Essential oils an option for natural insect repellent - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Essential oils an option for natural insect repellent

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Just about a week ago state health officials reported the state's first confirmed case of West Nile virus for the year. We are moving into the highest-risk period of the year - mid-summer into early fall.

If you're skeptical of chemicals found in most bug sprays, there are a few natural repellents to consider. Many essential oils are natural insect repellents like lavender, peppermint, and citronella.

The oils can be mixed with water or witch hazel for a do-it-yourself spray. You should also be mindful of what you're putting in your body.

People's Food Co-op's Wellness Manager Susan Askildson explains, "Mosquitoes and bugs really love sugar and they really hate garlic. I try to be aware of that if I'm going to be going out cause they're attracted to your mouth as well by what you've eaten or how it comes through your pores. Especially garlic will come out through the pores."

Since West Nile virus was discovered in Minnesota in 2002, the state has received reports of 465 cases, including 15 deaths.

You should also be careful when using natural products. Many of them are plant based and can cause allergic reactions for some people.

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