The alternative to natural repellents

We must consider new alternatives such as natural repellents. The different cities of the world are currently facing environmental problems such as climate change or deforestation and their most direct consequences such as floods and the alteration of biodiversity that generate the proliferation of diseases such as dengue transmitted by mosquitoes.

In the case of preventing these diseases, waste disposal or fumigation campaigns are not enough; it is also necessary to put in place topical barriers such as repellents or repellents.

But in this context of environmental crisis, economic problems are added that impact the prices of essential products such as insect repellents and not all sectors of the population can access them. The situation worsens when there is also a shortage in stores.

If we take into account that in addition to the cost, the application of commercial repellents has toxic components, many people with sensitive skin, allergies or simply looking for harmless products, babies and small children, are exposed to a greater risk.

In this sense, it is necessary to evaluate the possibility of bringing alternative solutions to the population.

From Chilka Love for Nature We offer the option that you can prepare natural repellents yourself, with easily acquired ingredients that can be a palliative to take into account for people with problems due to the toxicity of the preparation or the costs of the commercial product.

We know that the proliferation of the dengue-transmitting mosquito responds to a loss of balance between natural predators, therefore an option that replaces the well-known fumigation that threatens biodiversity is a good option to take into account.

When do they bite and what attracts mosquitoes?

The peak of mosquito attack is in the early morning and at dusk; The rest of the day they stay sheltered in dark and humid places. Better to avoid those times to be outdoors.

Mosquitoes bite females to obtain a few milliliters of their blood, which contains the proteins essential for the production of eggs. When biting, they inject with their saliva a vasodilator substance (to keep the subcutaneous blood vessel open) and anticoagulant (to maintain blood flow), which is irritating to human tissues and which is, ultimately, what makes us notice that We just got bitten by a mosquito.

Mosquitoes are attracted to several things. If we are able to reduce or even eliminate some of these things, we can significantly reduce the incidence of mosquito bites.

Mosquitoes usually detect us by the CO2 we emit when we breathe and by the smell of our skin. They also detect us by the lactic acid we generate when exercising. So we will avoid playing sports during peak attack times. We will also reduce the consumption of salt and foods rich in potassium that promote the formation of lactic acid.

In addition, they are attracted to the fruity aromas present in creams, perfumes, fabric softeners, etc., so we will try to avoid them.

Artificial mosquito repellents

The substance used in the most common commercial brands is DEET (N, N-diethyl-metatoluamide)

DEET was initially developed by the US military to solve the problems its soldiers had in the jungle during World War II. Although they used it since 1946, it was not until 1957 when its use was extended to the civilian population.

DEET is an aggressive compound against commonly used plastic objects, textiles, varnishes, etc., such as glasses frames, watch straps, cameras, clothing, etc. It also causes irritation of mucous membranes if applied to them by mistake, it leaves an unpleasant, sticky sensation in contact with the skin and its odor can be annoying for many people. DEET is not recommended in children under 6 years of age and its use is also discouraged at a concentration greater than 30% (it provides about 6 hours of protection). In children between 2 and 6 years of age, the maximum recommended concentration is around 10% (around 2 hours of protection).

In people who have been exposed for a very long time to DEET, an increase in cases of insomnia.

As a precaution, it is usually recommended to avoid its use in children under two years of age.

These substances are present in creams, lotions, sprays, spirals, pills, etc.

Natural repellents

Based on the strategies that plants use to defend themselves against insects through aromas, we can make different preparations to repel annoying mosquitoes.

The best-known plant for making natural repellents and which has studies on its effectiveness is Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus). It acts thanks to its phytochemical compounds by repelling the adult mosquito and with it you can prepare oils or sprays suitable for the whole family.

The way to make a natural repellent, it varies depending on the solvent, but we can use a few drops of essential oil suitable for skin (not the one from stoves or cleaning) and prepare a spray. Or macerate citronella leaves in alcohol for a couple of weeks. It is also possible to do it in oils such as almond oil.

If you are interested in learning more about HOW TO PREPARE NATURAL ANTI-MOSQUITO REPELLENTS with herbs that you have within reach, native or exotic, learn to recognize them and harvest them, this ASYNCHRONOUS VIRTUAL WORKSHOP is for you.

Workshop objectives

Introduce the different plant species that have repellent and insecticidal properties against mosquitoes.

Put into practice the different ways of applying these vegetables using homemade preparations: macerates, tinctures, oils, creams, air fresheners, etc. so that participants can apply what they learned at home.

These preparations are economical since they are made with materials available to everyone, they are also safe for people and friendly to the environment.

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