In Florida, months April to November aren't spring, summer, or fall, it's mosquito season. The rain starts trickling in, water puddles form in your backyard, the temperatures rise, and the blasphemous insects come swarming, hungry for blood.
So what can you do to fight off these creepy, flying mini-vampires?
First off, please avoid DEET. If you must use DEET, use products that contain 7-10% or less. Studies are beginning to come out showing the neurological, immunological and respiratory side effects of DEET usage. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11339626 & https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3985181/.
To test to see if the product you are using is safe, search it on: https://www.ewg.org/ and see if the safety rating is something you are comfortable it.
This is what I am currently using:
Swat Juice Balm is from Suni Skyz Farm
Bug Protector Spray is from Amazon
You can also make your own essential oil blend with the following essential oils:
Peppermint (note: peppermint EO while breastfeeding, has been found to anecdotally reduce supply, also avoid peppermint on babies)
Cinnamon (note: please do not use cinnamon EO while pregnant, or on babies)
Citronella (this is the most important EO if the entire blend, if you are looking to be cost effective)
All of these essential oils have properties and smells that mosquitoes despise. Blend these oils together in castor oil, shea or cocoa butter and apply liberally all over your body before adventuring outside into mosquito territory.
I have found that planting Citronella, Lavender and Rosemary plants all around my yard has been a great help, as well, especially around the back and front door entrances, they avoid the plants like the plague. You can easily purchase these plants at your local department store garden section, or even purchase seeds online, Amazon surprisingly carries many varieties of seeds and plant starter kits.
Please be mindful when adding mosquito nets and coverings to infant car seats and such. They are great while actually outside, but once you are placing your baby back into the car, be sure to remove them, as they did not come with the car seat, and can make the car seat unsafe by adding a fire-risk to a flame retardant car seat. Also these nets can sometimes rip very easily, especially the cheap ones, and a baby could get their toe, or finger caught, or even break off a piece into their mouth if they are teething, don't leave babies alone in their cribs or car seats for long periods of time, unmonitored, with these nets.
In the event that you or your children do get bit by mosquitoes and you need some relief from the itch, black drawing salve is a great option to apply topically.
You can easily make your own drawing or healing salve, as well.
If you prefer drawing, you can blend the following ingredients into a paste like texture and apply a thick scoop onto the affected areas:
Devil's Club herb
Warm Apple Cider Vinegar
(all of these can also be used in a bath, for those with sensory issues against paste-like textures)
If you prefer healing, or soothing, blend into a paste, oil or bath:
Witch Hazel Herb
Best of luck, as we brave this mosquito season together!!
Do you have special tricks that you use to ward off mosquitoes or heal mosquito bites, that were not listed here? Please feel free to share below!