Mosquitoes are one of the biggest killers today. They are estimated to infect over 200 million people every year and cause the deaths of approximately 500,000 of them yearly. It is only right to want to fight them.
These pesky insects are more interested in humans and animals because of blood. Both male and female mosquitoes can feed on nectar if they want, but they seem o have a ‘sick’ interest in humans.
Female mosquitoes prefer to feed on blood because they need the proteins and iron present in it to develop their eggs.
A female mosquito, which has up to 54 days as its life cycle, will typically suck on blood till its abdomen is filled. In a case where it is interrupted by an unwilling victim, it simply goes over to another person to complete its meal.
After it is done the feeding, it will take about three days to rest and lay eggs. Once, it is done, the cycle starts again till its lifespan is up.
It is during this cycle that these female mosquitoes transmit various diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, Zika virus, WestNile virus, etc. When the mosquito bites an infected person and goes to feed on another, it transfers the virus. This is how it peddles diseases and causes wide-spread illness and deaths.
Mosquitoes have become a menace due to their rate of breeding and the widespread conducive habitats for them to survive.
There are several types of approaches man has tried to use in the war against mosquitoes, but 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.
Natural and organic alternatives are being used to repel mosquitoes from feeding on us. These natural means are quite effective and will not harm our environment like the synthetic chemical alternatives.
Citrus is a genus of trees (flowering) and shrubs that belong to the Rutaceae family. Fruits in this genus include oranges, lemon, lime, grapefruit, tangelo, pomelo, etc.
Citrus fruits are used in different ways to help in the fight against mosquitoes and if they are applied correctly, we might stand a chance to win some of the fights.
Here are some ways you can use citrus fruits to combat mosquitoes.
Citrus fruit peels
Mosquitoes and ants especially detest the smell of orange and lemon peel. These citrus peels contain organic chemicals that have the ability to repel mosquitoes and other insects.
There are different ways you can use these citrus peels to help fight mosquitoes.
One way is to rub the peels directly on your skin. The chemical compounds on the peel of oranges and lemon are transferred to your skin. Since their smell repels mosquitoes, they will not be able to land on you and hence cannot bite.
You can’t contract the diseases they peddle if they don’t get to bite you.
Other animals have been studied and observed to roll on and rub themselves with citrus peel in an attempt to deter insects’ infestation.
Citrus peels can also be ingested. There are several ways citrus peels have been used in the culinary industry. You can use it to flavor water or tea. Lemon peel is often grated and used to flavor salads and other foods.
There are tons of ways you can ingest citrus peels. One of the ways mosquitoes identify us is by odor. Ingesting citrus peels alters the body odor and consequently prevents mosquitoes from picking interest in us.
If you don’t fancy the idea of rubbing citrus fruit peels on your skin or having it in your food or drink, there is another way you can use them.
You can leave citrus peels in your compost bin and let it do its work from there. Mosquitoes will not come near the peels. So, if your compost bin is in your kitchen, you can rest assured they will help you keep those blood suckers away.
Nootkatone is a naturally occurring organic compound that is mostly found in grapefruits. This compound is often used as a natural insecticide and pesticide. It is known to be quite effective against mosquitoes and ticks.
There are two ways this organic compound can be used. You can either extract it as an essential oil which can then be applied in different ways.
Alternatively, you can just add grapefruit to your daily nutrition supply. You can eat it however you please by making a grapefruit cupcake or just have it in your fruit salads.
Whichever approach you take to exploit nootkatone, you will surely get its mosquito repellent benefits in full.
Several types of researchers have been carried out to prove the efficacy of citrus essential oils as repellents for mosquitoes. These researchers also show that citrus essential oils work against both adult mosquitoes and larvae.
This is a popularly known efficient way of controlling mosquitoes. If you couple that with the fact that it is an organic approach that is not hazardous to plants and animals as well as the environment, you will agree that this is one of the best ways to fight against mosquitoes.
Oranges and lemons contain the compound D-limonene. This compound has been discovered to be effective at chasing away mosquitoes and some other insects. It is often found in citrus essential oils and is surprisingly easy to make.
You just need to chop some oranges and/or lemons and pour some hot water over them. Leave it till it cools down and strains out the liquid.
You now have your D-limonene filled solution. You can pour the liquid into a spray bottle and be ready to start repelling mosquitoes. You can also rub it directly on your skin to keep them away from you.
Now you know citruses are more useful than being sweet tasting fruits that provide us with the essential Vitamin C.
Go ahead and put them to further use and let them protect you from the dangerous diseases mosquitoes are bent on spreading around.