If you’re one of those folk who’re plagued by mosquitoes and midges though summer evenings, here are a few tips on how you can fend them off this summer! Our round-up includes not only all-natural insect deterrents, but also natural ways to soothe stings and bites.
ALL-NATURAL INSECT REPELLENTS
We strongly recommend that you do not use an insect repellent containing diethyltoluamide (DEET), a chemical developed for jungle warfare in World War II that is the active ingredient in the majority of products. Though DEET works effectively, it is thought either by confusing mosquitoes’ odor receptors or because mosquitoes simply dislike the smell, it is associated with multiple side effects. A study at the Everglades National Park in Florida found that a quarter of employees using DEET insect-repellents suffered adverse effects including skin irritation, rashes, numb or burning lips, nausea, headaches, dizziness and difficulty concentrating. DEET is also becoming less effective due to its widespread use – a 2013 study suggests that mosquitoes can at least temporarily overcome or adapt to the repellent effect of DEET after initial exposure.
So here are our suggestions for non-toxic natural insect repellents:
- Chelidonium (calendine) tincture is great to take for a few weeks before a holiday. It is a liver cleanser and strengthener so it makes you less juicy to pesky mosquitoes and midges! £7.50 for 50ml bottle
- Incognito anti-mosquito insect repellent spray provides protection against mosquitoes, midges, sandflies, horseflies and ticks. It’s even good for stopping the bed bugs biting! Its main active ingredient is lemon eucalyptus, which is recommended by Public Health England, the NHS and the World Health Organisation to avoid mosquito bites. It’s suitable for use in all malaria areas, repelling dengue, malaria and zika-carrying mozzies for up to eight hours. Smells fresh and zesty too, as opposed to chemically. £9.99 for 100ml spray
- De-sensitising programme If you are especially prone to mozzie and midge bites our homeopath Sue Leach offers a de-sensitising programme to help raise your body’s resistance so you become less susceptible.
NATURAL SOLUTIONS TO INSECT BITES
- Combudoron is a combination of arnica (to reduce swelling and the shock of a bite or sting) and urtica urens (helps with any skin reaction to bites, stings and heat and is great for urticaria and rashes). £6.25 for 20ml Weleda Combudoron spray
- Apis is the top homeopathic remedy for stings and bites, particularly bee stings. Especially good when you have that burning, red, stinging swelling and slight allergic reaction after a bite. £7.50 for 3.5ml bottle
- Ledum is a great homeopathic remedy for mosquito bites and all puncture wounds (even snake bites). £7.50 for 3.5ml bottle
- Calendula is the homeopathic antiseptic. Can be used as a tincture, cream or spray on any wound and bite/sting. £6.30 for 20ml Weleda spray