Sunday, February 10, 2008

Let Us Be Repulsive...

... to bugs. The biting things, they love us. I got a little bottle of virgin coconut oil laced with citronella from the pedi to use on Marguerite, but we're down to our last few drops. I find the smell of citronella harsh, but thankfully, it doesn't bring on an asthma attack (mine) or irritate my daughter's skin. I was about to make some homemade natural bug repellent myself using olive oil and some essential oil (I hadn't decided yet which one to go for - citronella or lavender) when I decided to google a combo that would deter not only mosquitoes, but other bugs as well. To my surprise, I learned (from here, here, here, and here) that official studies suggest that DEET-based products are actually better for very young children older than two months and that they actually warn against using citronella and lavender on kids younger than two years or lemon eucalyptus (which I would have preferred if it was as readily available here) on kids younger than three. I was incredulous that an out-and-out poison (DEET) is declared safer than natural essential oils. One source said that there weren't enough studies to confirm the safety in using essential oil-based products on young children. These studies could certainly make one doubtful. Makes one wonder if they had been sponsored by companies selling DEET-laden products (um, yeah!). So, I'll probably make something that has citronella heavily diluted in it (the smell's so strong anyway, even just the merest hint of it in the concoction can probably repel mosquitoes a mile away, lol). I'm not in love with the scent, but for the time being, we'll stick with it.

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