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World Malaria Day: 10 Natural Ways To Prevent Mosquito Bites

Every year, 25 April is observed as World Malaria Day. World Malaria Day was established in May 2007 by the 60th session of the World Health Assembly of WHO. The day is observed with the intention of providing education and understanding of malaria and spreading awareness of malaria prevention and treatment.

Recent WHO report on mosquito-based deaths worldwide crossed 500 million. It is one of the most dangerous vector diseases that kills one child every 30 seconds and 3000 children every day.

The Delhi government is in the process of beginning an anti-dengue campaign named "10Hafte10Baje10Din" (10 weeks, at 10 am, for 10 days). The government's anti-dengue campaign will be organised from 1 September 2020 to mobilise the support of people in combating vector-borne diseases. The campaign was initiated in 2019.

Mosquito bites can be quite irritating as well as painful. Apart from the irritation it causes, mosquito bites can be dangerous too. Statistics show there is an increase in mosquito-related diseases too like malaria, yellow fever and of course dengue in recent years [1].

Preventing oneself from mosquito bites is one of the foremost steps towards prevention of dengue. There are several mosquito repellent creams, sprays, etc., available across the market, but one needs to be careful about it [2].

All these no doubt help to keep off the mosquitoes, but at the same time, they contain toxic pesticides that are harmful to one's health. Too much of exposure to these can cause severe headache, breathing problem and also memory loss in the long run [3][4].

Though difficult to avoid the little pest, with the simple ways listed below, you can prevent mosquito bites.


1. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is one of the best known natural mosquito repellents. Take a few drops of eucalyptus oil and then apply it especially over the exposed part of the body like legs and hands. It is effective and has been proven by several studies as well. You can also make use of lemon eucalyptus oil [5].


2. Lavender Oil

Rubbing lavender flowers or lavender oil on a few points of your body helps repel mosquitoes and is one of the effective aromatic flowers that help reduce dengue contraction by preventing mosquito bites [6].


3. Cinnamon Oil

Take a few drops of cinnamon oil, and you could mix it with a few drops of other oils or moisturisers, and then apply it over a few points on the body and skin [7]. It acts as a natural remedy to prevent mosquito bites due to its overpowering scent.


4. Peppermint Oil

Take a few drops of peppermint oil, and add a few drops of apple cider vinegar to it, mix it well and then apply it on to your skin as well as sprinkle it on your clothes [8]. This acts as a natural remedy for mosquito bites.


5. Thyme Oil

One of the best natural mosquito repellents, thyme oil has been proven effective in preventing mosquito bites. You can also burn thyme leaves, which can offer 85 per cent protection for 60 to 90 minutes [9].

Take 4 drops of thyme oil and mix it with 2 spoons of water and apply on the skin.


6. Citronella Oil

Most of the mosquito repellent creams have citronella oil as it keeps the mosquitoes and other bugs away. Another benefit of applying this oil is, it smells great as well [10]. Made from a mix of herbs belonging to the lemongrass family, can provide up to 50 per cent extra protection.


7. Tea Tree Oil

Possessing antifungal and antibacterial properties, tea tree oil can help prevent mosquito bites. Apart from this, the oil also helps reduce the swelling and pain associated with the bite [11].


8. Neem

Neem oil, extracted from the neem plant, and the leaves are known as one of the best insecticides. Apply a few drops of neem oil on to the skin that is generally exposed [12].

This acts as a natural mosquito repellent and studies have revealed that 20 per cent neem oil provided 70 per cent protection for 3 hours between dusk and dawn.


9. Garlic

Garlic cloves can be consumed or garlic oil can be rubbed on to the skin to prevent mosquito bites. This acts as a natural mosquito repellent because the odour of garlic, as well as the sulphur compounds emitted from the skin, can help repel the mosquitoes [13].


10. Lemon

Although less effective in comparison to the aforementioned means, lemon too acts as a mosquito repellent [14]. Applying a few drops of lemon over the exposed skin helps in keeping off the mosquitoes.


On A Final Note…

Apart from the aforementioned, consuming vitamin B supplements may also help prevent mosquito bites as the supplements will change the scent of the body which is said to repel mosquitoes. Also, make sure to close your windows and doors during dawn and dusk. If you are getting out of the house, cover yourself up.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I stop getting bitten by mosquitoes?

A. Dump out any standing water near your home, use mosquito repellents, wear light-coloured clothing especially outdoors and stay indoors during dusk and dawn.

Q. What vitamin do you take to prevent mosquito bites?

A. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is backed by numerous studies to help prevent insect bites.

Q. What can you eat to prevent mosquito bites?

A. Garlic and onions, apple cider vinegar, lemongrass, chilli peppers, tomatoes, grapefruit, beans and lentils.

Q. What smells do mosquitoes hate?

A. Bitter citrusy smell is one that mosquitoes tend to avoid commonly.

Q. Why do mosquitoes bite ankles?

A. They may target our feet and ankles because we're less likely to notice a mosquito biting us there.

Q. Why do mosquitoes bite me and not my husband?

A. Doctors point out that this happens because mosquitoes do prefer some people in comparison to others. There is also evidence that one blood type (O) attracts mosquitoes more than others (A or B).

Q. Is Tiger Balm a good mosquito repellent?

A. Yes, but a temporary one.

Q. Are mosquitoes attracted to perfume?

A. Yes. Fragrances are known to attract mosquitoes, so perfumes and colognes should also be used sparingly.

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