DEET-Free Mosquito Repellents
- June 29, 2012 |
- by The Family Cooks
With the 4th of July right around the corner, it’s a good idea to make sure your family is protected from mosquitoes during your outdoor family dinner.
The active ingredient in many conventional mosquito repellents is DEET (chemical name, N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), a chemical that is toxic to bugs, but one that has come under heavy scrutiny over whether it is safe for people. Stories of adverse reactions are common. (For those who choose to continue to use DEET products, the EPA provides tips tips on reducing your risk.)
The safer alternatives contain some combination of essential oils and another liquid, like rubbing alcohol, to make it easy to spread or spray on. The most common essential oils used in repellents seem to be citronella, lavender, geraniol (a derivative of the geranium plant), eucalyptus, lemongrass, mint, rosemary and thyme. These type of repellents usually need to be re-applied more frequently, but they are considered much safer (for a full rundown on repellents, check out this article from outdoor gear provider REI).
Visit Healthy Child Healthy World for specific recommendations, and please share your own suggestions for DEET-free alternatives.
Have a Happy (and bug free) Fourth!