects. Avoid eating sweets, fruits such as bananas and all sweet fragrances as these can attract mosquitoes.
You can control the biting insects with diet, vitamins and herbs. Eat well and please look for a good (preferably natural) product that has proven insect repellants to help you through the summer. May you have a bite free experience this year.
Resource reference, James F. Balch MD, Nutritional Healing, second addition.