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Keep mosquitos at bay: naturally

The pests are back – and the dangerous tiger ones are spreading – so it is time to find strategies to keep them away

18 July 2012

AS EVER, the warm weather has brought that seasonal pest the mosquito back – and the dangerous “tiger” version has spread as far as Paris this year.

There are many ways to beat them without using fly sprays or plug-in chemical fume dispensers - and Le Monde has listed suggestions to repel the bugs, rather than killing them.

The Asian tiger mosquito, recognisable for its stripes, is known to carry the tropical illnesses chikungunya and dengue fever. Common in the south-east, it is said to be “at the gates” of the capital and surveillance has been stepped up at sites including the two airports and the Rungis fruit and vegetable market.

An often overlooked but obvious and effective way to avoid being bitten is a mosquito net. These are installed over the bed and one for a double bed can be bought from around €20. Putting one over a baby’s bed can be a good idea, to protect their delicate skin.

Another option is to put netting directly over windows (or even doors), such as with the method suggested on this blog: Consommer durable
Many people also swear by lemon eucalyptus essential oil (eucalyptus citronné or Eucalyptus citriodora) for keeping them away.

It can be used in an essential oil burner, with about 15 drops, or just putting some on a hanky and leaving it out in the room. You can also add drops to your shower gel or body moisturising creams.

Another tried-and-tested option is herbal and essential oil incense sticks, such as this one made by Les Encens du Monde: Incense sticks
Finally there is simple prevention: both sweat and perfume attract mosquitos, so it is advisable to take plenty of showers and to avoid using highly perfumed products; also try to keep lights off when you have windows open in your room.

Le Monde says, however, that electronic repellents using a high-pitched (ultrasound) noise are “totally useless” as they do not bother female mosquitos, which are the ones that bite.

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