Mosquitos - Toxic Repellant vs Natural Alternatives
Alternatives better than Deet?
Have you ever put on Off! or Cutter's and found it was like screaming: "Lunch!" to the mosquitos?
Eucalyptus is the only repellant that works on 'no-seeums'. The best combination I found is only sold in the Grand Tetons National Park, it included both eucalyptus and citronella.
A number of new concentrations of botanical repellents that have hit the market since are reportedly better than ever. In 2005, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) granted approval to two healthier alternatives to DEET—picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus—for protection from mosquitoes. Picaridin, long used to repel mosquitoes in other parts of the world, is now available in the U.S. under the Cutter Advanced brand name. Oil of lemon eucalyptus, which is derived from eucalyptus leaves and is the only plant-based active ingredient for insect repellents approved by the CDC, is available in several different forms, including Repel Lemon Eucalyptus, OFF! Botanicals, and Fight Bite Plant-Based Insect Repellent.
Some other good choices, according to the nonprofit National Coalition against the Misuse of Pesticides, include products containing geraniol (MosquitoGuard or Bite Stop), citronella (Natrapel), herbal extracts (Beat It Bug Buster) or essential oils (All Terrain). The group also gives high marks to oil of lemon eucalyptus, such as that found in Repel’s Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent.
Another leading nonprofit, Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA), likes Herbal Armor, Buzz Away and Green Ban, each containing citronella and peppermint as well as various essential oils (cedar wood, lemongrass, etc.). PANNA also lauds Bite Blocker, a blend of soybeans and coconut oils that provides four to eight hours of protection and, unlike many other brands, is safe to use on kids.