Life Lessons: Natural mosquito repellants
Before you grab that DEET-based mosquito repellant, consider using a natural option instead.
Research shows the main ingredient in commercial mosquito repellants not only leaves a bad odor, it can damage brain cells, cause reproductive disturbances, and can have harmful interactions with medications.
However, there’s no need to suffer long-term and serious health consequences to ward off pesky mosquitoes.
Instead, choose a natural alternative that's proven to work as effectively, or in some case, more effectively than DEET.
Try catnip; you can drive cats wild and make mosquitoes run in terror.
An Iowa State University study shows the essential oil in catnip is 10 times more effective than DEET in repelling mosquitoes. Apply it topically.
Neem oil also works, which comes from the neem plant that grows in India.
A study by the U.S. National Research Council shows neem oil more effectively repels mosquitoes than DEET does.
Get some lotus flowers.
Research shows they're natural mosquito repellants and also help kill mosquito larvae.
Also, since lotus grows in the water, you can use it in backyard ponds or in other water features instead of something that's applied topically.
Mix the essential oils from catnip and neem together with an unscented moisturizer and rub it on your skin for a DEET-free way to protect yourself when heading outdoors.
Always be sure to do a 24-hour skin test to make sure you don't have sensitivities to any of the oils.
Copyright 2014 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Police chief's son arrested after allegedly pointing gun at detectives
Bucks County teens killed in Wayne County accident
Two killed in accident early Sunday in Carbon County
Police: Man physically assaulted nephew for 'hugging dog too hard'
Barn Fire Reported in Upper Bern Township
Fire causes evacuations at Pen Argyl apartment building
Humidity returns for the Labor Day weekend
What's impact of 'Ice Bucket Challenge' on ALS?
Suspicious death investigation in Allentown
Neighbor: 118 animals in shed should have been rescued a long time ago