The summer season is associated not only with warmth and long-awaited vacation, but also with the exhausting fight against mosquitoes. Annoying insects are not so harmless: their bites can cause allergic reactions and even dangerous diseases. At the same time, aggressive repellents adversely affect health and can lead to insomnia, mood swings and impaired cognitive function. But there are many alternative ways to stop using hazardous chemicals.
- Choose the right clothes
To prevent mosquitoes from spoiling a pleasant summer evening, pay attention to what you wear. It is better to give preference to outfits of light shades (especially shiny like nylon or satin) without extra cuts, bright floral prints are also acceptable.
But dark fabrics (black, blue) are not suitable for evening walks: such clothes emit more thermal energy, due to which it attracts insects.
Some plants have the beneficial property of deterring insects, including mosquitoes. Plant in the garden or even on the windowsill lemongrass, lavender, marigolds, lemon balm, catnip, peppermint, basil or citronella.
From these plants, you can also collect bouquets and put them overnight in the bedroom. Smells will repel mosquitoes no less effectively than special plates.
- Use essential oils
Essential oils are a great helper in the fight against insects. They can be poured into a diffuser, which will gently spray the product around the room. In the form of microparticles, the oil remains in the air for a long time. Pleasant aromas and the destruction of pathogens will be pleasant bonuses.
If you are opposed to using a diffuser, take a bath with essential oils. But do not forget that they must first be dissolved in base oil or in a pinch of salt. Otherwise, skin burns may occur.
Some of the most effective mosquito control oils are lemongrass, basil, geranium, cloves, tea tree, thyme, rosemary, citronella and eucalyptus.
- Make a fire
This method is one of the most effective and reliable for outdoor recreation, especially in the evening.
Mosquitoes and other insects avoid smoke: like all living things, they need oxygen to breathe, and therefore they shy away from smoke sources. In addition, the smell of burning wood interrupts the body aroma, which is so attractive to mosquitoes.
For maximum protection, it is recommended to use natural materials containing essential oils as a smoldering base. It can be dry herbs. Bonfire should be smoky. To do this, you must first build a strong fire, and then throw it with a base that will smolder for a long time.
- Find the reason
If lately there are more mosquitoes than usual, think about what could have caused the invasion of insects. Have you cleaned a fountain, a pool or a pond in a front garden for a long time? Was the vase of flowers stagnating in the room, or was the wet bottom in a bucket on the balcony?
Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in water or moist soil. Therefore, in the summer it is worth covering the trash containers, timely cleaning of children’s pools and emptying the containers for liquids.
6. Install grids on windows
Mosquito nets on windows are inexpensive, easy to install, quickly cleaned and do not spoil the interior. And most importantly — they help protect households from mosquitoes without resorting to chemicals.
For 15 years (2000–2015), mosquito nets prevented nearly 451 million cases of malaria.
For more reliable protection, choose designs with the smallest mesh size. It can be the Anti-Dust, Anti-Pollen nets.
Bonus: what to do if mosquitoes still bite
If you still can’t protect yourself from mosquito bites, use one of the proven recommendations:
apply a little table vinegar to the wound;
lubricate the bite with saline;
grind a tablet of aspirin, mix the resulting powder with water, apply to the affected area;
squeeze a small amount of toothpaste into the bite;
the main thing is not to comb the wound.
What mosquito repellents do you most often use?
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How to protect yourself from mosquitoes?
All mosquito repellents have long been known. This is primarily repellents — various sprays, lotions, ointments, spirals that repel insects.
But do not forget that such remedies can be hazardous to health. For example, as Life previously told, in some popular repellents, the main component is diethyltoluamide. This chemical substance when applied excessively (and repellents are usually sprayed throughout the body in abundant quantities) has a neurotoxic effect (that is, it affects the nervous system — for example, cramps, headache, fainting).
— This component of repellents is toxic, therefore unsafe in terms of application. In addition to possible allergic reactions, it can irritate the nervous system. If it gets inside the body or on the mucous membranes, poisoning is possible until death, ”explained chemist Anastasia Naumova.
According to the expert, you need to carefully read what is written on the package and pay attention to whether the repellent has passed all the verification procedures (is there GOST, a positive review by the Ministry of Health).
— Of course, a significant part of repellents is harmless. But if you choose non-toxic and apply them correctly (spray without getting on the mucous membranes and without swallowing the contents of the spray can), then there will be no problems, ”added Anastasia Naumova.
According to entomologist Marina Krivosheina, repellents have established themselves as effective insect repellents. But there are other ways to protect.
— If you are going to relax in the forest, you should put on light clothes and put a mosquito net on your face. At home, it is also advisable to install such a grid on the windows. It is necessary to protect animals as well — they also have repellents, ”she said.
In general, the expert summarizes, the most effective and safe way to fight mosquitoes is to use mosquito traps based on octenol mosquito attractant, as well as a number of measures aimed at preventing mosquito reproduction in your territory. First of all, control over possible places of their reproduction, such as small ponds, pools, as well as places with high humidity.
15 plants that drive mosquitoes from the garden
Even the most sincere warm evening in the country can be spoiled by annoying mosquitoes — the constant companions of summer suburban life. The chemical industry has come up with hundreds of mosquito repellent drugs. In one way or another, they are all effective, but have significant drawbacks — they are toxic to varying degrees, cause allergies, and in most cases are contraindicated in small children.
However, nature itself, having created mosquitoes (they are an important part of the food chain), made sure that they did not interfere with our lives. To do this, in her arsenal there are many plants that repel insects with their smell. In this publication we will talk about the 15 most effective plants — “mosquito repellents”, which can be successfully grown even in the middle band.
A lot of commercial mosquito repellents use coumarin, a substance that secrets the annual plant Ageratum. Delicate decorative bushes of small sizes will decorate your flower beds (today varieties not only with blue, but also with pink, white and lilac flowers have already been bred) and will become reliable protection against annoying insects. However, do not rub the skin with leaves and flowers of the ageratum. It may cause an allergy. Just plant a flower (or better — not one) in the sun or in partial shade. Ageratum is not a finicky plant, it is also content with poor soils.
2. Lavender narrow-leaved
A very beautiful perennial plant with needle-like leaves and delicate white, pink, blue or purple flowers. The narrow-leaved lavender winters well in the midland, is unpretentious in care, grows on poor soils and does not require watering. Lavender bushes are ideal in group plantings, it can also be grown in containers. A person can feel the pleasant smell of this plant only by touching it or cutting branches. But mosquitoes are more sensitive to its aroma and consider it disgusting for themselves. It is noticed that mosquitoes do not fly in the immediate vicinity of lavender plantations (meter and a half).
Well-known peppermint — fragrant perennial up to 80 cm high — one of the most popular medicinal plants grown in our gardens. It is also widely used in cooking and cosmetology. Since ancient times, our ancestors planted peppermint near the windows and entrance doors to the house, in particular, due to the fact that this plant repels mosquitoes well. Peppermint, which grows on the loose fertile soils of the sunny corners of the garden, gives the strongest menthol aroma. But it can grow in the shade, however, it will smell weaker, and, accordingly, it will be weaker than mosquitoes.
4. Melissa officinalis (lemon mint)
Melissa officinalis (lemon mint).
Outwardly, lemon balm is not very different from peppermint — it has a branched stem and grows in height a little higher. But its main difference is the smell. Melissa officinalis has a strong spicy aroma with light notes of lemon. But, like the menthol smell of peppermint, it perfectly repels mosquitoes. Melissa is perfect for the sunny places on your property. It can grow in partial shade.
5. Catnip catnip, or catnip
Catnip cat, or catnip.
One of the benefits of this peppermint is that it grows like a weed by itself. That is, it does not require any care. However, many gardeners consider catnip as a cat weed. But we must pay tribute to him: he copes with the task of repelling mosquitoes. If, for reliability, you decide to rub your skin with the leaves or flowers of this plant, be careful — all the cats in the area will pay special attention to you, because they simply adore catnip! The reason is the substance Nepalactone, which this plant is rich in. It is also the source of the lemon flavor characteristic of this variety of mint.
6. Monarda lemon
Monarda lemon belongs to the same family as peppermint. But, unlike her, this is an annual plant. By the way, the only flyer in the monard family. Its leaves and flowers contain essential oils that repel insects, including mosquitoes. And the lemon monard can be easily attributed to the annual giants. After all, in just one season, it reaches 120 cm in height. He likes well-lit areas with loose fertile soil.
7. Mint, or Ombalo
Swamp mint or ombalo
Mint, or Ombalo.
A perennial plant of the Mint genus, reaching a height of 20-40 cm. In appearance, it is easy to distinguish it from other types of mint by its compact size and creeping shape. It does not possess winter hardiness characteristic of most relatives, therefore, in central Russia, flea mint (another name for the plant) is grown as an annual. An invariable ingredient in Georgian tkemali sauce and a good natural insect repellent. Not only mosquitoes, but also flies, fleas and moths.
Hippocrates called this plant «sacred grass.» Its use in medicine today is so wide that it seems that there are far fewer diseases that it does not cure than those that cure. Hippocrates did not write anything about the properties of sage to repel mosquitoes (at least we don’t know about this), but in gardening it was noticed long ago that mosquitoes did not favor planting sage. More precisely — its tart aroma does not allow insects to determine the smell of a person who is next to a plant. Salvia officinalis is a perennial plant. In one place, it has been growing without transplant for 8 years. Loves soil of neutral acidity and good light.
9. Citronella Ceylon, or Lemon Grass
Citronella Ceylon, or lemon grass.
Very often, Ceylon citronella oils are used to create mosquito repellents. The plant has a very strong lemon smell, which also not only repels mosquitoes, but rather does not allow these insects to smell the smell of a person nearby. Lemon grass is a perennial cereal with a low level of winter hardiness. That is, in a temperate climate, it can only be grown as a tub culture, bringing the pot into a house or greenhouse along with the first significant cooling.
10. Sweet Basil, or Camphor Basil
Sweet Basil, or Camphor Basil.
An annual herb that almost all the inhabitants of the earth know as a kitchen spice. But few people know that the essential oil of this plant has been used in medicine for many years. For example, it is part of the well-known «Broncholitin» (it is prescribed for coughing). The name itself, “camphor basil,” speaks of the substance rich in this herb. Camphor repels ants, moths and mosquitoes.
11. Lemon Verbena
Evergreen shrub with a large crown. It is popularly considered a magical plant that can protect against evil eye and damage. But today, of course, it is used more in culinary, cosmetology and medicine than in rites of white magic. It has a pleasant smell with which mosquitoes do not want to be friends. It also scares off other insects — a dried twig of verbena is often put in a closet as a preventive measure against moths.
Bright and colorful marigolds are traditionally used on our flower beds. Very often they can be seen on the beds. Adherents of organic farming argue that these year-olds effectively protect cultivated plants from many harmful insects and other pests. Their smell is so rich and specific that it repels not only mosquitoes, but also some people who simply can not tolerate it. But in vain, because these are surprisingly decorative and unpretentious flowers.
Another grass with a very persistent specific odor that mosquitoes do not like. Wormwood is a perennial herbaceous plant of silver color, reaching up to 1.5 meters in height. One of the oldest medicinal plants known to mankind. It grows freely on forest edges, along roads, in neglected areas. Cultivated on an industrial scale for the sake of essential oil. In the garden, it is often found as a weed. However, many gardeners today, in order not to go after it into the forest, grow wormwood specially in their area. In addition to its medicinal properties, it protects cultural species from many pests and diseases.
14. Wormwood Pontic
Unlike wormwood, this plant is very decorative. Therefore, it can often be found in gardens as an element of various landscape compositions. It is also commonly used in medicine and as a natural mosquito repellent.
Tansy is ordinary.
Perennial herb of the forest and forest-steppe zone. It quickly clogs cultural meadows and pastures, therefore, tansy should be grown in the garden very carefully. This poisonous plant is often used in folk medicine for the treatment and prevention of various ailments. It has a characteristic pungent odor that repels mosquitoes.
So far, we have everything about plants — “mosquito repellents”. If you know others, write about them in the comments or on our Forum. We will be very grateful!
Top 15 ways to protect yourself from mosquito Octenol mosquito attractant
Top 15 ways to protect yourself from mosquito Octenol mosquito attractant
Top 15 ways to protect yourself from mosquito Octenol mosquito attractant
attractant for mosquitoes NONANAL
Scientists at the University of California have finally managed to isolate the dominant odor that is produced by humans and birds and attracts blood-feeding mosquitoes from the Culicidae family that carry West Nile fever virus and other life-threatening illnesses. Recently, the results of a study were published, which explained why mosquitoes drinking the blood of birds, reoriented to people.
Entomology professor Walter Liel and researcher Zayn Siid found that nonanal is a powerful seven-chemical substance that attracts the smell of mosquitoes, directing them to food — blood. A seven-chemical substance is a substance or mixture that carries a specific message. Mosquitoes are able to detect odors due to olfactory receptor neurons on their antennae.
So, birds, the main food item for mosquitoes, serve as a repository for West Nile fever virus, says Liel. When infected mosquitoes drink blood, they transmit the virus to birds, people, horses, dogs, cats, bats, chipmunks, skunks, squirrels, and domestic rabbits. Since 1999, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recorded 29.397 human cases and 1.147 fatal cases in the United States alone.
Researchers at the University of California have tested hundreds of naturally occurring mixtures produced by humans and birds. Scientists have collected chemical odors from 16 adults. The group of volunteers included people of different races and ethnic groups. Then, the specificity and susceptibility of olfactory receptor neurons with respect to isolated mixtures on antennae of mosquitoes were determined.
Thus, the nonanal acts mutually reinforcing with carbon dioxide, which, as you know, attracts mosquitoes. Nonanal, along with carbon dioxide, increased the attractiveness of traps by 50 percent compared to traps in which only carbon dioxide served as bait.
Scientists: mosquitoes find a victim by a loop of carbon dioxide and other substances released by breathing. In particular, OCTENOL. (1-octen-3-ol)
The smell coming from the body may be the reason that some people are more attracted to mosquitoes than others.
American scientists have found that mosquitoes track down their prey, given three factors: smell, visual image, and temperature. Biologists recorded the movement of hungry mosquitoes in a wind tunnel.
Insects were constantly attracted by a train of carbon dioxide, reminiscent of the air that a person exhales. «Sniffing» carbon dioxide, mosquitoes try to sit on a dark spot.
At short distances, insects can feel heat and rush to its source. Research published in Current Biology is based on earlier research that odor is a critical factor for mosquitoes in determining their next prey.
The smell emanating from the body can cause some people to be more attracted to mosquitoes than others.
But the main thing that mosquitoes are guided by is carbon dioxide, which is exhaled by animals, whose blood and mosquitoes feed on, in particular, humans. Mosquitoes can catch a source of carbon dioxide at a distance of up to 50 meters. The content of octenol in the air also significantly increases the attractiveness for mosquitoes, since octenol is released during breathing.
Earlier work suggested that bloodsucking attracted heat and being in sight. However, the new study is the first to examine in detail the influence of all three factors.
«We were able to build a working theory about how all the sensory organs of a mosquito interact to find a person,» says Floris van Bregel, the author of a study at the California Institute of Technology.
Interaction of factors
Scientists have tried to replicate a mosquito behavior strategy when searching for a victim
The most important was to separate the visual, temperature and olfactory pathogens during the experiment. For this, a carbon dioxide jet, a dark spot on the wall of the wind tunnel and a heated glass tile, which was almost invisible to mosquitoes, were used.
“We could see how mosquitoes reacted to each of these pathogens and their interactions,” BBC Van Bregel explained.
For example, if insects were launched into a pipe where there was a dark spot on one of the walls, but there was nothing else, mosquitoes flew by. But if there was a trail of carbon dioxide near the spot, the insects “smell” this gas and then go towards the visual pathogen.
«Mosquitoes pay attention to visual stimuli only after they» hear «a smell that indicates that the object is somewhere nearby,» says scientist Michael Dickinson.
«This helps mosquitoes not waste energy on false targets such as stones or plants,» he continues.
As a result, scientists described a three-stage strategy for mosquitoes to search for victims.
Mosquitoes try to smell — especially a carbon dioxide plume — within a radius of 10-50 meters. Then they approach the source of the smell and try to see the object from a distance of five to fifteen meters. When mosquitoes find themselves at a distance of a meter from a potential victim, they begin to focus on heat.
“The larger the person, the more they emit carbon dioxide,” says Dr. Joe Conlon of the American Mosquito Control Association. That is why, for example, mosquitoes are more attracted to pregnant women who breathe with the fetus.
«Scientists say that the more you» knock «mosquitoes out of the way, masking your smell and your presence, the more likely they will bite someone else and not you. The sad conclusion of this study is that it’s very difficult to hide from mosquitoes.» “says van Bregel.
“As an option, you can take a friend with you and ask him to wear a bright T-shirt,” the researcher jokes.