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Health And Family

Fight rising dengue cases! Natural insect repellents you can prepare at home

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com
Fight rising dengue cases! Natural insect repellents you can prepare at home
Stay safe from mosquito bites this rainy season.
Mohamed Nuzrath via Pixabay

MANILA, Philippines — Since rainy season is here, it is the most favorite time of the year for mosquitoes and other bugs. As they are set to spread diseases such as malaria and dengue, it is best to prepare for them.

The Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) last Wednesday said that the rise in both dengue and COVID-19 cases in the country are a cause for concern. Last Tuesday, the Department of Health (DOH) reported that so far, 82,597 dengue cases have been recorded from January 1 to July 16, a 106% increase from the same period last year. DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said most cases were in Region III with 13,449, followed by Region VII with 8,905, and National Capital Region with 6,884 cases.

To prevent dengue, physician Ruth Doligon gave tips in an exclusive interview with Philstar.com.

Related: 6 tips to keep your New Year dengue-free

There are many natural repellents that one can prepare at home, including the two-ingredient recipe called Cloved Garlic. 

1. Garlic

Garlic is among the most cited natural insect repellent by most netizens and related literatures alike. It is a common ingredient in many cuisines despite its strong smell, which actually turns palatable once stir-fried or cooked. 

Many everyday people have been turning to its effectivity in ridding the house and yard of unwanted mosquitoes. 

TikTok user @aribasfoodmood shared that all is needed is one clove of garlic and seven to eight pieces of clove. Peel the garlic and stick into it the cloves. Place this on a plate that one can put in a place where mosquitoes frequent.  

Popular How-To YouTube channel Bright Side also mentioned garlic as an effective mosquito repellent. It said that when one consumes at least one clove of garlic, the pores creates a barrier between the skin and mosquitoes. It also shared tips on how to make a garlic spray by mixing it with essential oils like lavender and tea tree.

2. Lavender 

Apart from garlic, lavender and tea tree, Bright Side also listed vanilla, black pepper, soapy water and mint as other effective insect repellents. Its video cited studies that found these ingredients effective such as lavender which it says has linalool that repels insects. 

Another YouTube channel Bestie, listed down lavender among the 11 plants that one can cultivate in the yard or put inside the house to keep pests and insects away from home. 

Apart from lavender, it also cited mint, basil and lemongrass. Bestie advised to pot the mint inside the house if one cannot manage it regularly as a plant in the yard. This is because mint can easily spread and take much of the yard's space. One can make a spray out of it with apple cider vinegar and hazel. 

3. Basil

Like garlic, basil is another accessible kitchen ingredient and a favorite herb especially in pasta dishes. Put a pot of basil in strategic areas of the home or make a homemade repellent. 

In making the repellent, take a good amount of basil leaves and stems. Let them boil for several hours. Strain and add vodka. Transfer the mixture into a spray bottle and use outdoors. 

4.  Lemongrass or tanglad

Lemongrass or tanglad is a staple in Filipino dishes especially in the Visayas and Mindanao regions. It is a low-maintenance plant that only needs sun, water and it can be left to grow on its own without the constant need for trimming or pruning. Its very presence alone can turn insects and mosquitoes away as it contains citronella, a favorite ingredient in many commercially available insect repellent brands. 

RELATED: Jolina Magdangal warns against dengue outbreak

ALL-NATURAL HERBAL INSECT REPELLENT

GARLIC

INSECT REPELLENT

LAVENDER

LEMONGRASS

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