I didn’t visit my family in Miami this summer. I blamed work. I blamed the children’s camp schedules. I blamed my boyfriends filming schedule. I blamed everything but The Truth: I’m a coward. I’m afraid that Miami has the Zica virus. But, I am terrified that Miami is being sprayed with Naled.
Unless you live in Antartica, you have mosquitos. In addition to Malaria, Zica, and other illnesses, a few days ago, a new mosquito borne illness was reported in Haiti. We are in the early days of the reporting, but it seems that this new virus is being called the “Mayaro virus”, and this is it’s first appearance in the Caribbean, having been identified previously in the Amazon. (Haiti is a short mosquito flight from Miami.)
Florida has recently been fighting the better know Zica carrying mosquitos with a controversial pesticide.
Though concerned about these viruses, I am more afraid of Naled, a pesticide that is banned in Europe. ALL of Europe.
Doing my research, (as I always do, though I wish I didn’t), I found this lovely piece from Cornell, and became concerned that my family and friends might unwittingly be exposed to this pesticide that the EPA is NOT providing full spray area disclosure for:
“When inhaled, the first effects are usually respiratory and may include bloody or runny nose, coughing, chest discomfort, difficult or short breath, and wheezing due to constriction or excess fluid in the bronchial tubes. Skin contact with organophosphates may cause localized sweating and involuntary muscle contractions. Eye contact will cause pain, bleeding, tears, pupil constriction, and blurred vision. Following exposure by any route, other systemic effects may begin within a few minutes or be delayed for up to 12 hours. These may include pallor, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, dizziness, eye pain, blurred vision, constriction or dilation of the eye pupils, tears, salivation, sweating, and confusion. Severe poisoning will affect the central nervous system, producing incoordination, slurred speech, loss of reflexes, weakness, fatigue, involuntary muscle contractions, twitching, tremors of the tongue or eyelids, and eventually paralysis of the body extremities and the respiratory muscles. In severe cases there may also be involuntary defecation or urination, psychosis, irregular heart beats, unconsciousness, convulsions and coma. Death may be caused by respiratory failure or cardiac arrest.”
Speaks for itself.
I shy away from mosquito repellants, (anything), that contain chemicals that have ingredients that I can’t pronounce. (I won’t buy anything unless it passes the EWG Skin Deep Test.)
You knew this was next: yes, I make my own natural mosquito repellant. (Eye roll, if you need to.) Your children will love helping you make it, and each of ours has selected the essential oil that they prefer as the “scent” that they like, but mosquitos don’t.
Find an old small spray bottle. Drop 10-25 drops of cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus or lavender oil in the bottle. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of a carrier oil. We use almond or jojoba. Add a splash of Witch Hazel. That’s it! Shake and spray! (As with most things, be sure to keep the spray away from eyes.)
By making our own we KNOW what is on our skin, and we are keeping our water safer from toxic chemicals and pesticides.
Please don’t tell my abuela about this. I’ll hear about “the mosquitos in Cuba” for HOURS.