There are over 300 species of mosquitoes in Australia and when summer hits it can feel like every single one is itching to make us scratch.
As synonymous with summer as mangoes and denim shorts, insects are probably the most dreaded part of this beloved season. Every year they prove to be extremely difficult to avoid and we are faced with the same two, equally appealing options – wearing long sleeves and pants in 40 degree heat or spraying our bodies (feet and face included) with chemical-laden, pungent sprays.
As much as we’d like to avoid looking like we’ve come down with the chicken pox, we’d rather not succumb to either of these options so we’ve put together a few alternatives to help you shake the infamous summer pests.
The common chemicals found in insect repellents – in particular DEET and permethrin – have potentially harmful effects on the body. Although the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) says they are safe in small doses, other studies have linked these substances to dysfunctions in the nervous system and since the amount we tend to lather on ourselves during an average summer evening wouldn’t necessarily be classified ‘small,’ we’d rather not take the risk.
To avoid being bitten (or falling victim to motor deficits) one possible alternative is to opt for an au-naturel spray like Perfect Potion’s natural insect repellant. With a base of citronella oil as well as a mix of peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree oils, it is an effective solution that won’t leave you smelling like a science lab.
It’s long been believed that mosquitoes are drawn to floral, fragrant perfumes (just like our other half). However researchers at the New Mexico State University have debunked this myth. They tested 10 commercially available products on their effectiveness at preventing a mosquito-mauling and found that along with those containing DEET, none other than Victoria’s Secret Bombshell perfume also fended off the little bloodsuckers. Perhaps all it needs is the touch of an angel.
Rather not put any substances on your skin? How about something you can wear?
Before you wrap a citronella spiral around your wrist why not try PARA’KITO wristbands? The bands have a small rubber pellet inserted into them, containing all natural essential oils which release smells that are delightful to the human senses but repellent to mosquitoes. Lightweight, waterproof and adjustable, these bands are the perfect no-fuss solution to avoiding the pesky critters (particularly during outdoor workouts).