Ok, mosquito season is in full swing and that means swatting yourself constantly or
using nasty chemicals. There is a better way. Use the leaves of plants that repel mosquitos. Take a few leaves and rub them on your face, neck, hands, legs, hair, and clothes…any exposed skin. You don’t need to cover every square inch, but more the better. Since my stem cell transplant, I don’t use any type of chemical (as much as possible), and insect repellent is one of them.
If you are immunocompromised, the best way to prevent mosquito bites is to stay indoors or in a screened area with proper screening. The screen mesh for no-see-ums, gnats, and other tiny insects is 20 x 20, diameter .013. Protect yourself and get the correct size mesh. Other tips are to wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks. Basically, you want to cover as much skin as possible. I know it’s tough not to wear shorts, skirts, and skinny tops, but who wants to be bitten and risk getting an infection? Even more abhorrent is the possibility of being admitted into the hospital because of a preventable infection.
Here’s a list of viruses that mosquitos carry (CDC.gov)
- Eastern equine encephalitis
- Japanese encephalitis
- La Crosse encephalitis
- St. Louis encephalitis
- West Nile
- Yellow fever
Plants that repel mosquitos…see slideshow below
—Citrosum (mosquito plant)…I found this plant to be effective. The leaves are a little rough and scratchy, but it beats the alternative! A number of these plants are potted and growing nicely on my deck. Pick a large leaf and rub (like lotion) into any exposed skin, including face, hair, and clothes. This releases the oil in the plant, citronella, that repels mosquitos from you.
—Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) This product is made of natural plant oil and deet free!
–Herbs such as basil, peppermint, sage, lavender