Natural remedies to combact mosquitoes
Spring is coming, sunny days and pleasant temperatures cheer up our days, but when the mercury column starts to rise, the usual mosquitoes return to the assault.
There are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes in the world, in Italy there are about 60 species that are represented by 3 large families: the Culex (Culex pipiens for example is the common mosquito), the Anopheles (unfortunately known for the their ability to spread malaria) and the Aedes (part of this species is the infamous tiger mosquito "Aedes albopictus"), a vector of various viral diseases, including Chikungunya, dengue, yellow fever and some encephalitis in tropical areas. in many parts of Asia.
What happens when mosquitoes sting?
Mosquitoes feed on pollen and lymph from plants, but females of different species, after mating, go in search of blood to obtain sufficient proteins and energy for the deposition of fertile eggs. During their blood meal at the expense of the host, they inject into their subcutaneous tissues a small amount of saliva that, in addition to water and salts, contains numerous proteins that perform different functions: anticoagulant, antiplatelet and vasodilator factors, enzymes that help the absorption of sugars (similar to our saliva), antimicrobial agents, etc. Redness and itching are just caused by the irritant proteins contained in its saliva.
What are the active repellents against mosquitoes?
The repellent substances to be applied on the skin hinder the reaching of the skin by the mosquito, preventing the mosquito sensors from intercepting the blood vessels. Here are some active ingredients of synthetic origins:
- DEET (diethyltoluamide): synthetic, present on the market at various concentrations from 7 to 33.5%. An average concentration of 24% gives protection up to 5 hours. It is indicated only on subjects over 12 years;
- Picridin / icaridine (KBR 3023): synthetic, has a superimposable protection to DEET, in products on the market has a concentration between 10 and 20%, with effectiveness of 4 -8 hours. It can be used in children above 2 years;
- IR3535 (ethylbutylacetylaminopropionate): synthetic, 7.5% concentration, gives protection for 30 minutes, which can also be used in children aged two years.
A valid alternative to synthetic repellents offers Citridiol®. The natural substance is derived from the local Chinese species of lemon eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora). It is an effective and natural insect protection that - thanks to its intense fragrance - is able to keep bloodsucking insects away. It can also be used in children starting from three months.
Another natural substance, known to all, is citronella: protection up to 20 minutes, concentration 5%. Devices such as wristbands impregnated with repellent and fixed or portable ultrasound equipment are ineffective.
Eucalyptus Citriodora Maculata: what it is like and where you find it
The essential oil of Eucalyptus Citriodora Maculata is obtained from the leaves of this plant through a process of bi-distillation in a stream of steam.
The particularity of the extract included in the formulation of the ZAN ZERO line (which we will describe later) is given by the essential oil of Eucalyptus Citriodora Maculata titrated to 75% in paramenthane-3.8-diol (PMD).
The latter is primarily responsible for the repellent insect action of many plant species, including the Eucalyptus and Citronella. Within almost all the extracts present in the form of essential oils, the content in PMD is very low so as not to be mentioned.
Eucalyptus essential oil Citriodora Maculata titrated to 75% in pmd acts against:
- Tiger mosquito responsible for yellow fever and perocolosa dengue fever;
- Anopheles responsible for malaria;
- Mosquitoes in general;
- Sandflies (small black gnats typical of tropical countries) very annoying because almost invisible;
In a large in vivo study performed in Bolivia, the effectiveness of Eucalyptus essential oil Citriodora Maculata, 75% titan-tane-3.8-diol (PMD) titrated with: essential oil of citronella, neem oil and DEET (the main repellent insect of chemical origin used, present for example in Autan).
The study was carried out in the North East of Bolivia on the border with Brazil, for a period of 25 nights in the rainy season. The volunteers applied the various repellents to the legs at around 4.30pm. After two hours, around 18:30 the count of the punctures suffered began.
The main insects present belonged to the genus Anopheles Gambiae, among the most difficult to fight insects, responsible for malaria and lymphatic filariasis (parasitosis that can affect humans through the bite of mosquitoes with the introduction into the human organism of larvae).
The study was able to highlight how, from 2 to 4 hours after application, who applied Eucalyptus Citriodora Maculata titrated to 75 in pmd received 4-5 bites, the DEET 22-23 bites, the oil of neem 65 bites , the essential oil of lemongrass 130 bites, while the "control group" 142 bites.
Our natural remedies against mosquitoes: the zan zero line
The Zan Zero line, based on eucalyptus citriodora maculata (completely natural extract known to be unpleasant to insects) and has been dermatologically tested at the University of Ferrara. It is aimed at adults, children and babies.
- Zan Zero presents a formulation rich in plant extracts: Eucalyptus Maculata Citriodora, essential oil of sage, eucalyptus, basil, geranium and lemongrass, plants that in nature have developed odors able to remove insects;
- Zan Zero Junior presents a delicate, non-aggressive formulation. Contains Eucalyptus Maculata Citriodora, jojoba oil, peppermint essential oil. It is an anti mosquito recommended for children and teenagers.
- Zan Zero Bio gel is based on Aloe Vera and essential oil of Eucalyptus Maculata Citriodora. Zan Zero Bio gel, in addition to containing Eucalyptus citriodora, helps soothe the skin irritated by pruritus caused by insect bites (such as wasps, mosquitoes and bees) and by contact with jellyfish or stinging causes of various nature by applying it as much as possible on the area interested. Zan Zero Bio gel absorbs quickly without greasing, sticking or staining. Its formulation of natural and certified Bio origin is also suitable for babies' skins starting from 6 months. Without: SLS, SLES, BHA, BHT, phenoxyethanol, parabens, alcohol and perfume.
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