Be Prepared for Mosquito Season
Spring is finally here!
It is my favorite season for many reasons, one of which is all of the earth comes back to life, revealing the masterpiece God created. The birds give a beautiful wake up call and the weather is just lovely. Unfortunately with all the beauty come the beasts commonly known as the mosquito.
A bite from these tiny creatures can transmit many illnesses including West Nile Virus. It is important to be prepared when going outdoors for long periods of time. You can track the reported cases of West Nile in your area by going to the CDC website and clicking on the links provided.
You may also want to take extra measures around your home by fixing any broken screens, eliminating standing water and even planting mosquito-repelling plants. Some of these include: Basil, lemon balm, fever tea, and catnip that repel a number of critters as well. You can also use lavender around the home indoors by placing it on the windowsills and they not only help with repelling mosquitoes but also creating a nice aroma in your home.
The FDA has stated that DEET is safe in children over the age of 2 months but I have never been comfortable with using these products on my child. Instead, I rub his clothes down with repellent. If you choose to do this, please be certain to still bathe your child and wash the clothes thoroughly following outdoor play.
There are alternatives to using chemicals such as DEET and picaridin that are found in most repellents. Here are just a few of many.
- 2-undecanone comes from tomato plants. It may offer four and a half hours of protection from mosquitoes. It can be found in several insect repellents.
- Catnip oil is an insect repellent which is derived from nepeta cataria. It may offer mosquito protection for up to seven hours, according to the EPA.
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus is a natural, plant-based oil. It works with as much efficiency that commercial products which contain lower concentrations of DEET.
When you go swimming, it is important to protect your child from the sun as well as the mosquitoes. However, you must do this with precaution. When using sunscreen with a combination of DEET, apply a sunscreen only product first then the DEET as you may need to reapply the sunscreen Be sure to not reapply any sunscreen that contain DEET as this could increase the toxic effects. It is only recommended that you use a combined product when you need not reapply.
You and your family can have a pest-free season by taking the necessary precautions. We cannot eradicate the mosquito, but you can learn to keep them from wanting our blood by using a repellent that works best for you.
This article is for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor with specific concerns or changes to your or your child's health.