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Health Precautions Page 2


Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance--their bites can cause serious complications including the transmission of diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis, and West Nile virus (WN) to humans and animals. Mosquitoes belong to the Diptera order, otherwise known as the True Flies. There are over 2,500 different species of mosquitoes throughout the world with about 200 species in the United States. There are 77 species in Florida alone, and a new species, Anopheles grabhamii, was reported in the Florida Keys in 2001.

While there are many ways to deter mosquitoes from biting you, some are more toxic than others. The following suggestions give you easy ways to repel these pests:

Use Bounce Fabric Softener Sheets--just wipe on and go. This is great for babies.

Supplement with one vitamin B-1 tablet a day from April through October. Add 100 mg of B-1 to a B-100 Complex daily during the mosquito season.

Don't eat bananas during mosquito season--mosquitoes love bananas! There is something about how your body processes the banana oil that attracts these female sugar-loving insects.

One of the best natural insect repellents is Vick's Vaporub®.

Planting marigolds around your yard works great as a bug repellent because the flowers give off a fragrance bugs do not like. This is a great way to ward off mosquitoes without using chemical insecticides.

Campers agree that the very best mosquito repellant is Avon Skin-So-Soft® bath oil mixed half and half with rubbing alcohol.

One of the best natural insect repellants we use in Texas is made from the clear liquid vanilla that is sold in Mexico. It is reported to work great for mosquitoes and ticks, and spreading a little vanilla mixed with olive oil on your skin smells great.

Commercial mosquito dunks will kill mosquito larvae before they become mosquitoes. There are fairly environmentally sound biological mosquito controls containing no toxic chemicals. Each dunk affectively treats up to 100 square feet of surface water regardless of depth for about 30 days. Dunks may be broken into smaller pieces to treat small areas. Unused and dried out dunks retain their potency indefinitely, so you can store extras for the long summer season. Put them in fountains, ponds, rain gutters, flowerpot trays, and anywhere water may pool.

Citronella soap is a product that started in the Bahamas and Belize. The soaps are made with olive oil for moisture and great lather, Aloe Vera to soothe the skin, and citronella oil to repel mosquitoes. For high intensity protection you can burn citronella incense. Mosquitoes avoid citronella and they hate the smoke.

Citronella essential oil (Java Citronella) is considered to be the highest quality citronella on the market. The best quality is steam distilled from the grass giving it a fresh, sweet woody aroma. It blends well with geranium, cedar wood and other citrus oils. It is 100 percent pure essential oil--no additives, no dilutants, no adulteration, just safe mosquito repellent.

Electronic repellents utilize one to two sound frequencies to simulate dragonflies and other male mosquitoes, creating a competitive environment for the blood-sucking female. These devices come with Velcro bands for wearing on your wrist or ankle, or on your pocket or belt. This makes for a versatile, compact unit that you can take anywhere for protection. Some units even have a built-in red flashlight for nighttime use.

Traditional repellents are the concentrated chemical solutions such as DEET®, Cutter® or Backwoods OFF®. Each application lasts four to six hours. When the environment is 'deep woods,' these repellents can make the difference between having a good time or a miserable time. If chemical repellents are necessary, protect your eyes and nose from absorbing ambient spray, protect small children, and bathe as soon as possible to remove toxic residues.

When all else fails--get a frog!


Many thanks to Dr. Hull for these natural options to deadly insect repellants that contain DEET.

I would add one additional suggestion to the above list, which I have effectively used as the primary recommendation to my patients over the past five years.

That product is Buzz Away. It has been proven to be more effective than Avon Skin-So-Soft, Bug Guard, Bite Blocker, Natrapel, Jungle Juice, AND it is equally as effective as OFF! Buzz Away is formulated with citronella, cedar wood, eucalyptus, lemon grass, peppermint, and pure and natural plant extracts that repel bugs. call 1-800-448-1448.

Another Tip from Dr.Weil:

All Sunglasses Are Not Created Equal

I've learned the hard way about sun protection, especially since I've undergone frequent cryosurgery to freeze precancerous lesions off my scalp (too much sun exposure during my younger days). Now, I'm even more cautious, even on cloudy days when up to 60 percent of the sun's rays still make their way to our skin and scalp. When shopping for sunglasses, always look for brands and models that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays, regardless of lens tint. I prefer wraparound or close-fitting shades because they keep the rays from shining through the sides.

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