Posts Tagged ‘peppermint’

Don’t Let Mosquitos Bother You This 4th of July!

Fourth of July is around the corner – fireworks, barbeques, games, swimming, camping and all those other wonderful outside summertime activities, and mosquitos. For those of us who are mosquito magnets and looking for a safer alternative to DEET, there are personal insect repellents containing botanicals like citronella, basil, lavender, geranium, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, cedarwood, and tea tree. While these are mildly effective, the longest lasting and most effective botanical is Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, according to the Environmental Working Group. (The Environmental Working Group is a consumer watchdog organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.) In fact, the CDC recently confirmed that Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus can be as effective as DEET in repelling mosquitoes.

Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus is a plant-based repellent oil made from the leaves of the Eucalyptus Citriodora tree from tropical northeastern Australia. A 30% concentration of Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (with 19% PMD, a naturally occurring substance) provides up to 6 hours of protection against mosquitoes and ticks.

Repel makes a Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent Pump Spray and is available on-line. I prefer to support local cottage businesses selling insect repellents at my local Farmers’ Market. Check yours to buy some too.  When buying a mosquito repellent, always read the ingredients to make sure they include Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (not to be confused with eucalyptus).

Insect repellent sold at my Farmers' Market

Insect repellent sold at my Farmers’ Market

 

For more ideas for mosquito control, click here.

Summer goes by quickly – don’t let mosquitos and ticks keep you inside!

 

Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus is not for use on children 3 and younger, can possibly irritate lungs and has possible allergens.

Information compiled from ewg.org. and treehugger.com

For more green living tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.

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Controlling Mosquitos Naturally

Along with the cookouts, volleyball games, hiking, camping and other glories of summer come mosquitoes and ticks.  But pesticides or products containing DEET, are associated with a variety of health problems ranging from dizziness to seizures with children being particularly susceptible. There are several safer and effective alternatives.

Natural Repellents

A garlic spray in your yard provides excellent control.  Garlic has natural sulfur which repels insects, including mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and even black flies, yet does not harm humans, pets, bees, butterflies or plants. Mosquitoes are soft-bodied insects and garlic juice is toxic to them in increased concentrations. Mosquitoes are also extremely odor sensitive and garlic can repel them for up to a month or more, as long as they can still detect an odor. Farmers have been using garlic for generations. Organic based landscaping or pest control companies often offer a garlic spray or you can buy a product called Garlic Barrier and do it yourself.

For small areas like patios or decks, certain aromatic plants keep mosquitoes away.  Marigolds planted with pungent herbs like catnip (nearly 10 times more effective than DEET) and rosemary are effective and attractive in containers.  I planted a “mosquito plant”, really a wild scented geranium, which grows fast and seems to work.  It was specifically grown to keep pests away. Citronella candles can be helpful, as well as all natural insect repellent incense sticks. Or you can burn a little sage or rosemary over coals to repel mosquitoes.

Cultural Practices

Two important and effective cultural practices are: 1) Don’t keep standing or stagnate water around where mosquitoes can breed and 2) consider putting up a bat house.  Mosquitoes are the primary food source for bats and some species eat up to 1000 of them an hour!

Personal Repellents

For personal repellents sprayed directly onto your skin, soybean-oil-based products have been shown to provide protection for a period of time similar to a product with a low concentration of DEET (4.75%).  Other ingredients usually include pure plant extracts like citronella, cedarwood, eucalyptus, geranium, lemongrass and peppermint, which are natural, effective and have a nice aroma.  Buzz Away and Bite Blocker are good brands that are potent and long-lasting.  You can find them at Whole Foods. In areas heavily infested with deer tick,  a DEET product may be needed.  Just spray directly onto your clothes, not your skin! For more information on deer ticks, click here.

Ticks and mosquitos don’t have to ruin your summer!

PurePest Organic Mosquito and Tick Solutions

It’s been a rough year for mosquitoes, probably due to the heavy rains in June.  I can barely last 10 minutes in the garden without getting eaten alive, much less have dinner outside which I love doing this time of year!  So, I was thrilled when PurePest contacted me about trying their organic mosquito and tick spray.

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PurePest Organic Mosquito and Tick Solutions is a service company providing safe, non-toxic alternatives for mosquito and tick control using their product called Eco-Barrier, sourced from plant extracts and natural oils. Their proprietary blend consists of rosemary oil, peppermint oil and geraniol. This product has the ability to combat mosquitoes and ticks, killing the adults as well as the larvae and eggs, and has a residual to keep them from returning. Unlike pesticides, their eco-friendly applications will not harm you, your plants or beneficial insects like bees and earthworms.

PurePest starts with an evaluation of your property followed by a customized plan. Services are performed tri-weekly from early spring to late fall to the entire yard. The routine applications increase product effectiveness, providing 21-day coverage. You can hire also hire them for event sprays.

Two knowledgeable and impressive young men came to our property and did a thorough spray of the area around the house.  It was immediately evident to them where our mosquito problem stemmed from and they addressed the issue.  After the spray I noticed a very faint, pleasant minty smell.

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How well did PurePest Organic Mosquito and Tick Solutions work?  I’d have to say quite well, especially considering how mosquito infested our property is. We were actually able to eat dinner outside with no problem!

Started by young entrepreneurial guys, PurePest Organic Mosquito and Tick Solutions’ timely and important service is doing the right thing by the earth.  They are somewhat pricey, as most organic products are, but with the prevalence of Lyme disease and other tick and mosquito borne diseases, it’s worth it. To help defray the cost, the company offers a referral incentive where you get one free spray for each customer you refer who signs up for the season.  They actually have customers who end up with free sprays for the entire season!

PurePest is located in Massachusetts, on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, New Hampshire, Vermont, Tennessee, with plans for expansion.

Don’t let mosquitoes and ticks ruin your summer – give PurePest a call at (978) 579-0007 or visit www.purepestmanagement.com for safe and effective control.  Mention you heard about them from What’s Green With Betsy?!