Citrus Fruit: A New, Natural Alternative to Fight Mosquitoes

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Mosquitoes are one of the biggest killers out there today, spreading diseases that kill millions of people each year. It’s only right to want to fight them.

Humans and animals attract these pests because of our blood. Both male and female mosquitoes feed on nectar. Females typically require the protein found in blood to lay their eggs, though. Female mosquitoes can live as little as a few days and as long as six months (depending on the species).

A female mosquito will typically suck on its victim’s blood until it has filled its abdomen. If it’s interrupted during its feast, the mosquito will simply go find another blood source to complete its meal. After the feeding is complete, it will take a few days to rest and lay its eggs. Then, the cycle will start again and continue until its lifespan is up.

It’s during this cycle that these female mosquitoes transmit various diseases. These infections include malaria, dengue fever, the Zika virus, the West Nile virus, and more. When a mosquito bites an infected person and then goes on to feed on another, it transfers the virus. This is how these pests spread disease and cause wide-spread illness and deaths.

Mosquito Control Methods

Mosquitoes have become a menace due to their breeding rate and the widespread conducive habitats for their survival. There are several approaches humans have tried to use in the war against mosquitoes. Sadly, the effects are not yet widespread and the war is far from over.

  • Several chemicals are being used to kill both mosquito larvae and adults, but they are often too harsh and have hazardous residual effects on both plants and animals. (You can check out the best yard sprays for mosquitoes if your battle is never ending and you want to win by any means necessary.)
  • Natural and organic alternatives are also being used to repel mosquitoes and keep them from feeding on humans. These natural methods are quite effective and pose less of a danger to our environment than synthetic chemicals.

Citrus Fruit as Mosquito Control

Citrus is a genus of flowering trees and shrubs that belong to the Rutaceae family. Fruits in this genus include orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, tangelo, pomelo, and so on.

Several types of research have proven the efficacy of citrus essential oils as mosquito repellents. This research also shows that citrus essential oils work against both adult mosquitoes and larvae.

This is a popular and efficient way of controlling mosquitoes. If you combine the effectivity with the fact that this is an organic approach that isn’t hazardous to plants, animals, or the environment, you’ll agree that this is one of the best ways to fight mosquitoes out there.

Citrus fruits are used in many different ways to help in the fight against mosquitoes. If used correctly, we might just stand a chance at winning some of these battles.

Here are some ways that you can use citrus fruits to combat mosquitoes.

Citrus Peels

Citrus peels contain organic chemicals that have the ability to kill mosquito larvae. In addition, research shows that some citrus scents repel adult mosquitoes.

Unfortunately, you must extract the essential oils from the peels for this to be effective. Simply rubbing a lemon peel your skin won’t work as a mosquito repellent. Squirting lemon juice on yourself won’t work, either.

Nootkatone

Nootkatone is a naturally occurring organic compound found in grapefruit peels and Alaska yellow cedar bark.

Uroburos/Pixabay.com

This compound is often used as a natural insecticide since it’s quite effective against mosquitoes and ticks.

Like the essential oils found in other citrus fruit peels, you must extract nootkatone from its source material for it to be an effective repellent or insecticide.

D-Limonene

Oranges and lemons contain the compound D-limonene. This compound is effective at chasing away mosquitoes and some other insects. It’s also a component in many citrus essential oils.

Couleur/Pixabay.com

Like other essential oils, you must extract this compound from its source. Of these, one simple extraction method is distillation. Despite its simplicity, this requires specialized equipment.

Conclusion

Citrus are delicious fruits that provide us with essential Vitamin C. But now you know that they can also protect us from the biggest pests in the world: insects.

Go ahead and put citrus to work. Let it protect you from the dangerous diseases mosquitoes are spreading around the world. It’s best to find commercial products with the ingredients mentioned here rather than trying to extract them yourself, though.

4 Comments

Laura Gregory

How about plants such as growing a lemon tree in a sunroom to repel mosquitos? Will the smell of the tree or bush be effective?

    Karen

    Just growing a lemon tree in your sunroom won’t be as efficient as using citrus essential oil, since the oil has a much stronger scent than the plant itself. However, growing a lemon tree can still provide some relief when it comes to mosquitoes.

Vera Cortezsmith

What about putting a bowl of citrus fruits on patio table. how does one extract the oils from the skin?

    InsectCop

    Just placing the fruit in the area most likely will not be enough. The smell will likely be too mild to repel anything. As for how to extract the essential oils, you should try looking it up on YouTube, as it has many videos explaining the methods. You can pick whichever seems suitable for you. Good luck!

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