Defending ourselves against insect invasion

Moving into a new place includes a ton of hassles other than packing and unpacking, renovation and doctors visits. It also includes fighting off insects that co-live in the new development.

I mentioned in my earlier post that my youngest daughter sustained 5 humongous insect bites just a couple of days after moving into our new apartment. She ran a high fever subsequently for a couple of days. Our paediatrician suspected that she was infected with dengue fever and put her on standby for hospital admission while waiting for her blood test. Luckily she was tested negative.

After suffering from the bad scare, we resolved to protect our children from further attacks.

We researched and decided to institute some defence systems to protect our little ones. These are some actions we took that showed results.

Outdoors

Mosquito Repelling Plants

Hubby bought several pots of plants to counter the mosquitoes. These include Geranium, Rosemary, Basil and Mint. These plants are easy to maintain. We leave them near where we sit to discourage mosquito visits, and they did seem to reduce the mosquitoes in the close vicinity. However, to bring out their scent, it is better if we can crush some of their leaves and rub on our skin.

insect repellent plants
Rosemary
From the left: Geranium, Mint, Rosemary and Geranium

Insect Repellent

I rub Babyganic insect repellent* on the babies wherever they are in the outdoors. The great-smelling DEET-free insect repellent that contains essential oils does help to keep bugs away from my children. However, it leaves their skin oily and inhibits my babies from crawling around on their knees safely, not to mention the annoying oily patches that stain all over the house if they go indoors.

Mosquito Coil

Burning mosquito coil is one of the best ways to control mosquito invasion. But this cheap and effective method is a health hazard. Most mosquito coils consist DEET which is a form of registered pesticide. Frequent use of mosquito coils exposes us to a higher risk of lung cancer. Perhaps it is okay for campers to utilise the mosquito coils once in a while, but for us, we need to think twice using the mosquito coil on a daily basis.

So, my conclusion for now is to rely on the mosquito repelling plants and insect repellents to fend off the mosquitoes.

Indoors

Essential Oil

I diffused essential oil heavily these days to keep off the bugs. My favourites are lemongrass, eucalyptus, tea-tree and basil. I blend them to counter different kinds of bugs. For instance, lemongrass keeps mosquito away but does not deter ants. Peppermint works well on cockroaches. Lavender and geranium work well as repellant too. However, I avoid diffusing geranium essential oil as the scent would trigger a bad coughing episode in me and #4.

doterra

Peppermint essential oil is another favourite of mine. I would apply one drop of peppermint oil on where I was bitten to sooth the itch. It totally works. I also love to diffuse peppermint oil in the children’s room to repel insects and clear their respiratory tract at the same time.

Unfortunately for myself, I cannot enjoy the benefit of peppermint regularly as it works as a breastmilk suppressant.

I am a doTERRA essential oil user. doTERRA oil is Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, meaning that there are no added fillers, synthetic ingredients, or harmful contaminants in their essential oils that would reduce their efficacy. Contact me here if you are keen to try out or enrol as a member to purchase the products at member’s discount.

All windows shut at night

Closing all the windows is the most direct way to keep out the bugs. I am not sure if diffusing all night long is safe for my family.

As a result, we are compelled to turn on the air-conditioning in every single bedroom. This is environmentally unfriendly, expensive and unsustainable. My son and I are asthmatic and cold air trigger our asthma attacks. We need a long-term solution for our indoors living that is feasible, cost-saving and sustainable.

Mosquito Net

We have finally decided to install mosquito nets on all our windows and doors to permanently keep out bugs and lizard. We will still be diffusing essential oil regularly, but no longer to repel insects. Instead, we will use the oils for other targeted use such as for overall well-being, colds and coughs, etc.

I hope the installation of the mosquito nets will help us to win the battle against insect invasion. Tune in for my review on the mosquito nets in a few weeks’ time.

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