Dodge Zika Naturally: 6 DEET-Free Bug Sprays That Actually Work
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released its latest Zika virus warnings, and it’s not pretty. And while Zika is certainly dominating the mosquito-related headlines, West Nile remains a concern.
In 2012, reported cases West Nile Virus were the highest seen since 2003, and related deaths exceeded the highest seen since 1999, the year the virus was first detected in the U.S. At the end of 2015, the CDC reported that 1,455 cases of West Nile virus have been reported, including 142 deaths.
As concern continues to spread over the CDC’s recent reports on cases of Zika and West Nile virus, prevention is at the top of everyone’s mind.
While some people do tend to attract more mosquitoes and bugs than others (myself included), due to their body temperature or carbon dioxide output, everyone carries the risk of finishing a relaxing summertime walk with large, red itchy welts. But are conventional insect repellents the only effective solution?
Why you shouldn’t reach for the conventional bug spray
Conventional bug repelling sprays and lotions often contain toxic levels of N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET), a chemical that most bugs find repulsive. Unfortunately, DEET has been shown to have adverse health effects when used in high quantities. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported 14 to 46 cases of potential DEET-related seizures and 4 deaths, confessing, “… it does appear that some cases are likely related to DEET toxicity.”
While some countries regulate insect repellents to contain no more than 30% DEET, there is no concentration limit for products sold in the U.S., meaning, some conventional insect repellents may contain up anywhere from 50 percent to 100 percent DEET.
Do I really have to douse myself in chemicals to ward off bug bites?
Of course not! Luckily, there are other, all natural scents and oils that bugs find repulsive. When these are applied topically, you can bet even the most determined mosquito will bug off. In fact, I can personally confirm that these work. I’m typically a mosquito magnet, but so far this year I haven’t gotten more than two. My secret? Every morning I’ve been spritzing myself with a homemade lavendar mist. Much to my surprise it’s working like a charm. Rather than risk absorbing and inhaling the toxic chemicals from conventional repellents, consider one of these great all natural alternatives.
6 DEET-Free Bug Sprays That Actually Work
Want a recipe to make your own? Check out this one over on Wellness Mama.