How To Kill Thousands Of Mosquitoes In Your Backyard Every Night

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When mosquitoes become a problem, most people reach for time tested solutions. They spray themselves with chemicals, or they bundle up in long sleeve shirts and pants. They set up glue traps and electric fly zappers. Or perhaps they look for the source of the mosquitoes, such as nearby puddles of water, and remove them.

These are all effective solutions, but there’s another way that most people aren’t aware of. It’s a solution that appears to be more effective than any other by several orders of magnitude. Youtuber Dan Rojas recently unveiled his idea on a video, which shows you how to kill thousands of mosquitoes every night.

All this method takes is a large fan, a mesh screen, some rubbing alcohol, a few magnets, and a bottle of carbonated water. Basically, he leaves an industrial fan outside his home at night (which can cost between $100 and $300). He covers the fan with the screen and holds it in place with the magnets. The screen helps keep the fan in good shape, by preventing any bugs or debris from getting sucked in.

The bottle of carbonated water is opened and left near the fan. In case you’ve ever wondered how mosquitoes are attracted to mammals, it’s because they can detect the Co2 that we exhale, which is also what is slowly released from carbonated water. As the mosquitoes approach the water, they get sucked into the fan and pinned to the screen. After spraying them with rubbing alcohol they are quickly killed and can be discarded in your yard.

If you live in a region where the mosquitoes breed like mad, you’ll want to see this.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

9 Herbs That Mosquitoes Absolutely Hate (So Get Planting!)

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9 Herbs That Mosquitoes Absolutely Hate (So Get Planting!)

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Mosquitoes can be a big challenge in warm weather. Bug sprays and insecticides can help keep them away, but many people prefer natural solutions.

The most important step in getting rid of mosquitoes is to make sure they don’t have a place to breed. Most mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, so eliminating standing water is critical. Mosquitoes can go through a life cycle in as little as four days, depending on the species and the temperature, or they can take as long as a month, with the average life cycle of a mosquito being around 14 days.

If you have plants in containers, make sure the saucer is not holding excess water for long periods of time. Small puddles in the yard or driveway can be a good place for mosquitoes if the puddle is not drying up quickly. Pet water dishes also need to be changed regularly. Pools, spas, fountains and birdbaths are also places to keep an eye on.

Now that you have eliminated places for the mosquitoes to breed, what do we do about those already here? Some plants and plant oils can be quite effective at helping to repel mosquitoes.

Make Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

Here are nine herbs that everyone who hates mosquitoes should consider for their garden and home:

A well-known plant credited with repelling mosquitoes and other pests is citronella. In my experience, this plant works great, particularly when you brush against the leaves. You do have to be fairly close to the plant, though, for it to be effective.

Basil is another great plant for repelling mosquitoes. Lemon basil and cinnamon basil are the best varieties for this, but I have used sweet basil, as well. Rub some leaves on your skin while you are outside.

Lemon balm is another great mosquito-repelling plant. It has a strong lemony scent that bugs simply don’t like. Use this the same way you use the basil; rub a few leaves on your skin, especially around the ankles and wrists and anywhere else the bugs seem to really like.

Ever tried catnip? It repels mosquitoes, too! But if you are a cat owner, be careful where you plant it so your cat doesn’t destroy the rest of the garden.

If you don’t like the scent of basil, lemon balm, or catnip, peppermint or spearmint are good alternatives. Mosquitoes don’t seem to like the scent of mint, so use it the same way you would the other herbs by rubbing it on your skin.

Lavender is another herb that can be used as a mosquito repellent. Plant it near your door or windows to help keep mosquitoes from entering the house. Some other plants that have insect-repelling properties are sweet woodruff, lemon thyme and rosemary.

You can make your own natural insect repellent using any of the plants listed above, or by using a combination. Simply infuse a few spoons of herbs in witch hazel or rubbing alcohol. Crush or break the leaves before adding to the liquid; this helps release the oils. Let the mixture sit at least overnight before using. You can strain out the leaves and put them in a spray bottle for easier application. Common proportions for this natural insect repellent are 4 tablespoons of herbs to 1 cup rubbing alcohol/witch hazel. If your first batch isn’t working well, tinker with the proportions or the combinations of herbs until you find one that works for you.

How do you repel mosquitoes naturally? Share your tips in the section below:

These Are the Diseases That Will Run Rampant When the SHTF

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Most people like to think that if society collapsed, the most common cause of death would be at the hands of other people. They like to imagine that the apocalypse will be filled with action packed shootouts and marauding gangs of looters. Obviously there would be a lot of violence if society collapsed, but the truth of the matter is that violence would be a secondary concern.

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Mother Nature Has Plans of Her Own

This is evident if you only take a quick look throughout history. During the most tumultuous times in human history, it wasn’t violence that killed the most people, but disease and starvation. Even during war, when violence reached its apex, most of the soldiers didn’t die from violence, and that remained the case until the 20th century. During the American Civil War for instance, for every three soldiers who died on the battlefield, five died of disease.

It’s important to remember that if society were to collapse, it would be tantamount to traveling back in time to when modern amenities didn’t exist. And without those amenities, there are a ton of pathogens that can kill you. So before you blow your entire prepping budget on guns and body armor, consider some of the many unglorified ways that the collapse of society could cut you down.

These are the Seven Likely Causes of Death When the SHTF

1. Superbugs

The world was a hell of a scary place before the invention of antibiotic medications. Any nick or scratch could lead to an untreatable infection, and communicable diseases often ran rampant. Nowadays our antibiotics can treat these diseases, but just barely. As various strains of bacteria become immune to these treatments, we’re rapidly approaching a post-antibiotic world that looks an awful lot like the old world. If society collapses then these souped up diseases are going to be unleashed without any inhibitions. Tuberculosis, staph, typhoid, strep throat, MRSA, and E. Coli will become all too common.

2. Water-Related Illness

If society collapses, people are going to suddenly find themselves reliant on local water sources, and unfortunately those water sources are going to be contaminated. It’s often the case that natural ponds and stream are already unsafe to drink, but the same disaster that cuts off your tap is going to make that water even more dangerous.

Without running water, people will be forces to leave their waste in their immediate environment, where it will likely mingle with local water sources. This among other unsanitary conditions can cause a whole host of water-borne diseases including gastroenteritis, Hepatitis A, intestinal parasites, Diphtheria, cholera, typhoid, and even polio. Here are 9 common water-borne illnesses to prepare for in a disaster scenario.

3. Mosquitoes and Rats

It takes all the might of modern civilization just to keep certain pests in check. But when the garbage trucks stop showing up and the swimming pools turn green, you can bet that the rats and mosquitoes will proliferate like crazy. And they’ll be carrying diseases that are the stuff of nightmares. Rats will carry the hantavirus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and the plague; and in North America, mosquitoes will most likely be carrying dengue fever. Here are some tips to rat-proof your preparedness supply closet.

4. Cold Weather

A lot of people will be forced to go without adequate shelter after the collapse. So when winter arrives, you’re going to see a lot more weather related ailments. We’re all very familiar with flu season, but most people don’t realize that cold weather conditions can spawn numerous diseases, most of them respiratory related. Between the lack of sunlight, people crowding indoors, and the poor circulation caused by cold weather, there will be more cases of strep throat, pneumonia, croup, bronchiolitis, ear infections, and the stomach flu. To prepare for this, understand that hospitals and medical care may not be available (or too dangerous to get to). You may want to consider storing natural remedies, herbal poultices and tinctures to assist in these cold weather ailments.

5. Malnutrition

In a roundabout way, malnutrition would probably be the leading cause of disease after the SHTF. That’s because your diet is tightly linked to the quality of your immune system, so if you’re not getting enough calories, protein, vitamins or minerals, you’re more susceptible to every ailment under the sun. However, malnutrition is most associated with conditions like scurvy, rickets, pellagra, goiters, and beriberi.

6. Cadavers

The collapse of society would destroy every kind abundance that the modern world provides us, and in return, the only thing that would be in abundance are the dead. Dead bodies, especially the kind that were infected with disease to begin with, pose a serious health threat. Without a functioning society, and with bodies piling up faster than they can be buried or cremated, these cadavers would litter our towns and cities, and would most likely pose a serious threat to local water supplies.

7. Disease

Overshadowing many of these medical ailments will be disease. In fact, many believe that disease would be the real killer if the world fell apart and would dwarf the number of casualties caused by violence. Diseases are opportunists and tend to surface at a time the conditions are right for them to flourish. A long-term emergency would be just the right time, wouldn’t you say? These 10 diseases could become common medical emergencies. Make sure you have a well supplied medical closet and a sick room prepared for these issues.

There is a Silver Lining

As bleak as that sounds however, there is a silver lining. Prepping to prevent disease and infection is a lost less intimidating, and a lot more affordable than preparing to face-off against your fellow-man.

In fact, it’s as simple as stocking up on very general supplies that you should be accumulating anyway. Having plenty of food, toiletries, basic medical supplies, and water purification tools, will go a long way toward keeping you safe from the ravages of disease.


The Prepper’s Blueprint: A Step-by-Step Preparedness Guide to Get Through Any Disaster

The One-Year Pantry, Layer by Layer

The Prepared Home: 50 Essential Items to Put in Your Ultimate Survival Medical Kit

52 Weeks to Preparedness: An Emergency Preparedness Plan For Surviving Virtually Any Disaster

The 4 Most Likely Ways You Can Die If the SHTF

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Some People Are Particularly Attractive to Mosquitoes

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Why Some People Are Particularly Attractive to Mosquitoes I am VERY lucky not to get bitten by the pesky mosquitoes, it’s very rare if I do. I have always thought it because I eat a lot of garlic but nope. I am literally quite special. In the eyes of science anyway! We all know that the …

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How to Make Citronella Candles

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How to Make Citronella Candles If your favorite thing in the summer is warm nights outside then likely one of your least favorite is getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. Making citronella candles in cans is a great recycling project that is inexpensive and effective. Get the full know how and pictures in the fantastic article …

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7 Ways To Chase Away Mosquitoes Without Deet (No. 3 Was New To Us, Too!)

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7 Ways To Repel Mosquitoes Without Deet (No. 2 Was New To Us, Also!)

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It was the perfect morning for a hike. After a string of hot days, the weather had cooled considerably. Humidity was low, and there was not a cloud in the cool morning sky.

My kids and I were ready for the adventure of a new hiking trail. We had snacks, plenty of water and other supplies in our daypacks, and we hit the trail with enthusiasm. Before long, however, my daughter and I were swatting our necks and arms. Soon, we realized we were being badly bitten.

Mosquitoes! They can ruin a hike, a camping trip, a picnic or even a lazy afternoon in your backyard. Scientists estimate that about one out of every five people is especially susceptible to mosquito bites – which explains why my son was relatively unscathed that day. Your blood type, metabolism, diet, general scent and even the color of your clothing play a role in why mosquitoes bite certain people more than others.

Not only are mosquito bites painful and itchy, but mosquitoes can carry dangerous diseases such as the West Nile Virus and malaria. If, like me, you prefer to avoid toxic commercial insect repellents, there are some alternative measures for repelling mosquitoes.

Learn How To Make Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

Here are eight all-natural ways to keep mosquitoes from ruining your summer outdoor fun.

1. Garlic. Mosquitoes dislike the smell of garlic. You can repel mosquitoes by eating garlic before you spend time outdoors, since the garlic oil is slowly released through the pores of your skin.

You also can keep mosquitoes away by rubbing garlic juice on your skin. Simply pinch a fresh clove or two in order to get the juice flowing and apply it to your exposed skin. Another option is to consume garlic capsules.

2. Herbs. You can keep mosquitoes at bay with certain herbs, including lemongrass, mint, rosemary, lavender and basil. Simply rub the leaves onto your exposed skin before going outdoors.

To keep mosquitoes away from your home and garden, try planting these herbs in your garden, especially near your doors and windows. Planning a barbecue? Throw a few springs of rosemary on your charcoal grill to repel the biting insects.

3. Vitamin B1. Studies dating back 50 years indicate that taking vitamin B1 (thiamine) can deter mosquitoes and other flying insects from biting. Scientists theorize that vitamin B1 produces a skin odor that female mosquitoes, which are more likely to bite than male mosquitoes, find offensive.

Vitamin B1 is water-soluble. Try taking one 100 mg tablet each day (with a meal) during mosquito season.

4. Natural oils. Certain natural oils work well as natural mosquito repellants. You can create your own natural repellent by mixing a few drops of oil with a carrier liquid such as olive oil or sunflower oil. A 10 to 1 ratio often is a good formula. (Please note that researchers caution against using natural oils on children younger than three years old.)

Here are some natural oils that repel mosquitoes.

  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Tea Tree oil
  • Lemon oil

5. Homemade citronella candles.

7 Ways To Repel Mosquitoes Without Deet (No. 2 Was New To Us, Also!)

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Citronella is a time-honored insect repellent. Here is a recipe for making homemade citronella candles.

What you need:

  • One-half pound raw, settled beeswax
  • Citronella and one or more of these essential oils: rosemary, geranium, lavender
  • Pan of boiling water and metal bowl (to use as double boiler)
  • Tea light wicks (available from crafts store)
  • 10 candle holders
  • Wooden chopsticks or similar small sticks for stirring
  • Thermometer
  • Knife


Use the knife to break the beeswax into small pieces. Place the pieces in the metal bowl over the pan of hot water and stir continuously while it melts. Use the thermometer to test the water temperature. When it reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit, start adding several drops of the essential oils, stirring well after each addition.

New ‘Survival Herb Bank’ Gives You Access to God’s Amazing Medicine Chest

Pour the mixture into the candleholders. (If you are using glass, reduce the chance of breakage by pouring in a small amount of wax and letting it cool a little before adding more.) Once the mixture has cooled and a slight skin has formed on the top of the wax, add the wicks.

If the wicks are not already primed, pre-dip them in the wax for longer burning time. Next, place the primed wicks into the wax. The candles will be ready to use when the wax has completely hardened.

6. Apple cider vinegar. Insects, including mosquitoes, will avoid the strong smell of apple cider vinegar. You can make a natural mosquito repellent with organic apple cider vinegar and the essential oil of your choice. Add 25 drops of essential oil (such as lavender) to one-quarter cup of apple cider vinegar in a glass jar with a lid. Shake well to blend. Apply to skin.

7. Bats. Did you know that one small brown bat can eat more than 1,000 mosquitoes in one night? Attracting bats to your yard can therefore be an efficient and easy method of mosquito control.

Get tips on building a bat house here.

Finally, pay attention to the time when you are outdoors. Mosquitoes are most active early in the morning and at dusk. If you venture outside at these times, cover up with lightweight long sleeves and with long pants. Wear light colors, as dark colors tend to attract the annoying insects.

What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.

Go away mosquito!

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Is Zika a real problem, is it a man made disease, or is it just a smokescreen to deflect our attention somewhere else? I don’t know, what I do know is mosquitoes are a problem, even where I live in the high (and dry) desert. I don’t like using chemicals if I don’t have to, recently I ran across a recipe on Facebook that claims to keep mosquitoes away for up to 80 days, and of course we all know that if it’s found on Facebook that is must be true, right? I shared the recipe to keep it on my timeline, a friend of mine tried it and said it worked for her, so with high hopes I struck out to town today with a short list.

The ingredients are :
3 cans of stale beer
3 cups Epsom salt
1 large bottle of cheap blue mouthwash

Mix all ingredients together until Epsom salt is dissolved, put in a spray bottle and spray the area where you don’t want the mosquitoes, it’s not supposed to hurt plants, it’s not toxic.

OK, I got a 24 ounce can of beer, since I don’t drink beer I didn’t want a 6 pack, and it wasn’t going to be stale, I didn’t think the mosquitoes would mind… I used 2 cups of Epsom salt because of the smaller amount of beer going into the recipe, I mixed the salt & beer together in a saucepan over heat just to quicken the process. Once I couldn’t detect the salt granules, I split the mixture between 2 large spray bottles, then I topped it off with cheap green mouthwash, again I didn’t think the mosquitoes would care if it was spearmint or peppermint.

I took this outside and liberally sprayed the trees and grass in little tree nook where I sit outside. In the past few evenings, sitting outside has been a trial, my arms and legs have lots of itchy mosquito bites. This evening, I have seen exactly 1 mosquito, just 1, I am pretty impressed. I have doubts as to whether or not one spraying will last for 70 or 80 days, but if it lasts for even a few days or a week, I’ll be happy with it. I’ll keep a spray bottle down by the road, that’s where we hang with friends, and the other in my tree nook.

Now for a second DIY product that uses cheap mouthwash. Remember my Well I have a better formula, this will be Pit Spray II, the original used half witch hazel and half water with just a few drops of liquid soap. You use this on your stinky parts to clean without having to rinse. I decided to replace the witch hazel & soap with original flavored cheap mouthwash, I did cut it with half water, I chose the original flavor just because I didn’t want to smell minty fresh down there (LOL). Bottom line, it works, just as well if not better than those feminine wash products and you don’t have to rinse this either. Yes, you guys can use it too, and no, you will not smell “mediciny” down there either. This is great for limited water camping or living, when you want to freshen up and such.

Sitting outside, the sun has gone down, there is a choir of crickets chirping, I have detected another couple of mosquitoes, but nothing like I would have otherwise. I’ll try the mosquito spray in a few more situations and report back as to how it works. If you dear reader tries either of these, let me know what you think.

The post Go away mosquito! appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Got Mosquito Problems? Here’s an Easy Way to Wipe Them Out

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mosquitoMosquitoes and the diseases they carry have been in the news quite a bit lately. Everyone has been talking about the Zika virus and the tremendous health consequences it causes. But truth be told, Zika is just a drop in the bucket. Mosquitoes have been killings millions of people with dozens of different diseases since the beginning of human history. In that regard, they are technically the most dangerous animal on the planet.

Still, it’s difficult to ignore the impending threat of Zika. Most of the US is relatively free of the worst diseases that mosquitoes carry; diseases that frequently ravage the developing world. And unfortunately that may be about to change. This virus is spreading fast, and is expected to proliferate throughout much of the United States in the near future.

So what can you do to control these disease ridden creatures? Heck, even without the threat of being infected, you’d probably be willing to try anything to get rid of any mosquitoes on your property. They’re already a nuisance, even when they don’t make you sick.

There’s a new method you can utilize that was recently developed by a Canadian professor by the name of Gérard Ulíbarri. It works by turning the mosquito’s favorite breeding ground into a trap. That breeding ground is of course, the humble car tire. When left outside and filled with rainwater, tires are known to attract mosquitoes for reasons that aren’t exactly clear. It’s believed that the heat retention qualities of rubber may be to blame, or perhaps the tires give off a scent that is irresistible to these creatures.

Whatever the case may be, mosquitoes love laying their eggs in wet tires more than anywhere else, and there’s a way you can use that against them. It’s called the ovillantas, and it looks like this:


It’s an attractive breeding ground for sure. It’s filled with water in the bottom half where they can lay their eggs, but is still covered to protect them. About once every three days to a week, you drain the water into a container covered in fabric, so that the eggs and larvae can be separated and killed. You pour the water back into the device, since it is now filled with pheromones that will attract more mosquitoes.

So just how effective is it? After testing it in Guatemala, Professor Ulíbarri found that it was 7 times more effective than traditional mosquito traps. If this sounds like it’s right up your alley, here’s how you can make the ovillantas yourself.

One thing to keep in mind, is that much of this process can be done without power tools if they’re not available to you. You can wing it with a knife or a boxcutter, but obviously it will take longer, and will be a heck of a lot harder.

There will likely be a bundle of steel wires running along both of the inner edges of the tire, which can be cut away before you cut the tire in half. If you have the stamina and patience for it, you can do the rest of the cutting without power tools. But like they say in the video, this can be done without cutting the tire in half. Just so long as you can cut a hole for the valve, it will still work fairly well.

Unfortunately, most tires in the United States have a belt of steel wires running just under the tread. This belt is nearly impossible to cut through even with power tools, and in all likelihood will damage whatever blade you’re using. However, the steel belt doesn’t run along the walls of the tire, only under the tread. I’m willing to bet that you can place the water valve on the side of the tire instead of beneath it.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Best Mosquito Repellents: Which One’s Right for You?

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The Best Mosquito Repellents: Which One’s Right for You?

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Last week, we talked about how to prevent mosquito bites. Today, we’ll delve into the vast array of mosquito repellents to help you decide which option is best for you.

All four of the main repellents mentioned in this post work. Some work better on some people than others, so finding the best repellent for you can be just a trial and error thing. But with each one, there are some tips you’ll want to consider.

First, the main tip …

Try Not to Poison Yourself

No man-made chemical or natural repellent that works is completely safe. All can be potentially toxic in some situations. To decrease that risk, always follow directions on the product’s label, and beware of:

  • Over-applying or applying more frequently than recommended.
  • Using sunscreen over the repellent, which can increase absorption—and therefore the amount of chemicals that get into the body. Topicals that contain a sunscreen and repellent pose a problem in that you need to apply sunscreen more often than repellent for protection.

As I like to quote from the founder of toxicology, Paracelsus:

“All things are poison, and nothing is without poison: The dose alone makes a thing not poison.”

Interpretation: “The dose makes the poison.”

You can further limit the dose you need by following these tips:

  • If you’re putting the repellent directly onto your skin, apply it only to exposed skin, except around the eyes, nose, and mouth. The forehead is a little iffy since contaminated sweat could get in the eyes and cause irritation. In fact, other than maybe the cheeks and ears, I’d just skip the face. Consider wearing a hat, sweatband, scarf, or cap instead.
  • Remember that children are at more risk of toxicity due to their size and developing bodies. Don’t let little ones apply repellent to themselves, and keep it off their hands since hands tend to end up in the mouth. After the child returns indoors, wash the treated skin or bathe the child. Not a bad idea for adults either.

Other than DEET, most mosquito repellents have not been studied enough for us to be able to say with certainty whether they are safe, especially for small children. So the directions and restrictions err on the side of caution. With the lack of studies, plus the variety of environments and skins, length of effectiveness is difficult to determine, and predictions can be all over the place.

All of the following repellents repel ticks, chiggers, and other insects in addition to mosquitoes.


N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, aka DEET, is probably the most controversial repellant. It has also been studied more than any and has been deemed overall safe if used as directed. I was surprised to see that even the Environmental Working Group, which came down so adamantly against certain sunscreens, states DEET isn’t perfect but is a much better alternative than getting a mosquito-borne disease, though the EWG does recommend against products with over 30 percent DEET.


  • Strengths: DEET comes in concentrations of 10 to 100 percent. No increased effectiveness has been found in using concentrations over 50 percent. And 50 percent or more can cause severe skin irritation.
  • Longevity: A DEET application of 30 percent is effective for six to 12 hours. A 10 percent concentration is effective for about two hours.
  • Warnings*: The FDA recommends not using over a 30 percent concentration in children and not using DEET at all on babies 2 months of age or under. I’d say the 30 percent is a good maximum for adults also. For pregnant women, there have been no serious problems found if used as directed.
  • Clothing friendliness: DEET can damage any material other than cotton, wool, or nylon.


Picaridin is a chemical repellent whose effectiveness lasts about as long as DEET. At this point it is considered safer than DEET, but picaridin has not been studied nearly as long as DEET. Always use as directed. Precautions are the same as with DEET.*

Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus

Oil of lemon eucalyptus is an extract from the lemon eucalyptus (Corymbia citriodora) leaves that’s diluted and used as an effective mosquito repellent. Don’t get this mixed up with other oils on the market with similar sounding names. Some repellents also contain a synthetic version of the extract’s most active ingredient, PMD.


  • Longevity: A 30 percent concentration of oil of lemon eucalyptus protects against mosquitoes for around two hours.
  • Warnings*: Don’t use on children under 3 years of age or of you’re pregnant or nursing.
  • Clothing friendliness: Oil of lemon eucalyptus can damage materials that are not cotton, wool, or nylon.
  • Other insects: Oil of lemon eucalyptus may be more effective against ticks than DEET.


IR3535, or 3-[N-Butyl-N- acetyl]-aminopropionic acid, ethyl ester, is found in some Avon Skin So Soft products and in Coleman SkinSmart DEET-Free.


  • Strengths: IR3535 is available in concentrations from 7.5 to 20 percent.
  • Warnings*: Although there is potential for toxicity, when used as directed, it is deemed very safe and can be used when pregnant.
  • Clothing friendliness: IR3535 has the potential to damage the same clothing materials as DEET and oil of lemon eucalyptus.

The original Skin So Soft, which is still available, has no IR3535. However some people do still use this product to protect themselves from mosquitoes and ticks. Studies have found it much less effective than the other repellents, but if it works for you, great.


Permethrin repellents can be sprayed on the exterior of clothes.


  • Longevity: The chemical’s effectiveness lasts for six washes or so. You can even buy clothes that have been pretreated with permethrin; their effectiveness can last for 60 washings.
  • Warnings*: When sprayed onto clothes, permethrin is deemed safe for all ages, but don’t spray directly on skin. Its most active ingredient, pyrethrum, which is also sold in repellents, comes from chrysanthemums and is touted as even safer. But I couldn’t find any studies that found that it works as well as permethrin.

Other Options

Other topical products, such as soybean oil, catnip, mint, and citronella, may help, but usually for less than an hour at best. If it works for you and is deemed safe, that’s really all that matters.

My Mosquito Repelling Plans

For me, my main mosquito defense will be barriers, such as screens, loose clothes, socks, and a hat. If I’m hiking, I’ll tuck my pants in my boots and use some of that duct tape I suggest in my book Duct Tape 911. (Taping the gap between the boots and the tucked-in pants will help protect against ticks and chiggers.)

All topicals have their worries. I think I’ll start with Avon Original Skin So Soft this year, hoping it will work. If it doesn’t, I’ll try IR3535 but will have picaridin handy just in case. I’ll spray my clothes with permethrin.

For my 6-year-old grandson, I’d choose the same overall plan. For babies, I’d first try netting—preferably the kind that comes with permethrin.

Now that’s just me. As I said in the introduction, different repellents work better for different people. You may have to experiment to find the best repellent for you. That also may mean researching whether a mosquito-borne disease is active in your area and, if one is, what type of mosquito is carrying it. Different repellents work better on some types of mosquitoes than others.

As for the multiple other natural creams, lotions, and oils? If they work for you and are safe, why not.

I’ve told you what mosquito repellents I think are best for me. What about you?

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Photo: “Repellents” by Flickr/Fairfax County, shared via CC BY-ND 2.0.

Yes, Mosquitoes Do Prefer Certain People. And You Could Be One.

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An insecticide-treated net is rolled up above a bed in Kumi, Uganda. At night, unfurled, it will protect the sleeper from disease-carrying mosquitoes.

An insecticide-treated net is rolled up above a bed in Kumi, Uganda. At night, unfurled, it protects the sleeper from disease-carrying mosquitoes. 

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

I have a good friend who claims he rarely gets bitten by mosquitoes. While others around him are swatting and scratching, he sits in comfort enjoying the great outdoors.

How can that be? And what mosquito-bite prevention techniques can we mere mortals use to keep these bloodsuckers—and sometimes disease carriers—at bay?

Why Mosquitoes Really May Bite You More

My friend isn’t imagining things. It is true that mosquitoes prefer some people more than others. Here’s why you may get bitten more than your friends:

  • You emit more carbon dioxide. Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide you exhale. They can detect it from over 100 yards away. Although everyone obviously has to breathe, pregnant women and people who are obese or doing physical exercise emit more CO2 than others. So they’re more likely to get bitten.
  • You’ve got that certain je ne sais quoi. Mosquitoes are also attracted to many poorly understood natural chemicals on some people’s skin. About 80 percent of this is genetic.
  • You have high cholesterol. Certain studies have shown other attractions to be an increased concentration of high uric acid or high cholesterol on the skin—another good reason besides gout (uric acid) and heart disease (cholesterol) to try to lower these with diet and medication.
  • You’ve been imbibing. Studies show that people who have been drinking tend to get more mosquito bites.

So, if you don’t want to get bitten, just sit outside and don’t move, except maybe to drink a little water. Oh, and don’t be pregnant. Hmm. OK, here are some more reasonable tips.

4 Simple Ways to Prevent Mosquito Bites

Whether you’re a mosquito magnet or an occasional bitee, using barriers is one of the simplest, commonsensical and all-natural ways to stay bump free. Barriers include:

  • Clothes. And don’t forget socks and hats. Cover as much skin as possible, though beware of overheating. Since mosquitoes can still bite through material, I believe loose-fitting clothes are generally best.
  • Window screens. If you keep windows or doors open, get screening.

Another easy way to deter these bloodsuckers is to turn on a fan. Mosquitoes don’t like wind.

And, of course, there’s insect repellent that you can put on your skin or clothes, depending on the product. In my next post, I’ll examine some popular ones—from natural to heavy duty—and tell you which I plan to use.

Popular Mosquito Repellents That Don’t Work That Well

But wait, you say. What about citronella? Plants such as citronella, catmint, marigolds, and geraniums are pretty, and it’s true that mosquitoes don’t like them. But having them around doesn’t do much to keep you from getting bitten. The odors disperse into the air and dilute. The same with citronella candles.

As for bug zappers, don’t use them. They kill many more of the useful bugs than mosquitoes.

Other trap-like devices and products you spray into the air are not effective either.

Besides insect repellents (which we’ll get into next time), what’s your tried-and-true method for preventing mosquito bites?


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Photo courtesy CDC/ Theresa Roebuck, Health Communication Specialist, OD.

Beyond the Headlines: Going In-Depth About the Zika Virus

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The Aedes aegypti mosquito is one of two types that can carry the zika virus.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is one of two types of mosquito that could spread the Zika virus in the United States.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Zika virus is in the news. It’s an infection you get from certain types of mosquitoes, and it’s linked to a sometimes devastating birth defect called microcephaly. More on that later. Here are the latest facts on the disease and why you should care.

Why Is Zika in the News Now?

The World Health Organization believes Zika has been prevalent in parts of Africa for a long time. It’s thought that once you get the virus, you’re immune.

Lately, Zika has been found in South America, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Since it’s a relatively new virus for people in these areas, they’re not immune, and more pregnant women are getting the disease.

Some people from the United States who have traveled to these areas have developed the virus. As of this writing, however, there have been no cases of mosquito-to-human Zika transfer in the U.S.

Other Than for Humanitarian Reasons, Why Should Preppers, Campers, and Hikers Care, in Particular?

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in even the smallest pools of water. With the usual debris after disasters, there are many more pools than normal in which they can do just that. More mosquitoes, more chance of disease.

And with stress, fatigue, and the possible scarcity of water and food, your immune symptom may become weak, making it harder to fight off the infection and, theoretically, more likely that a severe infection may occur.

How Is the Zika Virus Spread?

Once a human is infected, Zika stays in the blood for about a week. Mosquitoes can pick up the virus at any time during this week and then pass it on to more humans. Zika is also spread by sexual contact. Although it stays in the blood a relatively short time, it may remain in semen for months.

What Are the Symptoms of the Zika Virus?

Most people with Zika never have symptoms and don’t even know they’re infected. If symptoms occur, they start a few days after exposure and last about a week. Common symptoms include generalized muscle aches, fever, joint pain, and a rash. The rash is bumpy and red, and it lasts about three days. It starts on the face (the eyes get red and irritated also) and then spreads to the rest of the body.

Some Zika infections cause meningitis or, rarely, death. There is a test that can be done to see if you’re infected, but blood has to be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What Are the Complications of Zika?

If a pregnant woman is infected, the virus can cause microcephaly—i.e., small head—during fetal development. Some cases are not severe, but in many others the microcephaly inhibits brain development and can cause other brain damage.

Not all microcephaly is due to Zika. In the U.S., it occurs in about 10 in 10,000, or 0.1 percent, of births, many times for unknown reasons. Zika can also cause miscarriages and eye problems.

Zika is just now getting serious study, so more complications may be found.

The Aedes albopictus is one of two mosquitoes that can carry the zika virus.

The Aedes albopictus, which lives in parts of the United States, can spread the Zika virus but is less likely to than the A. aegypti (which is shown in the first photograph).

Why Don’t U.S. Mosquitoes Spread It Right Now?

There are around 175 species of mosquitoes in the United States. Zika is one of several infections that can be spread by two of these species, A. aegypti and A. albopictus.

Both species are found in certain areas of the United States, and their range is slowly spreading. These mosquitoes are known to bite in the middle of day as much as or more than at night.

However, the mosquito must:

  1. Bite someone who has the virus in their bloodstream.
  2. Get the virus (not always the case).
  3. Bite another person, injecting the virus into them (not always the case).

In the United States, only a few people who have traveled to countries where the disease is prevalent have come down with the infection. So the odds are small, but possible, a mosquito will bite that person during an active infection and that mosquito spread it to another person.

In order for a widespread outbreak to happen, statistics tell us, a lot of people must already be infected.

What Are Some Zika Prevention Tips?

If you’re a woman, unless you have to, don’t go to countries where the virus is spreading if you could be pregnant or could become pregnant soon afterwards.

Men who travel there should not have sex without a condom with a pregnant woman or anyone who might become pregnant. So far, the Zika virus has been found in semen of men who have had a symptomatic infection for as long as three months. We’re not yet sure how long it can actually stick around. Current CDC recommendation is no sex without a condom for at least six months.

Right now it’s not known if the virus also stays around in men who are infected but never have symptoms. The current recommendation for them is condoms for eight weeks at least.

For further information, click here to read the CDC’s guidelines as of March 25, 2016.

When you’re in one of the affected countries, use mosquito nets if available, don’t open windows without adequate screening, and use mosquito repellants.

What’s the Treatment for the Zika Virus?

As with the vast majority of viruses, there is no cure for Zika other than to wait for the body’s immune system to fight the virus off. To help your body, drink plenty of fluids, rest, and eat healthy.

Remember, Zika virus is only one of many infections spread by mosquitoes. There’s also dengue fever, chikungunya, West Nile, and malaria, to name a few. Taking precautions to prevent bites is always a good idea.

What precautions have been effective for you, or do you just not worry about bites at all?

Next post—best mosquito repellents and how to use them.

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Photo of A. aegypti courtesy CDC/ Prof. Frank Hadley Collins, Dir., Center for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, University of Notre Dame. Photo of A. albopictus courtesy CDC/James Gathany.

Plants vs. Pests!

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Plants vs. Pests
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live

Plants vs. PestsLearn how to use plants to repel venomous and disease-bearing pests, such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and spiders. These creepy-crawly, biting bugs, can mean anything from a minor itch to death. And while there are a number of natural remedies for many kinds of bug bites, it would be even better not to get bit in the first place.

2-28-16 51In order to avoid getting bitten by one of these pests, most people reach for the common, toxic bug repellents, such as DEET. DEET is known for its effectiveness. The only problem is that DEET can lead to health problems. This might be a mild skin irritation. But for children, DEET can spell more serious, neurological risks. DEET must be diluted for use with adults, and even more so with children. Plus, it is not to be used at all by infants under 2 months old.

2-28-16 Cat_flea_full_of_human_bloodWhere does this leave us when we are faced with the risks of mosquito-borne illnesses like the Zika virus? What about West Nile Virus, Eastern or Western Equine Encephalitis, or dengue? And what about the diseases carried by ticks and fleas. That covers everything from Lyme to plague. And let’s not forget about spiders, many of which seek shelter in firewood piles, and are attracted to the heat of a warm cabin during cold spring nights.

Do we just douse ourselves and our homes with questionable chemicals? Sometimes, DEET and such products are absolutely appropriate. They are certainly effective. But, what if we are in a TEOTWAWKI situation and supplies run out?

Join me to learn all about plants and essential oils shown to repel common pests that can make you sick. Some can be just as effective or even more effective than DEET as repelling pests. Plus, non-chemical ideas for pest control for infants who shouldn’t be exposed to any of these options.
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Zika Virus, should you worry?

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Should you be worried about Zika virus?
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live

Zika virusYou may have heard that the World Health Organization (WHO) has described the Zika virus as ”spreading explosively”. Does this mean that the Zika virus is the next big pandemic? Should you be worried about the Zika virus?

1-31-16 Microcephaly-babyZika virus was once an obscure, rare flavivirus from Uganda. Spread by certain types of mosquitoes, which are also responsible for spreading malaria, dengue, and chikungunya. Zika virus can cause micro-encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). This can result in infants which are born with abnormally small heads if their mothers contracted the virus while pregnant. The condition is permanent and often fatal.

This episode of Herbal Prepper Live will break down the origins, risk factors, transmission, and the potential regions into which the Zika virus may spread. Any herbal protocol for this virus would be pure speculation, and I wouldn’t want to rely on that.

1-31-16 3280However, mosquito control is good general disease control, and there are effective herbal and essential oil options for mosquito repellents. Since we will soon be in the gardens again, we will talk about herbs to plant around doors, under windows, near porches, and elsewhere around your garden to minimize mosquitoes.

Zika is responsible for the record number of cases of micro-encephalitis it is causing in Brazil. The Brazilian government has even suggested that women not get pregnant for a few years until the outbreak is expected to end. There is currently no travel advisory for the general population. The only recommendation currently in effect is for pregnant women avoid traveling to areas with Zika virus.

However, this is also the first time that there are cases of adults also dying of Zika. Similar to what was seen with the Middle Eastern Respiratory Virus (MERS), mortality is mostly associated with pre-existing conditions, but not all cases. Clearly, there is a lot to discuss regarding the virus.

Herbal Prepper Live airs every Sunday night at 7pm E / 6pm C / 5pm M / 4pm P on www,
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Deadly Mosquito Virus Spreads In Brazil; Women Warned Not To Get Pregnant

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Deadly Mosquito Virus Spreads In Brazil; Women Warned Not To Get Pregnant

Image source: wikipedia

Mosquitos in Brazil are spreading a deadly virus that attacks the brains of unborn babies, authorities in Brazil have warned. The Zika virus is so dangerous that doctors are warning women in areas where it has been detected not to get pregnant.

“This is an unprecedented situation, unprecedented in world scientific research,” Brazil’s health ministry warned.

The warning was prompted by an autopsy that detected the Zika virus in a baby that had died of microcephaly, CNN reported. Microcephaly is a rare condition in which a baby’s brain does not develop normally in the womb. Doctors believe Zika and microcephaly are linked.

Brazil is set to host the 2016 summer Olympics, and officials in the host city of Rio de Janeiro are frantically trying to halt the spread.

The Hidden Secrets Of Making Herbal Medicines…Right At Your Fingertips!

“These are newborns who will require special attention their entire lives,” Angela Rocha, a pediatric infectologist at Oswaldo Cruz Hospital in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, told CNN. “It’s an emotional stress that just can’t be imagined. Here in Pernambuco, we’re talking about a generation of babies that’s going to be affected.”

Could Spread Elsewhere

A state of emergency was declared in six Brazilian states because 2,400 cases of microcephaly were reported in 2015, compared to 147 cases in 2014. Effects of microcephaly include babies being born with abnormally small heads, brain damage and learning disabilities. It also can lead to premature death.

The microcephaly epidemic coincided with the appearance of the Zika virus in Brazil. Zika is spread by the Aedes aegypti species of mosquito and causes cold-like symptoms in adults infected. There is currently no vaccine or cure for the Zika virus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported.

The Zika virus is currently found in South America and Mexico but not in the United States, according to the CDC. Zika apparently originated in Africa but it has spread to Asia and Latin America, CNN said

Doctors believe that soccer fans attending the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the world’s largest soccer event, might have brought Zika to Brazil.

“If families can put off their pregnancy plans, that’s what we’re recommending,” Rocha told CNN.

Doctors in Brazil say that has many as 29 babies have died from microcephaly caused by Zika.

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Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

Our Regional Bird

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Life in the woods, or bush as we call it out here, is more often than not, great!
Private, beautiful scenery, clean air, and if you hear any sounds of other people it’s chainsaws or trucks driving by. If we’re really lucky, we’ll hear the occasional owl or maybe coyotes. We were fortunate enough to hear both those last week, mere hours apart.
This spring we were spared a much-dreaded flood, and it didn’t really rain much until yesterday. We live across from a beaver pond and I’m happy to see a beaver back in in it. (I was a tad concerned the beaver lodge was empty last fall when we moved here)

But there is a price to pay for watching the beaver or being able to take stunning sunrise shots with my camera.
With a beaver pond comes mosquitoes.
Hoards of them! There is a reason we northerners call them our regional bird!
They may not be very big this spring but they make up for it with sheer numbers!
I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I tried to stop and take pictures this morning and got swarmed!
It was lovely…the sun slicing through the tall pine and spruce trees…sound of birdsong…Before I could even get the zoom focused, my hands were covered and the bugs were flying up my nose!

Usually, mosquito numbers peak like this for a couple of weeks and then drop off. We get a few days reprieve and then the black flies pick up.
I keep trying to remember the perks of living out here…

It’s great as long as the bugs don’t carry you off!