10 Natural Alternatives to Mothballs and Insect Repellents Print E-mail
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Insect Repellents - Insect Repellents 2011
Written by Frank Mangano   
Tuesday, 05 April 2011 02:16

Lavender

For most households, insect repellents and mothballs are permanent fixtures and these have been staples when it comes to driving pesky little creatures away. While some people may readily turn to products such as these for everyday household problems, there are lesser-known, all-natural ways to deal with insects at home.  After all, mothballs and insect repellents contain chemicals that could cause harm to human health – the danger is doubled when you have little kids at home. Thus, it is strongly advised that you utilize natural alternatives to these chemically-loaded products when trying to get rid of insects from your beautiful abode:

1. Citronella

Citronella is probably the most common all-natural insect repellant in the US.  In fact, it was registered for use as an insecticide in the US since 1948.  The US Environmental Protection Agency accepts citronella to be used as biopesticide and has guaranteed it safe to use as it is has non-toxic effects on the human body.  Citronella is an extract from the grasses of the specie Cymbopogon nardus and Cymbopogon winterianus. According to findings, it is the smell of citronella that is offensive to the fleas, ticks and the human blood-feeding mosquitoes.  Having a citronella plant in your garden will not fend off these pests. It is the oil extract of these grasses that have the greatest potency in warding off mosquitoes.  Plus, it is also beneficial when you are trying to get rid of the ticks on your pets.

2. Sandalwood

The tree of the genus Santalum produces the fragrance called sandalwood.  Sandalwood comes in two forms that give off the essential fragrance, its wood and its essential oil that is extracted from the wood.  For many parts of the world, sandalwood is being used as a mosquito repellent because of its distinctive smell that turns off the insects, particularly mosquitoes.  There are incense sticks where sandalwood essential oils are used as part of its ingredients.  The incense sticks are being used as mosquito repellent.  Aside from that, some perfumes, balms and sprays with sandalwood oil are said to have that capability to dive away mosquitoes.

3. Lavender

Lavender is popular in soaps, shampoos and in packets that are used for giving scents to clothes inside the cabinet.  But it is not just in creating flowery scent that lavender is being used.  Lavender also serves as a moth and insect repellant.  Lavender is a flowering plant of the genus Lamiaceae.  The flowers yield essential oil that is used for medicinal purposes.  However, there are findings that shows that the fresh flowers itself as it starts to dry is good for use as replacement for mothballs. Hanging a bunch of these flowering shrubs in your bedroom and closet will reduce the moths that destroy some of your clothes.

4. Camphor

Camphor can either be organic or non-organic.  The organic camphor comes from the wood of camphor laurel.  As a mosquito repellant, camphor can be used like a mothball.  Since it is a waxy, white and transparent substance, camphor may be simply placed in one corner of the room and it will make your room mosquito-free.  Camphor may also be placed in a glass with water; the water, as it evaporates, will help in eliminating mosquitoes.

5. Rosemary

Rosemary is from the mint family of Lamiaceae.  It is being used commonly as herbs for many exotic dishes. The oil of rosemary is so fragrant, yet it helps repel mosquitoes.  Its essential oil, when mixed with other oils, natural alcohol or just plain water, will be able to work as a spray that can ward off mosquito bites.

6. Mint

Mint is actually a family of flowering plants.  Mints have strong aroma, making it one of the most popular culinary herbs.  The flowers and the leaves of any mint plant can be used for many purposes.  One of which is as insect repellant.  Mixing one part of mint oil to 5 parts of rubbing alcohol, it can already be utilized as an insect repellent.  For an insect-free room, you can use either the fresh leaves or the dried leaves. Fresh leaves, when broken, releases oil that are offensive to the insects.

7. Thyme

Thyme can be used as a culinary herb or as medicinal herb.  The plant comes from the genus Thymus. The strong flavor of thyme is due to thymol, which is good as an antiseptic.  If bees love to suck on the nectar of thyme, other insects find the smell of thymol itself as offensive.  In fact, placing thyme and water in a bottle of spray can already be used as insect repellant. However, remember that there are two types of thyme, white and red.  White thyme, if diluted, is perfectly safe to use.  But red thyme is found out to be toxic. So be careful not to use them.

8. Ginseng

There are eleven species of the genus Panax; any one of its roots are being used as ginseng.  It is the roots of the plant, and not the leaves, that are being used for medicinal purposes. By combining dried ginseng with other medicinal herbs, such as thyme, rosemary and mint, it can help in eliminating not just those pesky mosquitoes, but also the moths that thrive on the old clothes inside your cabinet.

9. Eucalyptus

They are flowering trees of the family Myrtaceae.  However, it is the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree that produces the essential oil that is being used for medicinal purposes. In several mosquito repellents, the main ingredient is always eucalyptus as it is found out to have that capacity to keep away mosquitoes. The eucalyptus oil has been, for some time, used as one of the ingredients in deodorizers, cleaners, toothpastes and decongestants.  In fact, a synthetic version that demonstrates its powerful use is being promoted by the Center for Disease Control.  The Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus is recognized to have long-lasting protection against mosquito-borne diseases. This shows the potential of eucalyptus in eradicating bothersome insects.

10.  Catnip

Named after its tendency to attract felines, catnip, or nepeta cataria, is of the Lamiaceae family.  Catnip has a long history of medicinal uses.  The essential oil of catnip is being used as an ingredient for many insect repellent products. However, findings have shown that only a few kinds of mosquitoes are warded off by catnip.


Sources

en.wikipedia.org
wisegeek.com
ehow.com
ehow.com
umm.edu
quick-home-remedy.com
howtodothings.com
en.wikipedia.org
doityourself.com
healthmad.com
ciao.co.uk
ehow.com
en.wikipedia.org
cdc.gov
en.wikipedia.org

  

 

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