This post is not about telling you to cover your bodies, apply mosquitoes repellent creams and keep your surroundings clean, avoid mosquito habitats, and stuff like that to avoid mosquito bites, that all you already know. Also there are many plants which you can grow indoor, in your balconies or your garden to avoid mosquitoes, we can talk about them some other time.
Mosquitoes are themselves not the problem to us, but mosquito bite surly is. Imagine yourself sitting in a place with mosquitoes around but none of it is interested in biting you, just because they don’t like the taste of your blood. Amazing, right? They are no more attracted towards you, no more itching, no more red spots, no more malaria and dengue. Beautiful world that will be, isn’t it ? We will be in peaceful co- existence with mosquitoes.
By killing mosquitoes we are certainly not killing the problem, it is similar to killing pests using pesticides, it will only increase the problem, you solve one, another one pops out as a result, and next time you spray pests are resistant to it, and you keep on increasing the dose. What does common sense says ?? Which is better, trying to eradicate whole species from earth using chemicals resulting new types of problems or finding a solution of peaceful coexistence of all the species on earth.
Mosquito bites are not the primary cause of diseases, bites themselves are the result of unhealthy body. If you have ever observed the nature, pest attack or parasite attack is on weaker beings, a weak nutrient deficient plant is more prone to diseases and infestation. similar things are observed in animals too. Always weakest is attacked first in the herd.
So if you are getting mosquito bites, chances are there that something is wrong in your body and that weakness is the reason they are attracted towards and attacking you.
So this post is about some traditional natural methods which were incorporated in our daily routine and lifestyle to avoid bites of these blood sucking beautiful creatures.
Recent news headlines about spreading of dengue fever has caught many of ours attention, some blame it to unhygienic conditions, some on government, and some on disturbed ecological balance. Yes, mosquitoes have become the matter of concern these days with no. of diseases of which these are carriers, increasing. But equally important is the concern of methods used to control these pesky vampires. For obvious reasons with the increase in mosquito related problems, market related to deter these tiny blood sucking vampires has also increased, with many international players now in the field.
There is nothing new to tell about the harmful effects of the chemicals used to manufacture these insect repellent sprays and coils. Some of them are being banned in developed countries for over 20 years. Making India and other third world nations the dumping ground of these chemicals, corporations can’t sell anywhere else.
With the 24 hours news channels booming and showing reports of dengu and malaria followed by the attractive advertisements of these products one might think that these are the must have products, after all nothing comes over the safety of your family. I will not go into the debate of these may be paid news to promote these products, similar to news headlines related to food adulteration and fake food in the making of traditional indian sweets at the time festivals followed by the advertisements of celebration chocolates.
(FOOD FOR THOUGHT)
A little flash back —
Growing up in a joint family, i learned a lot about various traditional techniques of personal care from my grand parents and elders of the family, and saving myself from mosquito and other insect bites was one of them.
what mosquitoes are attracted to ?
when i was a kid, i used to get lots of mosquito bites, where as my grand mother used to sit calmly with no bites at all, and upon asking the reason i used to get a logic that my blood is sweet, so mosquitoes are attracted to me more. Another one she used to tell was, breath deep to avoid mosquitos, another observation i made later was, she never used artificial soap or shampoo.
So when i was doing little search about what mosquitoes are attracted too , i was amazed to find how simple steps in traditional indian culture were so efficient to deal with the problems we face today in the name of life style related problems.
so what actually attracts mosquitos are —
1. Sweat is said to attract mosquitoes by its smell. Some people have problem of excessive sweating, Improper diet and lifestyle diseases are often source of stomach diseases, which are further related to excessive sweating, resulting foul smell of sweat, and attraction point of mosquitoes.
Deep breathing (pranayaam and yoga)and proper diet to keep your stomach good, does makes a lot of sense here.
2. Another reason for being calm and deep breathing is, it keeps your blood high in oxygen content, and as mosquitoes are attracted to high carbon dioxide, they may not like your blood which is now high in oxygen content rather than CO2 rich after making deep breathing a habit.
3. Mosquitoes are found to be attracted to fruity and other smells, thus if u use soaps and shampoos which are fruity in smell they will definitely be attracted towards you.
So not using any artificial soap and shampoos does makes a lot of sense here.
4. Last one about your blood being sweet, i can not conform scientifically but she had a habit of eating daily 10-15 neem leaves, we were also advised to eat it, it was said that it makes your blood bitter (neem is bitter), which mosquitoes doesn’t like. Also neem is very good for your stomach. So at least it does makes sense to me. Eating lots of garlic is also said to produce similar effect. there was also a kind of tradition to eat bitter gourd twice a week to keep your blood clean.
So if your body is healthy, you won’t get mosquito bites. Bad stomach is the origin of many diseases, resulting in impure blood, excessive sweating, foul body odour, bad mouth and many more. So mosquito bites are the themselves the result of something wrong going on with your body.
Apart from having a healthy lifestyle and disease free strong body, here are some more desi tips to keep mosquitoes away !!
1. Take a wide plate and pour some mustard oil in it, just a little so that all of the wide surface is covered by it, and then keep that plate in some dark corner of the room (and yes another thing mosquitoes are attracted to are dark colours) after few hours, you will definitely find lots of mosquitoes lying dead in the plate. i have seen it myself working. to make it more effective, increase the no. of plates.
2. Alternatives to coils would be “dhoop agarbattis” made of gobar, you could find them easily in gaushalas. Its better to promote local sustainable product than supporting corporations in making India a dumping ground.
3. Another one is ,cut lemon slices and embed “cloves” into it, and keep them in the corners of the room.These are effective air fresheners also.
4.Neem oil or neem seed oil is easily available in the garden and panchgavya shops these days as it is used as organic insect repellent. light a oil lamp, or kerosene lamp, and add 6-8 drops of neem oil into it. This has also been found to be effective. 6-8 drops is the measure for the lamp of size we use in diwali you can experiment with amount of drops.
(tip -try adding citronella, or eucalyptus oil drops instead of neem oil, never tried though. )
These were some eco-friendly and sustainable tips to avoid mosquito bites.