Although it hasn't been tested for use against adult mosquitoes, researchers are hopeful that cinnamon oil will act as an effective mosquito repellant.
Along with being an annoyance to summer outdoor enthusiasts, mosquitoes also pose the threat of potentially major health problems because of the deadly agents they carry such as malaria, yellow fever and the West Nile virus.
The serious health and environmental concerns that arose from the use of unsafe conventional pesticide applications have prompted the search for natural and healthier chemicals to control mosquito larvae.
In a study, researchers tested 11 compounds that contained cinnamon leaf oil to determine how effective they were at destroying the emerging larvae produced by the yellow fever mosquito. It was discovered that the following four compounds, cinnamalaehyde, cinnamyl acetate, eugenol and anethole displayed the most aggressive activity against the yellow fever mosquito.
The compound, cinnamaldehyde, which is the main constituent found in cinnamon leaf oil, could be used as an effective pesticide without the risk of negative health and environmental consequences.
EurekAlert July 14, 2004
DEET, the active chemical in most mosquito repellants, is a deadly and potent neurotoxin and should not be used. Cinnamon oil appears very promising, is inexpensive and even smells great. Other common essential oils, such as catnip, have shown similar promise in fighting off mosquitoes as well.
Another option to keep mosquitoes away without sacrificing your health is neem-based Outdoor Botanical Gel. This gel contains aloe vera, citronella, cold-pressed neem oil and geraniol, so it repels insects and is also good for your skin.
Get Those Chemicals Off Your Skin!
Natural alternatives like cinnamon oil and neem-based Outdoor Botanical Gel allow you to do so safely -- with no toxic pesticides or insecticides needed.
The pesticides that are being used to fight the West Nile Virus are surely going to contribute to a number of diseases, so it's promising to see that researchers are looking into other safe and natural pesticides.
Releasing toxic chemicals into the environment can have devastating effects. The major tragedy of the West Nile Virus is not the virus itself--it has not spread to epidemic proportions like a number of other chronic diseases--but rather the damage that is being done to people and their young and unborn children through exposure to these toxic chemicals.
Further, pesticides, including commonly used lawn care chemicals, are causing more bird deaths than the West Nile Virus. In one study on the West Nile Virus, more of the collected birds had died from pesticide poisoning than from the virus itself.
The symptoms of pesticide poisoning in humans are similar to the rather vague symptoms of the West Nile Virus itself, which are inflammation of the brain, weakness and neuropathy (peripheral nerve damage), leading to symptoms such as numbness. These could be mistakenly diagnosed as West Nile Virus, therefore creating more cases and a call for more intense spraying of pesticides.