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Repelling Mosquitoes and Ticks the Old-Fashioned Way

By Jody Smith HERWriter
 
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When you think of protecting yourself from ticks and mosquitoes the first thing that comes to mind might be DEET. This stands for N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide.

But before the late 1950s Americans fought off the bugs through other means. These days, when many people are concerned about some of the chemicals we're exposed to, some of the older techniques are coming back into favor once more.

Mosquitoes and ticks can be avoided somewhat by using mosquito netting inside, outside, or draped over your hat. Light-coloured long pants and long sleeved shirts offer some protection as well.

In addition to netting and full coverage for clothing to keep yourself safe from ticks, it's a good idea to check your skin and hair for the little critters. If you have pets, keeping them off the furniture will reduce the chance of ticks travelling from your pet to the furniture to you.

If you're outside, it's good sense to steer clear of some of their favorite haunts such as areas with weeds and high grass, or plenty of brush.

Bottomlinepublications.com advised that if you must be out in tick country, you may need to resort to spraying yourself with DEET, especially during spring and early summer which is the big season for ticks.

Minimize your exposure to the chemical content by spraying it on your clothes instead of on your skin, and do the spraying outside rather than in your house.

Bottomlinepublications.com described some of the good old ways of repelling mosquitoes.

Oil of lemon eucalyptus, also known as lemon eucalyptus, is a plant-derived compound which the CDC says protects as well as DEET against mosquitoes for up to four hours at a time.

Mother Nature can be a help on a windy day since mosquitoes aren't keen on flying in windy weather. You can make use of this aversion by turning on the fan, or being outdoors when and where it is breezy.

Citronella is an essential oil that's been used to chase away the bugs since the 1940s. It must be reapplied every hour, with spray or lotion. Citronella candles also help repel insects.

Smoke puts off mosquitoes. Think bonfires or candles, especially citronella candles.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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