The temperature has gone up, and the mosquitoes have come out and they are hungry for blood. For all those that enjoy the sun’s Vitamin D, being outdoors, and being active, are very prone to getting bit. For those people, and for the rest of us who simply don’t like those red, itchy bumps all summer, here are some facts about mosquitoes and how to protect yourself naturally, free from any harsh chemicals and without that gross chemical smell.
When it comes to mosquitoes themselves, they’re pesky little bothers. They can scent a potential target from fifty yards away, due to certain chemical compounds found on human skin. These include but are not limited to:
Carbon dioxide (from exhalation)
Octenal (a substance found in breath and sweat)
Old sweat (not fresh, contrary to popular belief)
Eating bananas (for whatever reason, mosquitoes love those! Avoid them during the summer to lower your risk of bites)
Basically, any summer activity can potentially attract mosquitoes. This is especially true in larger adults. The greater the body mass, the higher the amount of carbon dioxide a person emits in their breath. Thus a tall, muscular athlete exercising outdoors is prone to greater breakouts than someone simply lying out in the sun.
This can potentially be problematic. Throughout history, mosquitoes have developed a bad rep for being carriers of several serious illnesses, including:
West Nile Fever
Thankfully, there are natural ways to lower your appeal to mosquitoes, and hopefully avoid them altogether.
B-Complex vitamins. Supplementing with the entire B-Complex makes a person’s natural scent foul to mosquitoes, who then happily avoid the source.
Taken internally, either in food or – for better protection – through supplementation, garlic has the same effect on mosquitoes as B vitamins.
Cinnamon essential oil. Research is still being done on the topic, but cinnamon oils has been found, in one study, to be more effective in repelling insects than your regular drugstore mosquito repellent. It is also safe, delicious, and smells wonderful.
Neem leaf or oil. As a leaf, neem can be burned to create an unpleasant atmosphere for mosquitoes and other insects. As an oil, if combined with coconut oil, it can be rubbed into the skin for a similar effect.
Essential oils. Besides cinnamon oil, other oils that can be used for repelling mosquitoes and other insects are; catnip, vanilla extract mixed with olive oil, lemon in combination with eucalyptus oil, peppermint, lemongrass, and citronella.
If you are bitten, however, there are a number of herbs you can use to soothe your bites:
Raw local honey
Tea Tree oil
Lemon or lime oils
Apple Cider vinegar
Before you go outside this summer, slather on some oils or swallow some B-Vitamins and garlic supplements.