In the height of summer, many of us will be spending more time outdoors on patios, in backyards or up at the cottage. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? But, don’t forget about our summertime friend: The mosquito! These pesky bugs can be a real BUZZ-kill when it comes to enjoying outdoor activities. Especially if you’re prone to getting “eaten alive”! Here we dive into these “skeeters” and discuss ways to avoid bites naturally as well as highlight the caution with which conventional bug repellents should be used.
Pass (or pass on) the bug spray?
In an effort to avoid mosquito bites, many people turn to conventional bug sprays, which contain toxic chemical-based ingredients, like DEET. DEET is widely available and might be considered the king when it comes to mosquito repellents, but it has a major downfall. Many studies show that it has harmful effects not only on our health but especially our children’s health. Studies show it can contribute to leaky gut, add to our toxic burden, and can irritate our skin and eyes.
Fortunately, there are plenty of prevention strategies and natural alternatives to keep mosquitoes away that don’t involve ingesting and absorbing harsh chemicals into your body:
1. Wear light coloured clothing:
Light coloured, loose fitting clothing offer the greatest protection. Not only are mosquitoes more attracted to dark/bright colours, but tight clothing is also easier for them to bite through. Cue, more itchy bug bites!
2. Stay indoors at dawn and dusk:
Mosquitoes are most active at these times, so avoid being outdoors if you can. If you are going to bite the bullet, just make sure to wear a long sleeve shirt, pants and socks to protect your skin.
3. Keep in mind that bugs are attracted to sweat:
There’s a chemical in our skin that’s released when we perspire that these bugs seem to be drawn to, so avoid exercising or doing any strenuous physical activity when mosquitoes are most active.
4. Drain any stagnant water:
Mosquitoes require water to breed, so make sure to drain any sources of standing water around your house like pet bowls, gutters, garbage bins, bird baths and so on. Plus, stay away from ponds, fountains etc.
5. Try a wearable:
There are wearable repellents on the market like patches, bracelets and even stickers made with natural essential oils. At least with the patches, you wear them on a piece of clothing, so you’re not touching it. Another (totally not cute) wearable… a bug jacket made of a thin netting material.
6. Change the air:
Turn on a fan! When a fan is on pretty high, the mosquitoes can’t fly toward you! You can also try something like a natural citronella candle, a scent they don’t like!
7. Try an all natural bug-spray:
Try an all natural bug-spray:
In combination with the above prevention strategies – try looking for bug sprays made with natural ingredients like essential oils, witch hazel, aloe etc. If you can’t find one in your area, try making one. There are plenty of natural “DIY” bug repellant recipes online. Who needs toxic chemicals when there are plenty of essential oils and plant-based ingredients that do the trick?
About The Movement Boutique in Toronto – Pilates, Chiropractic, Functional Medicine
Located on Yonge Street in Toronto, The Movement Boutique serves the areas of Summerhill, Rosedale and Yorkdale with Pilates classes and much more. Our philosophy is centred on a holistic, multimodal approach to health, grounded in the latest therapeutic techniques and clinical research. Our approach: Optimal health cannot be attained through a single therapeutic lens; injuries are often the result of a constellation of lifestyle issues, including dysfunctional movement patterns, trauma, nutritional deficiencies or destructive habits of mind.