Summer is here, and you know what that means: mosquito season!
Just about everybody hates mosquitoes, and trust us, we get it! No one wants to deal with itchy, painful bites—not to mention the danger of contracting the deadly diseases that mosquitoes can carry (like Zika and West Nile Virus). That makes mosquito repellant a summer must-have, especially if you like to spend a lot of time outdoors.
But do you have to buy the mosquito repellant from the store, or can you make it yourself?
Today, the experts at ScherZinger Pest Control discuss why you need to skip DIY mosquito repellant!
What’s Wrong with DIY Mosquito Repellant?
Lots of blogs on the Internet will tell you to DIY mosquito repellant. They warn of terrible side effects from DEET and promise that the DIY version of mosquito repellant is “much safer.” However, that’s just not true!
We understand the concern about certain chemicals. However, it’s important to note that DEET, Picaridin, and other mosquito repellants have been evaluated by the FDA for safety and have been used for decades. For example, DEET has had an extremely strong safety record. It’s been used for more than 60 years with very few reported issues.
On the other hand, the essential oil ingredients in DIY mosquito repellants don’t have the same safety record. Essential oils can irritate sensitive skin, cause allergic reactions, and can sometimes contain contaminants. (They’re not regulated by the FDA.) Also, using undiluted essential oils on the skin can cause phototoxic reactions. (This is when the oil reacts to the sun and causes your skin to get “sunburned.” Yikes!)
What’s more, DIY mosquito repellants simply don’t work as well. In most cases, they don’t work at all! That’s a big problem, because mosquitoes can carry serious diseases. West Nile, for example, can result in severe symptoms, like fever, inflammation, vomiting, rashes, vision loss, coma and (in rare cases) death. Zika, for example, can cause birth defects in pregnant women as well as fever, rash, headache, and joint pain.
What to Use Instead of DIY Mosquito Repellant
If you want good protection against mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases, the best way to go is with a proven repellant. The most effective mosquito repellants are:
- Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE, or known as PMD when made synthetically); recommended only for children ages 4 and up
- Permethrin (to be used on clothes and shoes, not skin)
The bonus to the ingredients above is that they repel mosquitoes and ticks! (Ticks can carry Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.)
As long as you follow the package directions of the mosquito and tick repellant (making sure you avoid your eyes), irritation is very rare.
However, if you are allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients we mentioned above, there are a few other ways to protect yourself against mosquitoes:
- Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and long pants
- If sleeping outside, use netting to cover your face and neck (or sleeping area)
- Avoid using perfumes
- Avoid standing water, which attracts mosquitoes
- Try not to spend time outside at dusk, when mosquitoes are more active
ScherZinger Is Here for You
We want you to have a safe, happy, and mosquito-free summer!
If you need us, we’re here for you. For help getting rid of a mosquito problem in your yard, or any other pest problem this summer, call us today.
Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.