Monday, May 10, 2010

Bug Repellent

It's that time of year, or will be soon if it ever warms up again, for bugs! I think I might have the tastiest blood ever because I seem to be a huge target for mosquitoes. In the past I just used standard bug spray from the store, then I started hearing things about DEET which almost all bug sprays contain. Here are some of the facts on DEET.

*This is from Duke University Medical Center*
DEET should be used with caution due to its possible damaging effects on brain cells. Studies have shown that DEET causes brain cell death and behavioral changes in rats after frequent and prolonged use. This exposure causes neurons to die in regions of the brain that control muscle movement, learning, memory, and concentration. Rats treated with an average human dose of DEET (40 mg/kg body weight) performed far worse when challenged with physical tasks requiring muscle control, strength and coordination. These findings are consistent with reported human symptoms following DEET's use by the military in the Persian Gulf War.

With heavy exposure to DEET and other insecticides, humans may experience memory loss, headache, weakness, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, tremors and shortness of breath. These symptoms may not be evident until months or even years after exposure. The most severe damage occurs when DEET is used concurrently with other insecticides, such as permethrin, for prolonged and frequent periods of time. At this time, there is little information about the short-term, singular and occasional use of DEET. Further government testing of the chemical's safety is necessary. However, frequent and long-term use of DEET, especially in combination with other chemicals or medications, could cause brain deficits in vulnerable populations, particularly children.

Does that scare any one else? Because it REALLY freaks me out! Fortunately there are other alternatives. There is an essential oil called Terra Shield* that has been proven to MORE effectively repel biting insects than other synthetic repellents. A small amount of this blend of oils will provide powerful coverage for up to 6 hours.

I bought this last summer and was able to try it out on a camping trip. We didn't get ONE bite!! Also, if you're sitting outside you can put Terra Shield into the diffuser and protect the area where you are sitting.

It comes in a regular oil bottle so I put a spray pump on it to more easily apply the oil. Others have also put it into a bigger bottle of coconut oil or even water with a spray pump on to make it last a little longer. You can also apply a few drops on ribbons and strings and place near air vents, windows, or opening where bugs might come in.

*Terra Shield-Is a blend of over 12 oils! It is highly repellent to many flying and crawling insects and bugs.

1 comment:

  1. Does it work on ticks? That is our big problem.