Dengue is a vector-borne disease that has been a cause for concern in India. National Dengue Day has been marked on 16 May, by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India to highlight the need to prevent the spread of the disease. Dengue is alone responsible for a large number of deaths each year. Through this day the government tries to make people aware of the various steps to prevent dengue.
This year, as people are locked inside their houses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a decrement in the temperature due to less pollution. This drop in temperature is resulting in more breeding of mosquitoes giving rise to mosquito-prone diseases.
People are usually prone to mosquito bites due to a combination of scent, light, heat, and humidity. Mosquitoes have always been a problem throughout the centuries, biting and causing, nasty hot lumps that are insanely itchy and can become infected. The World Health Organisation lists them as one of the deadliest species of animals and insects on the planet. They are responsible for millions of deaths every year due to their ability to both carry and spread disease.
Here are 5 mosquito repellent you can easily make at home:
- Peppermint and Coconut Oil:
Peppermint contains elements such as limonene which is also found in the peel of citrus fruits amongst other places. Limonene is commonly used as a food flavoring and it is this the mosquitoes dislike.
Take 12 drops of peppermint oil and around 30ml of coconut oil and mix. Peppermint oil can sting if it comes into contact with the eyes so only apply this compound to your arms and legs.
- Lavender Oil, Vanilla and Lemon Juice Spray:
The lavender fragrance you will really appreciate but happily, for us, mosquitoes hugely dislike it. They are repelled by the limonene, eucalyptol, and camphor which keeps more than just mosquitoes at bay. Vanilla also shares insect repelling properties and the lemon juice keeps an acidic level on the skin which will deter mosquitoes.
Mix 10-12 drops of lavender oil with 3-4 tablespoons of vanilla extract and the same amount again of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Add this fusion to two cups of water and shake well to combine the ingredients. Dispense from a simple plant spray and apply several times a day.
- Tea Tree and Coconut Oil:
This blend has a pleasant tangy fragrance from the tea tree oil which insects dislike. The anti-inflammatory benefits of tea tree oil on the skin which is already sore and inflamed are well documented so it is safe to use over sunburn for instance. Tea tree oil contains healing and antiseptic properties and will be kind to existing insect bites and abrasions.
Take around 10 drops of tea tree oil and 30ml of coconut oil and blend. Apply to exposed skin areas with either a sponge or mist from a plant spray.
- Lemon Eucalyptus Oil:
Lemon eucalyptus oil contains citronella which is found in many commercial insect repellents and PMD which stands for p-methane 3,8-diol and it is this chemical that insects dislike.
Take 10 ml of lemon eucalyptus oil and mix it with a carrier oil such as coconut oil. Olive oil will do if that is all you have to hand. Blend well and then apply to exposed areas of the skin.
- Apple Cider Vinegar with essential oils:
This fusion is perfect for people who dislike the oily feeling and texture of repellents that work with a base oil like coconut oil. This has a sharper and more cleansing effect on the skin and some people prefer it. The essential oils deter insects but mosquitoes also dislike the acidic pH effect on human skin which is created by the apple cider vinegar.
Take 50ml of apple cider vinegar and match it with 50ml of water and then add 10-12 drops of essential oil- choose citronella or lemon eucalyptus. It’s important to make sure the vinegar and water are blended in equal proportions. Mix the contents well and dispense from a pump-action bottle.