The war against bugs, mosquitoes, ticks, and swarms of insects is quite irritating and bothersome. Insects buzzing around are really annoying especially during outdoor events; barbeque parties and other summer events. Are we feasting on the barbeque or are the swarms of insects feasting on me! I dread summer time! Meanwhile, of all the insects, mosquitoes are quite irritating. Apart from their bites, they carry serious infections like West Nile fever, encephalitis, and malaria.

Research suggests that mosquitoes are hard to avoid since they can detect humans scent100 feet (30.5 meters) away [source: Cook]. Know you know why mosquitoes are everywhere! Insect repellants involve a combination of repelling substances that can be applied or sprayed to discourage arthropods and insect.

Apart from brushing off bug bites and insects buzzes, imperatively, insect repellants aid in controlling and preventing outbreak for both arthropods and insect bore diseases such as dengue fever, Lyme diseases, West Nile fever, bubonic plague, Malaria, and encephalitis. Naturally, many plants have devised their own mechanisms in repelling insects. Traditionally, human used plants for their repellent properties. People used a combination of natural products that contained insect repellant substances to protect themselves. As contemporary humans, we can harness such designs to create effective natural and synthetic insect repellents from multiple sources.

Fortunately, when it comes to insect’s repellants we have piles of products:  natural insect repellants and chemical based insect repellants are at our disposal. While most people use insect repellant the concern has always been the effectiveness and health concerns of insect repellants. Most people are concerned with underlying effects of insect repellants on their health. For instance, it is widely acknowledged that most commercialized insect repellents contain chemicals that are harmful to both adults and kids. For instance, chemical insect repellants trigger skin, eye and lungs reactions, and allergies. In my case, I can ascertain that chemical-insect repellants have a severe respiratory effect on me. On the other hand, does the Environmental Protection Agency- approved insect repellants really work? Over time there have been concerns on some ingredients on EPA approved insect repellants, take for instance citronella as an ingredient lasts for only a limited period.  Citronella candles have also been ineffective as an insect repellant.

So the concern remains are there any effective means of repelling insects?

While insect repellants are quite unlimited in selection it’s crucial to consider several factors in choosing an insect repellant that is both effective and has minimal health effects. Of course, clothing provides the best repellant against insects, but during summer much clothing wouldn’t seem to the most appealing. Another alternative would be to wear clothes that can repel insects especially clothing that contains a synthetic chemical permethrin. Other natural insect repellant alternatives that could be considered include eucalyptus oil, citronella, bay leaves, rosemary, peppermint oils, and vanillin. Lemon eucalyptus oil is approved by EPA, has minimal effects on the environment and health unlike chemical based products like N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) or picaridin (DEET) and is considered as the most effective of all plant-based products [ source: Center for disease and control]

So far, chemical insect repellants that contain DEET are still the most common and effective insect repellants although their reputation in relation to health concerns is quite disturbing. Research shows that prolonged exposure to DEET may result in insomnia, tremors, and shortness of breath, moodiness and cognitive impairments [source: Peterson]. In any event, there is no standard effective insect repellant. Others prefer chemical based insect repellant, it is okay it’s their choice. As for me given the eminent effect that chemical-based insect repellants have on me I 100% tout for all natural insect repellants.