Summer brings warm weather, sunshine, and unfortunately – mosquitoes. Mosquito feeding activity peaks between the months of April to October. During those months they attack at almost all hours of the day. DEET, the common ingredient in commercial bug repellent sprays, can be bad for your health. Fortunately, you can repel mosquitoes naturally by eating certain foods.
DEET is an active ingredient used in most commercial mosquito repellent sprays. DEET can cause hives or irritation when applied to the skin. Long-term DEET skin application can lead to burning, blistering, insomnia, mood changes, and permanent scarring of the skin. Long-term skin exposure to DEET in young children can cause seizures. DEET exposure has been linked to neurological damage – in severe cases, exposure can lead to comatose and death.
Is mosquito repellent important? Yes — mosquitoes can transmit diseases, like the West Nile virus, via their bites. Doctors say 10 percent of the population are highly attractive to mosquitoes. Although genetics (cholesterol and steroid concentration near the skin’s surface; blood uric acid concentration) significantly determine whether you’re part of the 10 percent, studies also show that activities which increase your breath rate also increases your attraction to mosquitoes since mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide you exhale. However, even when not active, pregnant women exhale 21 percent more carbon dioxide — increasing the mother and child’s risk of mosquito-transmitted diseases.
Fortunately, you can naturally reduce your attractiveness to mosquitoes by eating certain foods.
After eating garlic, your sweat will contain allicin, which gives garlic its unique odor. This same odor is pungent to mosquitoes, effectively repelling them. But if you don’t sweat, your pores will only give off a little of this odor — this shouldn’t be an issue on hot summer days.
Eating garlic is very good for your health either way. It’s a natural antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral. It has been shown to be an anticarcinogen as well.
Alternatively, Colorado State University has found that mixing crushed garlic into beeswax and petroleum jelly, then applying the mixture on exposed skin repels mosquitoes for eight hours.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Drinking 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar three times a day, or spraying a solution of apple cider vinegar and water on your skin will repel mosquitoes. Whether it’s on your skin or circulating in your blood, the mosquitoes will smell it and will want to stay clear.
Like garlic, vinegar is also a natural antibiotic and antifungal, which is why it’s used in a variety of gastrointestinal cleanses. Drinking it also helps treat diabetes and supports weight loss by keeping your glucose and insulin levels from spiking.
Whole Grains, Fruits, and Vegetables
Observations made by Alderleaf Wilderness College conclude that eating a diet which substitutes sugary and processed foods with whole grains, vegetables, and fruits experienced a decrease in mosquito bites.
Notwithstanding, eating vegetables, fruits, and whole grains is more nutritious for you anyway. As a whole, they’re rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Eating spicy foods repels mosquitoes via a similar mechanism to eating garlic.
Among other nutrients, chili peppers contain calcium and vitamins A and C. Some research has shown that eating chili peppers can protect the lining of your stomach and reduce your risk for heart disease.
Ten percent of people are inherently attractive to mosquitoes, but you become more attractive to them if you exhale more often, like while playing sports or exercising outdoors. Pregnant women are more attractive to mosquitoes as well. Repelling mosquitoes is important since they can carry dangerous diseases, but using mosquito repellents containing DEET can have equally detrimental side effects. There are equally effective foods you can eat which naturally repel mosquitoes.