Pregnancy is a beautiful season. Everyone is amazed at how another human can carry life inside her. As an expectant parent, you would love to be extra cautious so no harm comes to your unborn child. Insect borne diseases can be difficult to treat in pregnancy.
If you’re wondering if a mosquito repellent can affect your growing baby, then its article will answer your question. You would also learn what pregnancy pest control methods you can use, and how to treat mosquito bites in pregnancy.
Are bug zappers dangerous to humans?
If you don’t already know what bug zappers are, they are devices that work by attracting and killing insects on contact, or ‘zapping’ them. These devices use UV light rays attract insects. They are proved by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Now, the UV light used in bug zappers is UV-A. This is the type of ultraviolet light that insects can see. UV-A has a bluish tint, so there’s a good chance you’ve seen it somewhere. In fact, if you’ve ever tried to tan your skin, then you’ve harnessed the power of UV-A.
You’ve probably heard that UV light is bad for your skin right? Well, the ultraviolet light these zappers produce is very insignificant, making it safe for humans.
So, bug zappers are NOT harmful to humans. Plus, the further away you are from the bug zapper, the less damage it does to you.
Can bug zappers to harm pregnant moms?
Bug zappers cannot harm pregnant moms because just as we said earlier, these devices contain a type of ultraviolet light that doesn’t affect humans. These rays cannot also get to your baby through your tummy, because they are not that strong.
However, as a precautionary measure, you should keep your distance from these devices, especially when you are using them indoors. It’s best to keep bug zappers at the corners of your room or fix them to ceilings.
Also, avoid keeping them close to food as UV-A from the zappers might not get into your skin easily, but they sure can get into your food with continuous exposure. With these tips, you and your baby are safe.
Can I use an insect repellent while pregnant?
However, you have to be very careful how you use mosquito repellents as too many repellents can affect your health and that of your baby.
Insect repellents are usually made of a chemical called DEET, which is an acronym for N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide. While DEET is safe for all humans, misuse can result in serious reactions. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for any repellent you choose to use.
It would also help if you picked a milder DEET repellent over a stronger one. Some pregnant women find they have a heightened sense of smell during pregnancy and as such, get irritated by even the slightest smell.
Never apply repellent on your skin, especially those containing DEET as the chemical can seep into your skin and make you sick.
Can I use natural insect repellents?
A lot of people are against the use of any type of chemicals around pregnant women. If you want to reduce your exposure to chemicals as much as possible during pregnancy, then you should go for natural repellents. It’s not that natural repellents do not contain any chemicals, but they contain less harmful chemicals.
The downside to natural repellents is that they don’t last as long as their synthetic counterparts, so you may have to apply and reapply them as often as needed.
Still, they are a much safer alternative to commercial ones. Examples of some natural insect repellents are:
Tea tree oil:
This powerful antiseptic oil can be used as a natural insect repellent too. Combine 1 part of tea tree oil with 3 parts of water to make an effective pest repellent that would repel pests, from flies to ticks. It can also be used to heal some kind of insect bites, like mosquito bites.
Neem oil is a great mosquito repellent, as bugs can’t stand its smell. To use, turn it into a spray by adding a few drops to a cup of water.
You could also combine neem oil with coconut oil to reduce its harshness on your skin. However, neem oil can cause serious skin irritations, especially for people with sensitive skin or birth defects in the first trimester.
Lavender smells beautifully well. But did you know this sweet-smelling plants can also be used as bug killers? In fact, it chases away both insects and other bigger pests around your home.
To use lavender, you don’t have to convert it to a spray if you don’t want to. Simply crushing dried lavender leaves can give you the bug repellent effect you seek.
Lemon eucalyptus oil:
Lemon eucalyptus oil is a natural oil that can be used to chase away all types of bugs. Its strong smell keeps insects away, especially mosquitoes.
To use lemon eucalyptus oil, add about 35 drops to 1⁄2 cup of water. If you prefer to use the oil to wipe down your surfaces, you can add vinegar too. It keeps you protected for one to two hours.
Made from lemongrass, citronella is a well-known mosquito repellent that has achieved fame over the years. People of old always used it to chase mosquitoes and other insects.
If you prefer using this sweet-smelling substance, we advise you don’t use a citronella candle as it is ineffective as a mosquito repellent, as many studies show. Instead, use citronella oil as a spray. But can a pregnant woman actually use citronella?
Is it safe to use citronella when pregnant?
You can use citronella when pregnant, provided that you do not use it in its pure form. Use a diffuser to spread it across your living area to repel mosquitoes. Alternatively, talk to your doctor first before you use it to avoid complications or birth defects.
How to treat mosquito bites when pregnant:
Mosquito bites during pregnancy could be scary for any mother.
Could the mosquito have given you malaria? Is your baby already affected? All these are questions that could keep you awake at night.
The first thing to do is to avoid scratching the bite, no matter how much it itches. Apply an ice pack in the affected area to reduce the itch and redness.
Next, go to a clinic to take a malaria test. This would help your doctor provide medical advice.
If it’s just a normal bite, you can go home and relax as it should go away in 2 or 3 days. If your doctor approves, you can use anti-itching cream on the area occasionally too.
How to prevent bug bites during pregnancy?
Prevention, they say, is better than cure.
It’s much easier to prevent bug bites than to try to cure them.
In fact, it’s better to prevent a pest infestation than try to get rid of one. If you want to avoid chemicals during your pregnancy, you can use preventive measures to keep bugs away. You could also combine these measures with natural methods since they don’t last very long.
Here are some steps to prevent bug bites during pregnancy:
Avoid traveling as much as you can:
Especially to tropical areas.
Tropical areas like Australia or Africa usually have more bugs than you are used to, so it’s best to avoid these areas till you birth your baby. If you must travel to these areas, make sure you protect yourself fully from bites and have your selected insect repellent ready.
Close your windows, doors and screens on time:
It’s not advisable to open up your windows at dawn or to keep your screen unsealed till dusk.
Ensure you close your doors and windows as soon as the sun starts to set, or even earlier. This way, flying insects won’t bother you much indoors. Use mosquito netting if you want to keep them open for longer.
Cover up and use DEET based insect repellents:
If you are going to be staying out late, make sure you are fully covered up.
Wear clothes with long sleeves. These types of clothes are considered safe and effective, protecting exposed skin. Be careful with DEET exposure though, as it could hurt your growing baby if it’s too much.
Sleep under a mosquito net:
Sleep under a net and line your baby’s carrier with one too.
Sleeping under a mosquito net doesn’t just give you protection from mosquitoes, but other bugs as well. and when your baby finally comes, you can protect your dear one by including a net in his or her carrier and cot too.
Don’t use heavily scented products like soaps or perfumes:
The scents might be pleasant to your nose, but they are vary also pleasant to bugs. If you want to use any scented product, ensure the smell is as mild as possible or go with products that mimic a strong citrus smell.
Clear up attending water around your home:
And clean up your garden regularly.
Insects particularly love these two places, so cleaning them up reduces the chance of them multiplying in your yard. any container that can store standing water should be removed immediately or turned upside down to eliminate a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes.
During your pregnancy, there are times when you would have to decide whether to use mosquito repellents or not. If the mosquito repellent won’t cause much harm to you and your baby, then you can use it comfortably.
However, if it looks like you would be seriously affected by the repellent, you should look for other ways to protect yourself. You can also ask your doctor if a particular mosquito repellent is good for you, or if you should avoid it altogether.