In the United states and other northern hemisphere countries spring is just around the corner if not here already and mosquitoes will soon become a problem. Every year I get lots of questions about the best mosquito protection products, so I thought I would address this issue early so you can be prepared.
Get rid of standing water around your house
If there are any containers that can hold water laying around, either turn them upside down or otherwise dispose of them so mosquitoes won’t have a place to lay their eggs. If that is impossible or impractical, a small amount of cooking oil in the container will stop them from using it.
Spraying for mosquitoes
Some places spray for mosquitoes and there isn’t much you can do about it except stay inside or go someplace else until the spray settles. Do not use commercial chemicals to spray for mosquitoes yourself. There may be some natural sprays available from health foods stores or online that are safe, but make sure petrochemicals are not used for either the active ingredient or as a propellant.
Wear protective clothing. Brightly colored clothes are better than dark clothing at repelling mosquitoes. Wear long sleeved shirts, boots (instead of open toed shoes), long pants and hats. Tuck shirts into pants and pant legs into socks to keep mosquitoes out. Cover infant carriers with mosquito netting.
Use bed netting at night if staying in a place that is not mosquito proof. Either tuck it into the bedding or make sure it goes all the way to the floor. Pretreated mosquito netting is available in some places that is supposed to be non-toxic and improves the netting’s efficacy.
There are many kinds of repellants available, but most of them I do not recommend for G6PD Deficient individuals. There are some natural repellants that work very well and yet are not harmful. Some of these you can buy and others you make yourself.
If you must use commercial insect repellants, such as deet, spray them on clothing and let dry before putting them on.
Thai lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus)
This is a very good repellant, especially if used fresh from the plant. Lemon grass oil can also be used, but it isn’t as effective. See G6PDDproducts.com for more information.
Vinegar and coconut oil
No, it’s not a salad dressing. Mix some vinegar into coconut oil and apply to skin. This has also been reported to work well and does not stain clothing if applied sparingly and rubbed into the skin. Try mixing some lemon grass into this mix for added protection.
You can try any mosquito repellant you can find that doesn’t contain petrochemicals. The natural ones will always be a better choice, but may not work as well. Most natural products use the above ingredients, so making it yourself is much cheaper.
Avoid malaria endemic areas
This is great advice for those who travel, but it doesn’t work for people who live there. The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is especially applicable to malaria and G6PDD people. Be safe and take all the precautions you can to avoid malaria because the medicines used to treat it are mostly worse than the disease.
All the best.