Travel, Zika Virus, and Cedar Oil

The most important thing for travelers to know about Zika is that though it is not a serious health condition for most people, they still need to take precaution not to spread it.

This implies not getting bitten by mosquitos in the first place.

Secondly, if you have been bitten, you may or may not become infected. If you have become infected, you may or may not know it, because only one in five people will show symptoms. Still, being bitten repeatedly can spread the disease to other mosquitos, who in turn can spread it to other people.

Here is the product I highly recommend, and I’ll explain why in a minute: Cedarcide

Here are some facts from the WHO and the CDC:

On February 1, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that Zika is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, similar to last year’s Ebola virus outbreak. Though the spread of the disease (especially to pregnant women) is of concern, the average traveler does not have much reason to fear. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that, “People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika.” (CDC website)

The risk factors are highest for unborn babies, as the CDC states, “Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby.” The rise of microcephaly (or small brain), a defect associated with the rise of Zika, has not entirely been confirmed by scientists, but is suspected. The CDC advises caution for pregnant women, and recommends avoiding areas with Zika, if possible.

For the average person, Zika lasts about a week, and causes some discomfort, such as rashes, pink eye, and joint pain. In rare cases, it can cause a sort of paralysis. (CDC website).

There are many other diseases in the tropics that come from mosquitos, such as dengue and malaria.

Cedarcide products use cedar oil, which has been used as an insecticide for thousands of years without insects developing any sign of resistance. My husband and I have experience with cedarcide. The year that we had our first baby, the cats decided to bring in fleas. A flea infestation developed rapidly that fall, and because of the baby, my husband and I wanted something natural. After doing some research, we ordered large containers of cedarcide and fumigated our house with it. Although we did have to leave the house for a few hours, it is a natural formula with no toxic residue.

We were happy to learn that  Cedarcide has developed an even stronger bug spray, that kills bigger bugs, such as mosquitos, ticks and bed bugs. Yes, cedar oil not only repels them, but can kill them on contact! The formula has been tested for potency by independent labs, and it is effective for being in the deep woods. Cedarcide sells Tick Shield industrial strength formula for outdoorsy types, nontoxic bug repellent for babies, and everything in between. If you are pregnant and considering travel, I recommend doing your own research first. Better to take precaution during those nine months. But for the rest of us, Zika and other diseases should not hold us back! In fact Cedarcide sells a travel size repellent and a bed bug kit for travelers to take on airplanes.

 

Camping with Little Ones: What to Bring for Bugs

Camping always brings a sigh of relief for me. Living outdoors is refreshing. We’ve taken both our children camping when they were just four months old. I think that the biggest challenge is figuring out what to bring and getting into the car. Children always seem to sleep soundly outdoors, as I mentioned before– which was a big plus for me! And they are just fascinated with natural things; especially textures like rocks, sand, pine cones, feathers. They seem happier than ever to be outdoors, and that gives parents what they most need too– a carefree feeling!

Since the biggest hassle is what to bring and what to leave behind, I’ll have some recommendations for cooking, bug repellent, sleeping arrangements, and baby gear.

Bugs!

We’ve only had one tick in on a family member in all our years of outdoor activities: this summer, after our seven year old daughter spent the day learning to climb trees. Ticks are gross and a little freaky, but you’re far more likely to find them on a nature trail or in your back yard. The internet seems to say that ticks do not jump down from trees, but every doctor I’ve spoken to says they do. They can also jump up from tall grass–  but a campsite offers tick protection: frequent camp fires, shorter grass, usually away from trees. Just be informed, and you’ll be O.K. See below for more suggestions.

  • If you’re worried about bugs, don’t go camping during the hot, humid season. Why add complications? May/ June, or September/ October are better times to go camping in my opinion. Days are a more comfortable temperature, and cool nights can be good for sleeping. Most campgrounds open in April and stay open through October. Here is a good website to help plan for trips: http://www.allcampgrounds.com/articles.
  • Inspect your tent for small holes or places that don’t zip. Be sure to repair these areas.
  • Don’t put your tent near standing water, trees or light poles, as these things attract bugs.
  • Keep lanterns and flashlights away from the entrance to the tent, so as not to attract bugs. If possible get into and out of your tent before turning on the flashlight, or have a tiny pen-light for this purpose if you need it. We always hang a lantern inside the center of the tent if we plan on staying awake, but make sure everyone is in first.
  • Don’t eat or drink inside the tent or near it, so as not to attract bugs. You can store sealed food inside your tent.
  • A campfire or citronella candles don’t completely keep bugs away, but they do help.
  • You are no more likely to get ticks at a campground than anywhere else. The grass at a campsite is short so its more likely to get them on a nature trail or just playing outdoors. Nevertheless, it’s a good thing to check around in your tent and on yourselves before going to bed, especially if you’ve been hiking that day.
  • We’ve had success removing a tick with a tick key. Here is a link to Amazon’s tick removal section: tick remover We’ve only had one tick in our family in our lives: this summer, after our seven year old daughter spent the day learning to climb trees.
  • Carry activated charcoal with you for tick or bug bites. You will want to put it on dry and not diluted. It is helpful to remove toxins through the skin. It relieves itching from mosquito bites by pulling the toxins out. It is a good first aid for tick bites, once the tick has been carefully removed (you will want to read up on tick removal). Drawing any toxins out immediately removes a lot of fear and concern. Of course, first aid is first aid. You will probably want to follow up with doctor after a tick bite, especially if you see a rash. Be informed.
  • Bug repellents have various levels of effectiveness. We prefer natural ones, but have not found any type that works perfectly. Feel free to comment if you know of a good one!
  • If you still want to take some extra steps, here are some good baby bug products: Natural Repellent bracelet for babies All natural mosquito repellent bracelets (10 pack) for kids, Z Show pop up mosquito net tent for baby

As you can imagine, we were not quite this obsessive; ) and everything turned out fine : )