Mosquito-borne illnesses are becoming more prevalent around the world and even in North America. Reports of the Zika virus and the mosquito species that spread it have arrived in South Florida. But before you reach for that DEET, it’s important to know about natural alternatives to insect repellent that don’t pose the health risks of applying poisonous pesticides to your skin.
At CardioMender, MD we understand that obesity and heart disease aren’t the only health risks our clients face. That’s why we now offer the Anti Mosquito Patch 2000. We use it too!
To use the patch, simply scratch the tissue, remove the card backing, and apply to your skin for 4-6 hours of effective insect repellent. How does it work? The answer is natural essential oils that are emitted from the patch but never in contact with your skin.
What essential oils prevent spread of the Zika Virus?
The active ingredients that make the Anti Mosquito Patch 2000 so safe and effective are citronella and lemon eucalyptus essential oils.
Citronella is a popular alternative to DEET as a mosquito repellent. Lemon Eucalyptus is also gaining prominence for the same properties. Both essential oils contain citronellal, which masks the cues mosquitoes collect from the environment to hone in on their targets.
Both of these essential oils have also been found to be specifically effective in repelling the species of mosquitoes that are the primary vectors of mosquito-borne illnesses like yellow fever, malaria, and of course, the Zika virus.
Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil as Natural Insect Repellent
While there are over 700 different species of eucalyptus, lemon eucalyptus – named for the lemony scent it gives off – is an especially effective insect repellent. This species grows in Northwestern Australia and the essential oil is extracted from the leaves and twigs of the tree.
Lemon eucalyptus oil has been found to be a safe and effective alternative to insect repellents containing DEET. Studies have shown that there is no significant difference between DEET and lemon eucalyptus oil when it comes to protection against the Anopheles mosquito, which is the main disease transmission vector for malaria in Africa.1
Preventing Zika with Citronella Essential
The other main active ingredient in Anti Mosquito Patch 2000 is Citronella essential oil. Citronella is a healing and prevention powerhouse with antibacterial, antidepressant, fungicidal, and antiseptic properties in addition to being the premier insect repellent in the essential oils world.2
Studies have found citronella essential oil particularly effective in killing and repelling the aedesaegypti mosquito.2 This species of mosquito is known as the prominent disease vector for yellow fever and malaria, and is the primary vector of the Zika virus.3
Engaging the health risks of a preventative like DEET is unnecessary when there are safe, natural alternatives to guarding against the Zika virus, malaria, yellow fever, and other mosquito-borne illnesses.
At CardioMender, MD we have an alternative to DEET repellents. Read about the patch we suggest and why we decided to offer it at our Wellness Center. Click here.