Mosquitoes and flies rampage through our life in the summers.Veganlifestyle is similar to Jainism in many ways.Vegans are against harming organisms as well. Whether going out or enjoying a bit of breeze in your own home, mosquitoes play spoilsport in all spaces. These mosquitoes are not only a nuisance they alsocause diseases like Dengue and Malaria. These are highly debilitating diseases and in some extreme cases they are also life threatening. The obvious choice during these seasons is to use a mosquito repellent, but it is also important to know the tradeoffs involved in getting rid of mosquitoes through conventional methods.
Most conventional insect repellents contain DEET (also listed on labels as N, N-Diethyl-m-toluamide or N, N-Diethyl-3-Methyl benzamide). DEET is highly effective at repelling mosquitoes, but is also an eye irritant and can cause blisters and rashes on some users. More rarely, DEET has been associated with lethargy, confusion, disorientation, and mood swings.In addition to popular forms such as aerosols and pump sprays, DEET is also found in lotions, creams and gels. The chemical keeps insects away for hours after application and can be applied over sunscreen. As long as DEET has been around, it has raised questions over its safety from both citizens and scientists. Some are bothered by the smell, while others worry that it may irritate skin; many have also felt the sting of accidentally spraying insect repellent over a small cut.
DEET is a persistent environmental contaminant that breaks down slowly in soil. It stays in soil and water over a long period of time harming all creatures and plants that come in contact with that soil and water. This disrupts our ecosystem in ways unimaginable. All the plants that grow on that soil, animals that eat those plants and humans that feed on those are ingesting these contaminants over a period of time. Long term studies regarding the ingestion of this chemical over a sustained period of time are not easily available.
Different insect repellents contain different active ingredients, some natural and some artificial, but all of them work in a similar way. Insects, particularly mosquitoes, are drawn to the carbon dioxide people release when they breathe, as well as certain odors from the skin. The insect repellent works by masking this smell and replacing it with a smell that is not to the liking of the insects.
Insect repellent should not be the first line of defense against insects, since these products can carry risks for the environment as well as your health. For people living in regions where mosquitoes are plentiful, it’s important to use repellents as part of their protection against diseases like Dengue and Malaria. Insect repellents made of plant-based oils may offer protection against insects. They might not be as effective as DEET or Picadarin but they are less harmful to environment as well.
Insect repellents are a necessary evil. The effects of natural plant based insect repellents have not been explored in great detail. Vegan options prepared from plant based oils that contain essential oils like Peppermint, Citronella, Lemon grass and Clove oil are also highly effective means of repelling mosquitoes. Also methods like wearing long sleeves and long pants in light colors in summers can be a precaution as mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors. Another way to avoid bugs is to keep doors and windows closed from dusk till dawn, when the insects are at their worst. Putting netting in doors and windows to avoid bugs at home and preventing any water clogging are also important for keeping home insect free. Since mosquitoes can breed even in tiny pools of stagnant water, inspect your property for potential larvae infestation. Make sure that your window nets are hole-free
Essential oils like Citronella, Lemongrass, Peppermint, and Cedar wood oils are good insect repellents. Be sure to test them on a small area of skin first, as some people are allergic to citrus or other aromatic oils. You can use them in diluted form on your body or use them as aroma oils in your household. Remember to purchase them from organic or vegan stores to ensure high quality of the product oils.