Natural Insect Repellents
How to Repel Insects Naturally!
Did you know that Catnip Oil spray is reported to be ten times more effective than DEET (the unsavory toluene based chemical used in commercial insect sprays)?
With rising concerns about the toxicity of conventional flea and tick control, some pet owners are looking for natural alternatives:
Rose Geranium. Rose Geranium has been used as an extremely potent repellent for ticks. Rose Geranium can be applied directly to your dog's collar, or try the following blend as a tick repellent for both you and your dog: 20 drops of Rose Geranium Oil, 3 drops of Citronella Oil and Bay Leaf Tincture in 10 ounces of water. Spray this on your dog, your dog's bed, your clothes, and exposed areas.
Natural Jungle Juice Recipe
A blend of essential oils of clove, peppermint, and lemon.
Tested in the jungles of cambodia and Brazil, Jungle Juice has been shown to be effective for up to six hours against mosquitoes, flies, ticks and gnats, including the Brazilian sand fly. It contains no citronella oil and has a pleasant, spicy aroma.
20 drops rose geranium
3 drops citronella oil
3 drops rosemary or lavender oil
3 drops clove oil
1 Tbsp. Bay Pure Essential Oil
2 Tbsp. black walnut hull extract
Mix together, then add to 1 copy water, aloe vera gel, or a combination of water and aloe vera. The rose geranium will help repel ticks, citronella repels mosquitoes, black walnut repels flies and fleas and rosemary, like lavender and clove, is an all-purpose repellent.
Basic Essential Oil Repellent Recipe
10 to 25 drops essential oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (olive oil is fine)
1 tablespoon aloe vera gel (optional)
Combine the ingredients in a glass jar. Shake to blend. Dab a few drops on your skin or clothing.
Note: Dilute, Dilute, Dilute
Essential Oils are very concentrated and must be used carefully. Some essential oils can aggravate the skin. Undiluted essential oil of pennyroyal and cinnamon oil can be dangerous to pets.
Animals can have a severe allergic or toxic reaction to many products. Exercise caution when making choices for your pets (and you). Cats may not tolerate all essential oils. Some companies adding essential oils to their products are using perfume quality essential oils, not therapeutic grade.
If you have any questions, please consult your Veterinarian before using essential oils on your pets.
Fleas are small insects that parasitise the coats of a wide range of domestic animal species including cats, dogs, rabbits, horses, poultry, humans and rats and which survive by feeding on the blood of their . In appearance they are small (about 1 - 2.5mm in length, depending on the flea species) and yellowish to dark brown in color depending on whether they have recently fed or not (the abdomen of an engorged flea swells and appears paler brown in colour than that of an unfed flea - see the cat fleas pictures in the next section). Unlike ticks, mites or lice, which have a dorso-ventrally flattened, pancake-like shape (they look as though they have been squashed from above), fleas' bodies are flattened laterally such that their shape from the front appears tall and narrow (they look as though they have been squashed between two objects located on either side of them).
Like most other insects, fleas have three main body parts: a head, a thorax and an abdomen and, like most other insects, fleas have six legs (three on each side) that originate from the mid-section of the body (thorax). Unlike many other insects, fleas have no wings and do not fly. Perhaps to compensate for this inability to fly, the back legs of the flea are very highly developed (long and strong) compared to their other four legs and are designed for jumping. Fleas move from host to host and from host to environment to host by jumping through the air. The flea's back legs are also designed to propel the flea forwards through the animal's fur at high speed, which helps the insect parasite to evade the teeth and claws of the animal host as it attempts to remove the flea through biting, chewing and scratching activities. With the exception of the stick fast or stick tight flea, Echidnophaga (section 5), which establishes a blood-feeding position on the host (often on thinly furred or feathered regions like the legs, belly, neck, eyelids and ears) and remains there, most flea species are very mobile and are usually only seen by pet owners as brief glimpses of something brown scurrying slickly through the animal's hairs.
Flea eggs are shiny, white, ovoid eggs, about 0.5mm in length. They hatch to produce grub-like flea larvae that are about 2.5mm long (depending on species). These larval fleas look like tiny white caterpillars (they move like grubs or caterpillars do too) with a black centre or core that is located acentrally, towards the head-end of the larva. Under the microscope, this black core is actually bright red and constitutes the larval stomach, which is full of digesting blood from its diet. Flea pupae or cocoons are rarely seen by owners because they are located in the pet's bedding or elsewhere in the environment (e.g. pupal fleas in the carpet), not on the pet itself. The silky cocoons are sticky and rapidly become covered in dust granules and dirt debris from the environment, making them virtually unrecognisable to owners. They just look like small balls of dirt.
Types of Ticks
Both tick types bite hosts and suck their blood. Hard ticks pass from one stageof development to another following each blood meal.
Hard ticks undergo distinct larval, nymphal and adult stages. Soft ticks undergo a series of molts and feed more often than hard ticks.
The blacklegged tick is also known as the deer tick. Young deer ticks are active in spring and early summer, while adults are active in spring and fall. These ticks are known to be vectors of Lyme disease.
Few animals on Earth evoke the antipathy that mosquitoes do.
Their itchy, irritating bites and nearly ubiquitous presence can ruin a backyard barbecue or a hike in the woods. They have an uncanny ability to sense our murderous intentions, taking flight and disappearing milliseconds before a fatal swat. And in our bedrooms, the persistent, whiny hum of their buzzing wings can wake the soundest of sleepers.
Beyond the nuisance factor, mosquitoes are carriers, or vectors, for some of humanity’s most deadly illnesses, and they are public enemy number one in the fight against global infectious disease. Mosquito-borne diseases cause millions of deaths worldwide every year with a disproportionate effect on children and the elderly in developing countries.
There are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes, but the members of three bear primary responsibility for the spread of human diseases. Anopheles mosquitoes are the only species known to carry malaria. They also transmit filariasis (also called elephantiasis) and encephalitis. Culex mosquitoes carry encephalitis, filariasis, and .West Nile Virus And Aedes mosquitoes, of which the voracious Asian tiger is a member, carry yellow fever, dengue, and encephalitis.
Mosquitoes use exhaled carbon dioxide, body odors and temperature, and movement to home in on their victims. Only female mosquitoes have the mouth parts necessary for sucking blood. When biting with their proboscis, they stab two tubes into the skin: one to inject an enzyme that inhibits ; blood clotting ,the other to suck blood into their bodies. They use the blood not for their own nourishment but as a source of protein for their eggs. For food, both males and females eat nectar and other plant sugars.
Mosquitoes transmit disease in a variety of ways. In the case of malaria, parasites attach themselves to the gut of a female mosquito and enter a host as she feeds. In other cases, such as yellow fever and dengue, a virus enters the mosquito as it feeds on an infected human and is transmitted via the mosquito’s saliva to a subsequent victim.
The only silver lining to that cloud of mosquitoes in your garden is that they are a reliable source of food for thousands of animals, including birds, bats, dragonflies, and frogs. In addition, humans are actually not the first choice for most mosquitoes looking for a meal. They usually prefer horses, cattle, and birds.All mosquitoes need water to breed, so eradication and population-control efforts usually involve removal or treatment of standing water sources. Insecticide spraying to kill adult mosquitoes is also widespread. However, global efforts to stop the spread of mosquitoes are having little effect, and many scientists think global warming will likely increase their number and range.