Scientists Confirm Folk Remedy Repels Dangerous, Annoying Mosquitoes

Last month, I told you about a few high- and low-tech non-toxic solutions for eliminating the mosquitoes swarming outside your home. Because I enjoy sharing practical, simpler, safer solutions with you, I've found two more ways to protect your family from bugs.

One way to liven up your yard and distract mosquitoes is to grow a beautyberry plant or two in your garden, a traditional folk remedy commonly used among residents of Mississippi's hill country for more than a century, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Scientists identified three natural chemicals -- callicarpenal, intermedeol and spathulenol -- in the beautyberry plant that repel mosquitoes known to transmit malaria and yellow fever. Who knows, however, if those extracted chemicals will work safely or properly in a mass produced formulation.

The second solution offers more in-depth evidence about the value of building a bat house, especially in the humid subtropical climate of central Florida. The reasoning behind building a bat house, especially in high growth areas like Florida: Bats eat as many as 600 insects an hour, but have steadily have fewer places in which to safely congregate.

But you may not have a yard with which to grow a beautyberry plant or build a bat house, so you may be tempted to take the easy route: A commercial insect repellant that contains the deadly and potent neurotoxin DEET.

The Outdoor Botanical Gel I sell in my Web store, however, contains aloe vera, cintronella, cold-pressed neem oil and geranoil, and no DEET, the active and harmful chemical in most mosquito repellants. If you're looking for a safer alternative to conventional and toxic solution, read this overview about the risks and discover why the Botanical Outdoor Gel comes with my highest recommendation.

Orlando Sentinel July 1, 2006

Science Daily July 3, 2006

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