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What are alternatives to mosquito sprays?

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Quick Answer

The soy-based Bite Blocker for Kids and oil of lemon eucalyptus are effective natural alternatives to the other bug sprays available on the market. Even though the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has declared bug sprays safe, even those with the pesticide DEET, many people want to stay away from these chemicals.

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Full Answer

Research conducted in 2002 found that Bite Blocker for Kids lasted longer than 90 minutes, which is superior to some of the chemical products that contain DEET and other pesticides.

Oil of lemon eucalyptus is a by-product of the lemon eucalytpus tree, and studies have shown it to work as well as DEET-based insecticides. While this essential oil can become toxic to those who drink large amounts of it, it keeps mosquitoes away safely and effectively when sprayed on the skin. The Centers for Disease Control warn not to use this oil with children younger than 3 years of age.

Other natural remedies that people have tried include peppermint oil, citronella and other oils that come from plants. However, there is no consistent research showing that those oils are effective against mosquitoes. Catnip is another substance that people have tested, but studies showed DEET was significantly more effective against those annoying pests.

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