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Natural Insect Repellents

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  • Natural Insect Repellents

    Lemon eucalyptus oil and catnip oil are both effective at repelling insects.
    Please do not ask me for medical advice, I am not a medical doctor.

    Avatar is a painting by Alan Pollack, titled, "Plague". I'm sure it was an accident that the plague girl happened to look almost like my twin.
    Thank you,
    Shannon Bennett

  • #2
    Re: Natural Insect repellents

    excellent post, a good question I need help on too.

    Interesting you metnion Lemon Eucalyptus, I just read somewhere last night (Prevention mag?) that theres a commercial line of repellants coming out based on that.

    Can essential oils be used to create ones own from either herb? The eucalyptus probably doesnt grow around here (unless its an annual) but the catnip should be easy.

    But for concentrated use, the oils might be the way to go.

    Upon this gifted age, in its dark hour,
    Rains from the sky a meteoric shower
    Of facts....They lie unquestioned, uncombined.
    Wisdom enough to leech us of our ill
    Is daily spun, but there exists no loom
    To weave it into fabric..
    Edna St. Vincent Millay "Huntsman, What Quarry"
    All my posts to this forum are for fair use and educational purposes only.


    • #3
      Re: Natural Insect repellents

      L., essential oils are the way to go. You can use the eucalyptus straight from the bottle but it is more cost-effective to use the catnip oil instead. It costs more to begin with but, it must be diluted before applying to your skin. Just put it into a small bottle of a carrier oil and apply as usual. A good choice might be almond oil as it is good for your skin anyway. It should be diluted at least 10:1. And you can dilute even more if you find the little pests don't require that much concentration. It will depend on the kind of mosquito you are dealing with and your own personal attractiveness to the little blood-suckers.
      Please do not ask me for medical advice, I am not a medical doctor.

      Avatar is a painting by Alan Pollack, titled, "Plague". I'm sure it was an accident that the plague girl happened to look almost like my twin.
      Thank you,
      Shannon Bennett


      • #4
        Re: Natural Insect repellents

        Does eating garlic or other spicy plants help?
        "May the long time sun
        Shine upon you,
        All love surround you,
        And the pure light within you
        Guide your way on."

        "Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, lies your calling."

        “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
        Mohandas Gandhi

        Be the light that is within.


        • #5
          Re: Natural Insect repellents

          Drinking fenugreek tea is very effective. The curry smell from the tea comes through the pores, insects hate it.


          • #6
            Alaska Yellow-Cedar as Mosquito Repellant


            Alaska Science Forum
            June 30, 2005
            <HR SIZE=4>
            Alaska Yellow-Cedar as Mosquito Repellant?
            Article #1757
            by Ned Rozell
            <HR align=left>
            This column is provided as a public service by the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, in cooperation with the UAF research community. Ned Rozell is a science writer at the institute.

            Massive Alaska yellow-cedar trees contain natural preservatives that repel mosquitoes, kill ticks, and prevent diseases from attacking other trees.
            Alaska yellow-cedar has the strongest wood of any in the state, and grows on coastlines from Prince William Sound to northern California. In recent years, yellow-cedar have been dying of causes other than old age on more than 500,000 acres of Southeast Alaska, and scientists aren’t yet sure why. Some think it may be warm winters and springs that are limiting snowfall accumulation, exposing shallow root systems to blasts of lethal cold air. As the trees' cause of death is investigated, scientists have come up with an innovative way to utilize the dead trees.

            When Alaska yellow-cedars die, they often remain standing for more than a century. Rick Kelsey and Nick Panella are two scientists who are finding uses for the mass of dead trees, beyond lumber and firewood.
            Kelsey, who works for the U.S. Forest Service in Corvallis, Oregon, traveled with Paul Hennon of the Forest Service in Juneau to collect heartwood samples from live and dead yellow-cedar trees in Southeast Alaska. From those samples, Kelsey and others looked at 16 compounds within the trees’ essential oil. They tested a few of those compounds, nootkatin and carvacrol, in the lab and found they killed spores of Phytophthora ramorum, the fungus that causes sudden oak death. Sudden oak death has killed thousands of oak trees in California.

            The anti-fungal compounds in Alaska yellow-cedar persist in the heartwood for up to a quarter-century after the trees die. Kelsey thinks that shavings or chips of Alaska yellow-cedar could prevent the spread of sudden oak death in some areas. He envisions spreading the chips over pathways in recreational areas where hikers and bicyclists pick up the spores that cause sudden oak death and carry them without knowing it. The chipped pathways might kill the spores before the disease can get established in a new area.

            Panella is a biologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Vector-borne Infectious Diseases, based out of Fort Collins, Colorado. He and his coworkers’ search for all-natural pesticides led them to check out the virtues of dead Alaska yellow-cedar. In a lab where his agency raises about 10 different species of mosquitoes for use in experiments, Panella coated the inside of bottles with the essential oils from yellow-cedar heartwood and dropped 25 to 50 mosquitoes into each bottle. He found that the compounds carvacrol, nootkatone, and valencene-13-0L were effective at killing Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, and that the compound nootkatol was a repellant. Both compounds did the job in many cases after being in the bottles for up to six weeks. Aedes aegypti don’t occur in Alaska, but the mosquitoes carry dengue and yellow fever in other parts of the world.

            Panella and his colleagues have mixed up a repellant from the Alaska yellow-cedar compounds and it has worked for several hours. Yellow-cedar compounds also work against ticks and fleas, Panella said, and have low toxicity to mammals. The researchers have filed patents on their mixtures as repellants and insecticides, and are talking with businesspeople who are interested in developing and selling the final products. Some day in the near future, Alaska’s most valuable lumber export may also repel its worst summer pest.
            "The next major advancement in the health of American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself"-- John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation


            • #7
              Re: Natural Insect repellents

              AD, it kills the spores of Phytophthora ramorum! Wow, now that is wonderful news. I'm not sure how you could use the oil on a live tree but still it suggests there may be a way to stop what up till now was a dreadful scourge to not just oak trees but several other species as well.

              To answer your garlic question.
    <H4 class=style4>Systemic repellents

              Vitamin B1 (thiamine chloride), garlic, brewer's yeast and other plant-based chemicals have been reported to repel mosquitoes when taken orally. Some of these materials are marketed in tablet form, and the manufacturers claim that protection from mosquitoes will last up to 24 hours after taking one tablet. To date, the results of several scientific studies do not support the claims that these materials are effective repellents for mosquitoes or other biting insects, mites or ticks.
              Please do not ask me for medical advice, I am not a medical doctor.

              Avatar is a painting by Alan Pollack, titled, "Plague". I'm sure it was an accident that the plague girl happened to look almost like my twin.
              Thank you,
              Shannon Bennett