Summer is here and in full swing, and with the easing of many Covid-19 restrictions we are free to enjoy the outdoors again. However, nothing can dampen your day out quite like the menacing mosquito and its blistering bites.
Thankfully, plenty of products now exist which can spare you from getting bitten, so you to enjoy your time in the sun in itch-free peace. However, not all insect repellents are created equal and it can be hard to decide which is the most effective while also balancing any potential side effects.
Here are some summer bug repellents that you can consider this summer.
N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide (commonly known as DEET) is a synthetic insect repellent which was developed by the U.S Army in 1946. It is one of the main ingredients in many commercial insect repellents and works by forming a vapour barrier at the surface of the skin, deterring mosquitos from landing. While DEET has a reputation of being highly effective at keeping the bugs at bay, it has also been known to cause skin irritation, redness and swelling in some cases and even seizures in an extreme minority of people. Therefore, we recommend giving natural repellents a go first.
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
With an inception also dating back to the 1940s, Lemon Eucalyptus Oil has one of the best reputations as a safe and natural mosquito repellent. Its effectiveness is even acknowledged by the U.S Centre for Disease Control (CDC) with a recent study showing that a mixture of 32 percent lemon eucalyptus oil provides up to 95% protection against mosquitoes for up to 3 hours after application with no real side effects.
Lemon Eucalyptus repellent can be found on the shelf of your local chemist or pharmacy or can even be made at home by creating a mixture of 1 part lemon eucalyptus oil to 10 parts sunflower oil or witch hazel.
If you plan to be stationary in one spot, such as at a picnic, BBQ or circling around a campfire, there are ways to keep the insects away without dousing yourself in protective oil repellent. Research has shown that burning thyme leaves on the fire or BBQ creates a scent that the mosquitos can’t stand. Studies have shown that burning thyme leaves offers 85% protection for up to 90 minutes, and while it may not smell good to the bugs, it smells nice to us humans.
Emu Oil is an effective but lesser-known natural insect repellent. It contains Terpenes which are natural substances that repel insects and has been used by the native Australian peoples for thousands of years. Another benefit of Emu Oil is that if you do get caught out in the swarm, an application of Emu Oil directly onto the skin will reduce bug bite swelling and alleviate any pain and itchiness. It’s one bottle you should definitely keep in your medicine cupboard!