After all the hot weather we’ve had in London recently, not to mention my upcoming trips to Pakistan, Nepal and Qatar, it is only natural that my thoughts have been buzzing (apologies for the poor pun) with mosquito repellents. After growing up in Florida and spending much of my time and trips outdoors in warm, insect-ridden areas, I’ve come to learn a thing or two about keeping mosquitoes at bay. Take a look below and see whether some of these will work for you!
This might seem like an obvious choice, but when looking for a mosquito repellent make sure you choose one which contains DEET. Diethyl Toluamide (DEET) was originally developed for the US Army in 1946, and it has been in production ever since to repel mosquitoes from the skin. DEET can come in a variety of sprays, lotions, and liquids, but take care when applying. DEET is a very potent chemical and has been known to damage synthetic clothing and jewellery, and those with sensitive skin should test it on a small area beforehand, as it has been known to have adverse affects on sensitive skin.
When travelling to a destination where mosquitoes are prominent, it is best to wear baggy, loose clothing in lighter colours rather than form-fitting clothing, as it makes it more difficult for mosquitoes to penetrate the fabric. Generally, a mosquito’s eyesight is not as good as a human’s, so they are better able to see darker shapes than lighter ones. If you want more protection, Craghoppers produce a clothing line called NosiLife soaked in a long-lasting insect-repellent solution that is non-toxic and safe for pregnant women and children to wear. Alternatively, Lifesystems also sells a mosquito repellent fabric spray that can be applied clothing and last for several washes.
If you suffer from sensitive skin, are pregnant or just prefer to keep things natural when it comes to the products you use on your skin, there are several solutions available. They might not work as effectively as chemical-based repellents, but when used in the correct amount can work well.
- For those of you looking for a more natural solution, make like south-east Asia and use lemongrass. It contains natural citronella oil that when rubbed on the skin or used in a spray, repels mosquitoes, which dislike the scent.
- Popularised by patio candles, citronella oil is yet another natural oil of which mosquitoes can’t stand the scent.
- Lemon balm is a popular plant native to Britain, found in many gardens and known to grow like, for a lack of a better term, a weed. However, its lemony scent also wards off mosquitoes.
- Besides lemongrass, eucalyptus oil is arguably one of the most popular natural mosquito repellent solutions. It is commonly mixed with lemon or lemony balm to create a super-effective repellent solution that lasts for hours.
When using any of these oils however, just remember that the greater the quantity, the better they repel mosquitoes. Try mixing some of the oils together and find the right combination that works best for you!
What are your tips for keeping mosquitoes at bay?