What is Insect Repellent
An insect repellent, also known as “bug spray”, is a substance applied to skin, clothing, or other surfaces that helps to keep mosquitoes and other insects away and prevent them from approaching or settling on that surface.
Most insect repellents that work contain N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide as their active ingredient. Permethrin is another active ingredient widely used, a pesticide rather than a repellent. These insect repellents are used for the prevention of insect-borne diseases as well as painful insect bites.
It is a fact that insect repellents have prevented countless cases of malaria, fever, and other mosquito-borne diseases. However, there are concerns about the potential adverse health effects of insect repellents in recent times which have increased, especially for those containing N, N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide, also known as deet.
There have been reports of the dangers of these insect repellents such as behavioral changes, confusion, irritability, insomnia, ataxia (the loss of full control of bodily movements), encephalopathy (loss of brain function as a result of toxins in the blood), seizures, coma, and even death.
These repellents come in so many brand names and are available in various forms, such as creams, lotions, and aerosol sprays. These chemicals can settle and be absorbed through the layers of the skin and has been traced to human urine.
Is it Safe to Use Insect Repellent During Pregnancy?
A mosquito bite can be very itchy and can be a nuisance. Everyone wants to avoid mosquito bites and make efforts in controlling mosquitoes and other insects. Most of the insect repellents available commercially are loaded with toxic chemicals that are poisonous to the human body systems.
If the chemical contained in insecticides can kill mosquitoes, it can likely do some harm to other life forms too, what do you think? These chemicals can absorb through the layers of the skin and the bloodstream and do harm to the body systems and even the unborn baby.
Pesticides are considered poisons and pregnant women should stay away from them as much as possible. Exposure may cause miscarriage, premature delivery, and birth defects. Permethrin is a pesticide, a synthetic pyrethroid available for use against mosquitoes, sold as an aerosol insecticide spray under several brand names. The long-term effects of this chemical insecticide disrupt the endocrine system by mimicking the female hormone, estrogen, thus causing excessive estrogen levels in females. In human males, its estrogenizing effects include lowered sperm counts.
Though you want to avoid mosquito bite, you likely don’t have much control over the government efforts geared at reducing mosquitoes but you do have control over the insecticides you use personally.
Alternative to Toxic Chemical Insect Repellent
Beautifully, there are natural alternatives to toxic insecticides such as essential oils of lemongrass, peppermint, thyme, lemon, tea tree, lavender, basil, geranium and more that can effectively keep mosquitoes away without harming the human body systems and is safe for the entire family.
Some well-known pests and essential oils that work as repellents for them:
Mosquitoes – lemongrass, peppermint, lemon, basil, thyme, lemon, geranium, lavender
Fleas – tea tree oil, lemongrass, lavender, orange
Ticks – thyme, grapefruit, oregano
How to Make Homemade Insect Repellent Spray
Homemade insect repellent sprays are natural insect repellents made with plant oil extracts, they do not harm your body system but instead, you benefit from their healing properties.
To make 4 ounces of Insect Repellent Spray:
2 ounces of boiled water
30 drops lemongrass essential oil
30 drops peppermint essential oil
1-ounce alcohol (vodka or dry gin)
Get a 4 oz clean empty spray bottle
Fill it with 2 ounces of boiled water or more (about 1/4 glass of water)
Add 30 drops each of Lemongrass essential oil and peppermint essential oil
Add 1 ounce of alcohol (vodka or dry gin)
Shake well and spray into air and corners. Spray onto exposed skin or on clothes during evening or night outings.
Add more of the essential oils if need be and remember to leave room to shake the mixture each time you want to use.
For you to enjoy the healing properties avoid low-quality essential oils, please make sure you are using therapeutic grade essential oils such as FERTIL-24 essential oil brands.
You can experiment with these plant oils, enjoy the benefits and stay healthy!