Mosquito Repellent – Effect, Application & Risks

Mosquito repellent

Mosquito bites can not only torment those affected by itching , the animals also transmit diseases, some of which are not harmless. Malaria and dengue fever are two of a few potential diseases that highlight the importance of protecting yourself from mosquito bites. Mosquito repellents can help with this. It is easier to prevent bites than to treat any illnesses that may occur after the fact.

What are mosquito repellents?

There are various forms of mosquito repellents on the over-the-counter market, all of which ultimately aim to protect people from bites and thus from transmissible pathogens.

Mosquito repellents are not only effective against mosquitoes, they also protect against other biting insects that are potential disease vectors. Your goal is to drive away or kill the sources of danger. This happens at different levels depending on the remedy chosen.

All mosquito repellents are designed to prevent bites rather than treat them after they occur. They have a wide variety of ingredients that can be of both chemical and natural origin.

Application, effect & use

The medical use of mosquito repellents is particularly important when staying in regions that are close to the equator. The heat and humidity offer mosquitoes an optimal climate. As a result, the populations in such countries are often more strongly represented and spread dangerous tropical diseases.

The mosquito repellents differ in their application depending on the form. Mosquito nets over the bed can physically prevent mosquitoes from biting you. By wearing light-colored clothing, the insects are recognized more quickly and can be removed manually. Long sleeves and trouser legs are also useful, as they offer less contact surface and thus protect the skin from excessive stitches.

However, most mosquito repellents consist of liquid tinctures, sprays, and ointments that can be applied to exposed areas of the body. Care should be taken to ensure that the distribution is complete. If the clothing is made of thin fabrics, it is advisable to apply the agent to parts of the body that are not freely visible. Most mosquito repellents are similar in their effect.

For the most part, they contain an odorant that drives away the insects, which means that there is no physical contact in the first place. Its effectiveness relies on deterring mosquitoes before they can touch and bite the skin . The mosquito repellent is heated by body and outside temperature, causing it to vaporize and attack the mosquito’s perception. This makes it impossible for her to locate the targeted host.

In addition to repellents for the body, there are room sprays that rid the individual environment of mosquitoes. Their effect is also due to ingredients that have a repellent effect on mosquitoes because of their smell. A distinction is made between insecticides and repellents. While repellents affect the insect’s senses and prevent it from biting, insecticides kill it.

Most protectants that can be applied to the skin are repellents. Because they drive the mosquito away but do not kill it, the insect develops less resistance. This process results in a longer effectiveness of the agent. It does not need to be adapted to the changing populations.

Herbal, natural & chemical mosquito repellents

Mosquito repellents can be divided into different groups, graded according to their ingredients.

Plant protectants include tea tree oil and essential oils such as citronella and Citriodiol®. Herbal elements from garlic , thyme , basil, lavender , peppermint or cloves are used here. Another natural mosquito repellent are saturated fatty acids such as coconut oil.

These substances are applied to the skin in the same way as chemical-pharmaceutical substances, which often contain DEET in different doses. Other active ingredients are icaridin, ethyl butyl acetylaminopropionate and DMP. Depending on the amount of active ingredient contained, the repellent must be used more or less frequently in order to efficiently avoid mosquito bites.

Bites are prevented homeopathically by taking Staphysagria D3, for example. This is dissolved in water and taken orally into the body. The repetition of the intake must be adapted to the intensity of the threat from mosquitoes.

Risks & side effects

Mosquito repellents can harbor risks and side effects, which occur more frequently when chemical repellents are used. Skin irritation, itching, redness and burning may occur.

They can also have an irritating effect on the cornea and mucous membranes, which are particularly sensitive. With DEET there is also a risk of experiencing sensory disturbances such as numbness or tingling . Seizures and brain damage are also possible in very rare cases. These can be attributed to the fact that DEET can enter the bloodstream through the skin.

But herbal mosquito repellents can also have a negative effect on the body. Essential oils can cause skin irritation and promote existing allergies , which is particularly the case with increased exposure to the sun. However, they are not toxic and are therefore usually better tolerated.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.