Mosquitoes are just as nasty as ticks; they spread serious human illnesses. Beyond such risks, mosquitoes are also very annoying. These blood suckers seem to be drawn towards children leaving behind itchy bumps that are hard to resist scratching.
Unfortunately, many products designed to protect us from mosquitoes contain extremely toxic ingredients such as DEET.
The Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia explains:
From a human health point of view, when mosquito bites are more of a nuisance than a serious health threat, choosing a botanical based repellent makes more sense.
DEET is a registered pesticide. DEET is short for N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (also known as N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide). It is a member of the toluene chemical family. Toluene is an organic solvent used in rubber and plastic cements and paint removers. DEET is absorbed through the skin and passes into the blood. The Medical Sciences Bulletin, published by Pharmaceutical Information Associates Ltd. reports, “Up to 56% of DEET applied topically penetrates intact human skin and 17% is absorbed into the bloodstream.” Blood concentrations of about 3 mg per litre have been reported several hours after DEET repellent was applied to skin in the
prescribed fashion. DEET is also absorbed by the gut.
The most serious concerns about DEET are its effects on the central nervous system. Dr. Mohammed Abou-Donia of Duke University studied lab animals’ performance of neuro-behavioural tasks requiring muscle co-ordination. He found that lab animals exposed to the equivalent of average human doses of DEET performed far worse than untreated animals. Abou-Donia also found that combined exposure to DEET and permethrin, a mosquito spray ingredient, can lead to motor deficits and learning and memory dysfunction.
My children have never had DEET applied to their skin!
We are fortunate that when dusk (and mosquitoes) arrives at our homestead, we typically have a wind that blows them away. When the wind is still, it is time to take action. Rather than slathering everyone in botanical repellents, there is another solution.
Terminix (OH! The name just scares me, as I equate it to toxic pesticides.) has just introduced the ALLCLEAR Mosquito Mister LANTERN Edition with NATURALS Refill:
The Terminix ALLCLEAR Lantern is proven effective to quickly and safely repel more than 95 percent of biting mosquitoes from areas up to 300 square feet , (about the size of an average deck or patio). It’s the perfect protection for dining al fresco, partying poolside, fishing, camping, boating, and more. Its attractive design enhances the look of any outdoor space while its proven technology and botanical lemongrass formula work to quickly, safely, and naturally repel mosquitoes for hours. And, this is great news for outdoor lovers who want natural control since according to a recent national consumer survey nearly 80 percent of people queried wanted an all-natural mosquito repellent.
The Terminix ALLCLEAR Lantern works by automatically misting an all-natural solution of Geraniol, a botanical extract of the lemongrass plant, long known for its effective insect repelling power. The Naturals Refill formula is safe to use around children, pets, and food; is non-toxic; contains no synthetic chemicals or residues, and is safe for the environment too.
For my son with sensory issues, this is a much better solution than trying to mist him with natural mosquito repellent. Furthermore, it protects the dogs too!
Do I trust Terminix? Never to come to home and eliminate pests! I do, however, think this lantern is a good idea, and I think it would be easy enough to make your own refill solutions out of essential oils.
disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.