Healthy Living & Prevention in El Paso


Keeping mosquitos away

Keeping mosquitos away

16 Sep 2021 by Ted Escobedo   3 min read

Earlier in the summer we offered advice for avoiding mosquito bites using natural repellents such as tea tree oil. With the recent rains in El Paso, it seems mosquitos are still providing a pesky nuisance – and with the threat of West Nile Virus, it is time to up our game.

Here are more natural ways to prevent mosquito bites:

1. Lemon Eucalyptus

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has classified lemon eucalyptus, an EPA registered repellent, as an active ingredient in mosquito repellent. In a study published in June 2014 in the journal Fitoterapia, lemon eucalyptus essential oil was found to provide 100 percent protection against mosquitoes for up to 12 hours.

2. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is a natural insecticide and a mosquito repellent, according to the American College of Healthcare Sciences, based in Portland, Oregon. You can mix this oil with other scents, like lemon, and rub them onto your skin for a minty scent. But peppermint oil is a hot oil which means it can cause a warm sensation when applied directly to your skin and might cause a skin rash. To prevent this, she suggests diluting the peppermint oil with a carrier oil, like canola oil.

3. Lemongrass Oil

According to a study published in July 2016 in the World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, lemongrass oil is comparable to commercial mosquito repellents. According to Maslow-Blackman, combining lemongrass oil with another essential oil (like cinnamon bark oil) will make its repelling effect stronger.

4. Eliminate Standing Water

Any pools or puddles around your home or yard can quickly become a mosquito breeding ground, according to the Mayo Clinic. Tips to keep the area around your home free from these insects include:

Unclogging roof gutters

Emptying any kids' pools

Changing the water in any bird baths weekly

Making sure rain is not accumulating in trash can lids

Storing flowerpots or any other unused containers upside down

One final note: When using natural repellents that are applied directly to the skin, it’s important to use EPA registered ones and always check the labels. If you have sensitive skin or known skin allergies, it’s a good idea to test your skin first by applying a small drop of essential oil on the inside of your forearm.


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