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Mosquito Borne Illness Kills Hundreds in Sri Lanka

Intrusive and dangerous “spray and pray” mosquito abatement tactics were Florida’s response to the Zika fear-mongering last year. The actual damage inflicted by Zika itself in the U.S. ended up being minimal and it has quietly faded from the headlines. 

The media hysteria and lack of verified cases stands in stark contrast to the dengue catastrophe in Sri Lanka. Like so many deadly epidemics of the past, poor hygiene and sanitation, and not a lack of vaccines, are to blame for the spread of this mosquito-borne illness.  CNN reports that this outbreak has claimed hundreds of lives and sickened tens of thousands. 

Cataclysmic floods and serious issues with garbage disposal have created a perfect breeding ground for mosquitos. This tragedy drives home the point that natural and proactive methods can have a huge impact on mosquito populations. Draining standing water is one of the best defenses against mosquitos. This includes pet bowls, gutters, garbage and recycling bins, spare tires, bird baths, children's toys and similar vessels. This is where mosquitoes breed, so if you eliminate standing water you'll eliminate many mosquitoes.

There are other alternatives that do not involve toxic chemicals. Consuming garlic can protect against bites as can cinnamon leaf oil, vanilla extract mixed with olive oil, citronella oil and catnip oil. Many of these natural mosquito repellents have been shown to be more effective than DEET. A simple fan can also keep mosquitos at bay and a bat house can serve as a long term solution for your backyard.
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