Scram Skeeters! How to Fight Off & Drive Away Mosquitoes

As promised from yesterday’s article about relief for itching bites, I’ve compiled a big list of recommendations for ways to deter and drive away mosquitoes (including some homemade insect repellent recipes).

A few things to note first:

  • You pretty much have to stop breathing to not attract the attention of these annoying critters, a big attractor for them is the carbon dioxide from your breath.
  • It also seems they are attracted by scents like perfumes, sweat, body odor as well as body heat. Unless you stop using shampoos, soaps, deodorants and detergents–it’s hard to be scent free.
  • From what I understand, DEET has proven to be the most effective repellent. DEET is pretty crazy stuff though, so if you’d like to try less harsh solutions, there are plenty of tips below for you to give a shot.

Something to keep in mind: Since some people seem to be a skeeter magnet while others around them don’t get a single bite, I suspect that there could be a personal body chemistry factor involved. That could explain why a remedy that works for one person, may not work for another.

This would help explain why some people swear by the Bounce dryer sheet method, or the Avon Skin So Soft solution, while others have a different experience. Neither Bounce nor the Avon SSS did a thing for me btw, but I did include them in the list below…too many people SWEAR by their effectiveness and that shouldn’t be ignored.

Basics For Success:

  • Wear light colored clothing, these critters are drawn to dark garments and it seems to be because dark clothing retains heat better (and the warmth is what’s attracting the mosquitoes).
  • Keep yourself covered as much as possible (including wearing a hat). Although they can find their way through the fabric, this will help cut down on bites.

Suggested Helpers & Tips

Vanilla Extract: A few different recommendations for this one, each contradicting the other.

Some say to dab Vanilla Extract on your pulse points, others say to rub it all over your skin & dab your clothes. Some say the cheap stuff is what’s required, others say the real, pure Vanilla is the only thing that will work. Some advise applying it full strength, others recommend diluting it with water then spritz it on.

Play around with Vanilla to see what gives you best results–there are plenty of believers for this one so I think there’s something to it.

Garlic: This isn’t a favorite thing to do day-to-day, but if you’re going camping or hiking through heavily infested areas, try a garlic powder and water paste.

Apply to pulse points, behind knees, on shoes and ankles and a dab or two on your cheeks or somewhere on your face and neck.

Remember–keep out of eyes. And maybe stay out of public places too because things will be a tad aromatic I’m sure ;).

Essential Oils: Mix choice of EO with rubbing alcohol, or witch hazel, or distilled water and spritz on body or directly on cloth to rub on body (shake before each use).

Another option is to add a few drops in baby oil or olive oil then rub on skin.

You can also apply along a strip of fabric (cotton) and tie around wrist. *Make sure to avoid mouth and eye areas.

I’ve listed the EO’s that promise best results in the chart below…

Citronella Lavender Catnip Eucalyptus *Pennyroyal *Tansy
Basil Thyme Cedar Tea Tree Peppermint Lemongrass

*Seems to be strongly recommended.

Homemade Mosquito Repellents

If you’re interested in experimenting with making your own concoctions, here are a handful of different recipes that you can try. Most of these have been sent in by readers and they’re all easy enough to make (thank you for sharing guys!).

The majority are made with assorted essential oils but there is one shared by Jennifer that requires only simple ingredients (garlic cloves, mineral oil, water and lemon juice) so the expense is really minimal.

Here’s a tip sent in by Angela for her tried-and-true solution:

This is a recipe given to me by my aunt, I find that it stores well but should be used within the year.

1/4 cup vegetable oil combined with these essential oils (mix and store in a spray bottle):

8 drops cedar
5 drops eucalyptus
4 drops lavender
2 drops rosemary
2 drops juniper
1 drop peppermint
1 drop cinnamon
1 drop clove

Here’s one from Mark:

I like this because it only needs a few items and it’s a breeze to put together. Make sure you shake it up for a few minutes each time before you use it.

I hope your readers try it because it does work just as well as bought and it’s better to use on your body than those poisonous sprays that they try selling us in stores.

2 cups witch hazel
1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
20 drops citronella EO
20 drops lemongrass EO

Instructions: Mix in a spray bottle and shake well before use.

Jennifer sent this one in:

Mosquitoes hate garlic and so when I saw this in a magazine a few years ago I clipped it, tried it and found that it did a good job keeping me bite free.

Directions: Mince a few cloves of garlic then cover with mineral oil. Allow it to sit for at least 24 hours. Next you take a teaspoon of *just the oil* and mix it with 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Strain through a cheesecloth if you have any floaties then pour into a spray bottle. Shake before each use.

Here’s another recipe from Mother Earth News that was online at one time that I can no longer find:

Since the 1999 appearance of West Nile virus in North America, it’s more important than ever to keep these pests at bay. You can outsmart them with this homemade, Earth-friendly solution.

It couldn’t be easier to make, ingredients needed are any combination of these EO: basil, cedarwood, citronella, juniper, lemon, myrrh, palmarosa, pine, rose geranium and/or rosemary mixed with 190-proof grain alcohol (Everclear). Quantities: 2 1/2 tsp of EO mixed with 1 cup of the alcohol. The combination of assorted EO’s makes this an effective option for fighting a variety of mosquito species and other insects.

Here’s one from another source no longer available online…

Yarrow Bug Spray

Fill a jar with fresh yarrow flowers and leaves (cut into small pieces) or use 1/2 jar full of dried yarrow. Cover with vodka, seal jar with lid and allow to brew for a week. Strain, fill a spray bottle 1/2 full with the infusion liquid then top up with water. Add a few drops of catnip essential oil (adjust as needed for effectiveness). Shake well before each use, may need to reapply every hour or so.

Plants That Drive Them Away

Break off leaves and crush them roughly, rub them all over your clothes and skin. Toss the bruised leaves around the perimeter of your deck or patio. Also plant these in pots and arrange them around the patio. You could also infuse these in water and then treat the tisane as a spritzer.

  • Lemon Thyme
  • Citronella
  • Lavender
  • Basil
  • Catnip
  • Pennyroyal
  • Tansy
  • Marigolds

Commercial Products

*(other than DEET items)

  • Avon’s Skin So Soft (straight or 50/50 ratio with rubbing alcohol)
  • Bounce Sheets (hanging out of a pocket or waistband)
  • Listerine (50/50 ratio with household vinegar then applied all over body)
  • Vicks VapoRub
  • You can purchase citronella torches to stand in the ground or set on table tops

Household Hacks

  • Spray garlic powder and water all over the yard and bushes. Use a fertilizer hose attachment. Will need to be done bi-weekly (approximately) or after a heavy rain.
  • Another trick you can try is to apply Listerine on the lawn or around the deck or campsite.



Apparently the smell that comes out of your pores from a steady diet of the below deters skeeters. The items aren’t meant to be combined, they’re just different suggestions.

  • Garlic
  • B1 Vitamins
  • Brewers Yeast
  • Lemons

Related Posts


    • Courtney

    I’m trying the vanilla right now but I have used pure lemon and lime juices ad they have worked also the garlic works and the sugar is true because I hve tried not eating lots of sugar and guess what it worked 🙂

    • Lisa

    wow. I too have been a Mosqui magnet forever. I take fish oil, B vitamin, use Skin So Soft, have type O blood, don’t smoke, eat lots of veggies and garlic, very little sugar, cover up, and get still get eaten alive. Even the citronella and geranium oils help little- I hate DEET- it makes me ill- But, when I lived in Greece in the 90’s there was a French product called Mousti-Dose that worked like a miracle- it was a lovely smelling lotion, safe for babies, and lasted 6 hours (not a minute more)- when in France a few years ago I asked a Pharmacy for it and they said they no longer make it. WHY NOT?!? Does anyone know anything about this- or what the secret ingredient was????? I’m seeking a practical prevention.

      • Imasunbune

      Okay, I’ve seen a ton of folks who do NOT eat sweets. Sure, I’m on her because I got bitten by some mosquitos, but I think I’m most impressed by the people who do NOT eat sweets. If you don’t eat sweets, what do you eat?

      That’s rhetorical (kinda’) I have eaten two cookies today and now am on my way to get a $1 sundae from Mickey D’s. I’ve gone before w/o eating sweets for 30 days but shortly thereafter started up again….

      So what’s your fancy, since sweets is not it? Noo I don’t drink, drug or smoke… I don’t even eat pork and rarely eat beef. Not big on fried foods, but sweets! I think I outta’ go to sweetaholics anonymous.

      Okay, back to the bug talk!

        • Leah

        Not a sweets person, I’m a veggies/meats/fats person, with sprouted/fermented grains sometimes and only occasional fruits and starchy veggies.

        I’ll indulge in really good deep dark chocolate (not much sugar in that, but other lovely chemicals). I love fresh rich cream on just about anything, and pastured butter in quantity.

        I wonder what mosquitoes taste like.

    • LK

    I have had success both in repelling mosquitoes and quickly healing the huge welts. We go to the VI often and this time could stay two weeks.

    I found Burt’s Bees Mosquito repellant to work like magic for both me and my husband.

    Then, by accident tried Aspercreme on the few welts we had. Within an hour the swelling and itching subsided. It is the aspirin in Aspercreme that works so well. I was told that Gold Bond Cream works too, but have not tried that.

    I am praising God for this miracle. Try it, you may be surprised as well!

    • Kari

    Carmex works also! It isn’t a long lasting remedy, but it works!

    • jr

    Read a tip in a Yosemite newsletter last month about how smoke eliminates the problem. We set up a blanket along the Merced river to have lunch. Got swarmed, until I lit up a cigar. We were able to have our food, wine and yes a good cigar without any more nuisance. I light a cigar while hiking but this works best if you’re sitting in one place. SMOKE!!! Light up whether pine needles, an egg carton, or a rolled up paper. Just about anything natural will is perfectly safe. Smoke is the best way to clear an area of flying insects. It will take five minutes but after that all insects will get the message and leave you alone. Sit around the campfire and you see the evidence after a few minutes beside a good fire. Light up a cigar and if you puff on it occasionally you will clear out a 7 foot area.
    You don’t have to inhale, so don’t bother with comments like “sure no mosquitoes but how about lung cancer?”. Second hand smoke does not produce as much CO2 or CO as a drive on a busy freeway during rush hour so don’t bother with propaganda. Smoke is temporary and does not irritate skin like harsh chemicals will. Yes keep it out of you’re eyes. My wife suffers terribly from stings and we will never hang outdoors without a cigar now. Bee keepers know this and have used it for thousands of years for a good reason… use some smoke.

      • Imasunbune

      You may be on to something. I recall maaaany moons ago a friend had an outdoor party on his patio and once the swarm came we immediately burned dried cattails– not Cat’s Tails people (I am a kitty cat lover too)!

      Now… where do I find cattails?

    • Tanya

    a freshly cut onion on a fresh bite~works to take the itch away(does not smell the best but…works)

    • fho

    Was in a jungle area of the Yucatan Peninsula today and got eaten alive… In varying amounts, 7 family members around me also were bitten(me the most of course!) but the fairest of them all, a 1.5yr old blonde baby Elvis, was the only one to escape getting attacked… would LOVE to know about the vanilla spray option for the following days!? Anyone actually been there and back? Have applied Vicks on one leg, toothpaste on the other, but both give mild relief. Heard about Vit B but too late for that, garlic will most likely attract(not!) the small chance of companionship, and fans, microwaves and harsh creams NOT in my books… so please continue to send in your suggestions – loved reading all of them! Gonna hit the rum and vodka now, with a little going astray… Best from Mehicco, fho

    • fho

    btw, also had my legs roasting over a citronella candle(indeed smoke and wind of the natural sort has helped beforehand) this evening at dinner, but STILL the critters landed and plunged in creating new spots! I had also previously applied a spray 3 times all over my body before going into the jungle of a Bio Citronella spray, and an oilier repellant again with citronella, but they even liked that more so not going to waste time with citronella sprays again for a while or at least not in gnarly parts like the selva… Curiously I have been using a tiger balmish green ointment that I bought at a roadside establishment in West Malaysia eons ago, which has helped with the stings, but am sure it has Citronella in it, can’t read the rubbed off text now…

    • kyle

    I’m having troubles also. I was outside, and when I came back in my house at about 9 or so I must of let in a bunch of mosquitoes so now I woke up in the middle of the night with a bunch of bites. Hot water and soap seem to help.

    • Toni Taylor

    Can anyone recommend something for a cat that is getting a lot of mosquito bites? His face is full of wounds from the mosquito’s biting him.

      • angel

      Try brewers yeast in the cat food. It might take a few days for it to build up enough in the bloodstream. Do a google search for cat and brewers yeast. There are lots of online sellers.

      • Henry

      Keep your pets away from standing water because this is where mosquitoes thrive. If there are any ponds, ditches or low areas that hold water, be aware of where they are so you know when your dog or cat is getting close.

      Allow your pets inside. Avoid keeping them outside, especially in the early morning and early evening, when mosquitoes are most active. The less exposure your animals have to mosquitoes, the less likely they are to get bitten.

    • kim

    Well thanks for the info I have 17 bites on my legs and feet and 1 on my stomach.
    I read that deoderant rubbed on them stops the itch,
    Well I just tried my mitchum roll on and wiped it all over the bites and with in minutes the itchyness is gone! How long not sure! But what a relief this is. I am allergic to the bites and get golf ball or larger swelling!

    • janet

    Benadryl Extra Strength Spray. . . works GREAT on insect bites and rashes from Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac. Worth every penny! Spray bottle is small enough to carry in purse, car or camper. Better yet – add it to the first aid kit for the camper!

    • GG

    I spray Lavender Water from head to foot and that tends to ward off the little critters. Although I forgot to use it before going into some woods recently and ended up with a bite on my eyelid which swelled up so much it totally closed for 2 days!

    • Henry

    Although about eating sugar,it isn’t about how much sugar you eat decides how much bites you could get,you could have rare bloods or others,i lived in China,i often get bites in Summer because i sweat and move a lot,when mosquitoes sees thing moving,it goes to it because movements means food to them and their food is out blood,only blood could give you power to move and they like to follow you,try not to wear bright clothes because it would remind them of animal flesh and make them want to go near that color,i would suggest to use garlic pill,eat it everyday,it won’t make your breath smell but it would make your body emit a special odor that mosquitoes doesn’t like the smell of it but the smell is invisible to us humans,when i go to America,there are like flies that chases around your head and you can’t even let them go away,they just kept on surrounding your head and making noises and i have to just face that problem,but now i live in Singapore and now i rarely get bites from mosquitoes maybe because the environment is diffrent.

    • Devarajan

    What are the disease spread by mosquitoes?

    • Gary

    Why do I get biten only on my legs? my legs are a mess scarred for life…

    • Lizz McIntyre

    I am a mosquito magnet, but my grandfather always told me to drink tonic water with quinine. Originally I didn’t believe him and continued to suffer during the summers. One summer he forced me to drink a glass everyday and I didn’t get a single bite. Now, I never get bitten….maybe once or twice a summer.

    It is believed that the smell of a persons skin will ultimately dictate whether a mosquito will bite a person. Quinine has a very bitter smell (on its own) and upon entering the blood stream, this smell is paraded around the body. (Don’t worry people can’t smell the quinine if you drink it). It is believed that once a mosquito lands on the selected target it can “smell” the quinine and will not bite the person.

    My grandfather contracted malaria while serving overseas. He was given quinine as a symptom suppressant (There is no cure for malaria, once you get it your blood will always carry it). He was also instructed to drink tonic water on a regular basis.

    Quinine is a class of chemicals called antimalarial. It was the leading treatment for malaria until the 1940’s when other drugs replaced it.

    It is believed that the smell of a persons skin will ultimately dictate whether a mosquito will bite a person. Quinine has a very bitter smell (on its own) and upon entering the blood stream, this smell is paraded around the body. (Don’t worry people can’t smell the quinine if you drink it). It is believed that once a mosquito lands on the selected target it can “smell” the quinine and will not bite the person.

    The British are credited with adding small amount of quinine to tonic water. The tonic water was then given to troops during British occupation of India as preventative measure against malaria infection.

    • Aditya

    Grab a Newspaper – Roll it up – En Garde!…

      • dont hurt me plz


    • aims

    my cousin is in the army and after a deployment in Iraq he came back and suggested you suck on a few matches to repel mosquitoes and other bugs. This actually works it sounds weird but will only taste bad for a couple minutes, i have no idea why it works!

    • Yvonne

    I didn’t read all the comments and tips here, but here’s what works for me like a charm after being bitten: your own spit! Sounds a bit strange, looks gross in public, too, but I find that after applying it a few times, the bite will completely be gone! It also works after burning yourself mildly, or on an itch or skin irritation of any kind.

    • Debbie

    My husband for the first time has lots of bites and I don’t have any. Reading this posting I just ate a banana and told him to rub the inside of the skin on the bites – he says ‘Instant relief, but it didn’t last – just a couple of minutes.’ He then said he’s just put a piping hot teabag on the worst bite and that’s cured the itching immediately – so far so good ten minutes later. I’ve told him about the deodorant stick too – will tell you if that works.
    thanks for the tips. 🙂

    • dont hurt me plz

    wow it really works i just cutt and lemon and spread it all ov er my skin and the itch is gone in like under 30 sec

    • julia

    bounce does not work. but they are selling millions claiming it does

    • Arly from Savanna, IL (a river town)


    When my daughter was little, I could not keep her from wanting to be outside, so she got mosquito bites all the time, and complained about the itching. Her aunt told me to dab a bit of creamy peanut butter completely covering each “welt” and within 10 minutes, the itching stopped and the welt disappeared.
    I have found that this works on me as well, as I am highly sensitive to the bites as well.
    And, I might add, if you dont have any of the other items that have been recommended, peanut butter is a cheap alternative, not to mention one of the foods that are taken with you when you go camping, or one of the many staples that almost every household has in there cupboard. I hope that this suggestion works for others as it has for my family!

    • Bob

    Grapefruit! It contains an organic compound called Nootkatone (and Nootkatin) that repels biting insects, and in higher concentrations, kills mosquitos. LINK:

    I’m a mosquito attractor too, and will be outside most weekends this season. I have had a whole grapefruit for breakfast since reading the NPR article (Thursday through Sunday, no sweetener added.) and I’ve only been bitten a few times. I missed one Thursday and Friday grapefruit breakfast, and got eaten that Friday (15 bites, I was wearing dark clothes that day.) I’ve learned my lesson.

    …Thanks for the tips everyone. Please reply here if you try this method. I’m interested in your results. Death to parasites!

      • MElena

      You might be right. I eat a grapefruit everyday and don’t get bitten. However, I also take fish oil everyday. I’m trying to find a “cure” for my ten year old daughter as she is highly allergic to insect bites. She won’t touch grapefruit and the she won’t swallow the large fish oil capsules.

    • candace

    I am a mosquito magnet!! Sometimes I can’t stand just going outside because I know when I come back in I will be covered with bug bites. I just tried the vanilla spray and for once when I came back in I didn’t have a single bite!! I dont know if this works for everyone ,but it worked for me:)

    • raddr79

    Vapor rub works before to prevent them from biting and after (if you forgot to put it on) to stop the itch.

    • Jaime

    I don’t know where the garlic suggestion comes from, but it doesn’t work for me! I must have fresh garlic in at least 2 meals a week, and mosquitoes still feast on me like I’m a sugar cube. I currently have bites all over my legs and feet. I knew I should have worn sneakers…

    • Ruby

    i have really swelled bites that are on my legs and little spots come every time i itch…they are purple and red and look like blood…to help itch go away put dill pickle juice and rub the inside of the pickle on the bite..

    • Ruby

    it really works!!
    with the inside of a pickle!!

    • Terry

    Very badly bitten here for the past 3 days
    tried rubbing with sliced lemons…….RELIEF no more sting

    • dougie

    bat houses Bats will eat their weight in bugs ( MOSQUITOES inc ) every day, put them at least 14 feet up and facing south. 2-3 per acre. Should cut your population down by half or better after bats arrive

      • shalom

      even better is Purple Martin houses/hotel. It is fun to watch the birds. Read up on the type of house they like, how to clean them and how to keep other birds out of them.

    • nicole

    i tried lemon juice do it it works

    • nicole

    i put age bandage and wrapped it up for an hour STOPS the pain STOPS the itch

    • py pyburn

    just read on mayo clinics site….they save people with type o blood are troubled the most……ty daddy

    • bubbly_babe8

    Mosquitos seem to love my feet and ankles, the bites have swollen and hurt and itch like crazy. Ran out to get hydocortisone cream earlier and applied like crazy all evening…woke up about 2am to myself scratching anyway.

    I tried the deodorant and the itching has subsided..thanks for the tip,now back to bed!!!

    • James

    I never used to get bit at all, in my 20’s to my late 30’s then just tonight I went outside to transplant my Hot Pepper Plant and in no more then 5 min I must of gotten 100 Bites, It was insane I have never had it where both forarms, inside elbows, behind knees, calfs and many places on my back got bitten at exact same time ( Synchronized feeding??)
    I think I found out why I never got bitten before after reading some of teh natural repellants, I used to be big into Weight lifting so I never ate sugery things like Donuts,Pop,Candy, etc. I usually had 2-3 Tablespoons of Minced or Fresh Garlic on about 80% of everything I ate. I also used to put alot of Cinnamon on toast etc. I also think because I ate alot of Kimchee, Spinace with Vinegar and the funniest craving to drink Pickle juice and Vinegar straight may have helped.
    Now I do eat Dingdongs, Some donuts, Friuty Dinobites, and eat hardly any Garlic, Cinnamon, or Vinegary items I have become a Walking Misquito Buffet.
    I am going to make a garlick sandwich and see if I can choke it down.

    • Becky

    Can’t sleep due to over 40 bites all over my body! I just tried the vanilla and diluted it with water. Itching STOPPED! What a relief. I’m going back to bed now and spraying my room with this stuff. It’s 2:39 am and I’ve got to killer those darned mesquito’s that have been dining on me all night!

    • Lynnette

    Roll on deodorant does work to offer immediate relief. I am in the british virgin islands and getting bitten every day it’s a misery. Sand flies however are actually worse than the mosquitoes. They bit me over 100 times while dining in Antigua the other week and the bites lasted way longer than the mosquito bites. Heat makes the bites itch more which can’t be avoided if you are in a hot country so I am looking forward to going back to good old chilly uk next month.
    Plug in Vape heaters offer some protection through the night as long as your in a smallish room and you plug it in close to the bed. Have another 3 weeks here so going to buy huge amounts of vitamin B tomorrow. Thanks for the advice.

    • raini schauer

    Try putting lemon rub, seems to work. Also a suavitel dryer sheet in your pocket

    • Thea

    I am the queen of being bitten by mosquitos, ticks and chiggers…they love me and I am tired of it. Two girlfriends and I got bitten so badly in southern Ukraine that the nurse at a camp sent us to the hospital thinking we’d brought a disease over from America! They gave us a cortizone cream that worked amazingly well…

    Our arms were deformed from the bites and the itch was crazy…nothing worked to stop the biting…Avon, citronella, DEET, homeopathic sprays…nothing. Garlic is a staple in our food; that didn’t help either. I heard that taking B vitamins will repel them. Lemon and dirt? I’ll try that too…

    The only thing other than a steriod that helps stop the itching is a topical spray antihistimine…Benedryl spray or the generic match. It honestly helps, at least with North American mosquitos…now, the amount of bites I had from Ukraine…I am on the hunt for something preventative…

    • Elle

    Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) – Hands down!! After years of (truly) suffering from my allergic reactions to mosquito bites, I was at my wits end. The intensity of the itching was unbearable. My body’s reaction was so strong that I would swell like a balloon and scratch till I bled. I came across a some postings regarding Vitamin B1 aka Thiamine. The people that found significant relief were taking a MINIMUM of 400mg DAILY, as prescribed by a number of pharmacies in the mosquito infested tropics. Interestingly, the only people saying it didn’t help were people taking much lower or smaller doses (100-200mg/day). It simply wasn’t enough. I was ecstatic this past summer to find that it really does work!! Thank you God!!! I found the occasional small red spot, which I can only assume was a bite but with zero itch or swelling. In 40+ years it is the first time I have found relief. PS – Thiamine is water soluble (like vitamin c) and therefore is not harmful or worrisome in these amounts as the body simply flushes out, in your urine, any extra which it cannot use. Natural and safe!!

    • Dana

    Geraniums and geranium oil work great too. It’s the only thing that’s worked for me..and it smells good. I just dab a couple of drops around my ankles, knees and elbows. No diluting necessary. July in the mountains after a day of hiking at the lake and riding around in a convertible..I was ripe and with the geranium oil, didn’t even have 1 bite. Vitamin C, while water soluble can also turn into oxalic acid if you take too much of it and it causes kidney stones. That’s according to my urologist after my 2nd round of kidney stones. I was taking too much during cold/flu season, so I don’t know if B1 would build up at some point either. Also, Pennyroyal has been known to cause infertility and miscarriages and was used as a birth control method for some time. Same with cat’s claw. I don’t know if it’s just while you have contact with it or if it’s permanent, but I thought I’d pass that info along..courtesy of my OBGYN.

    • Babs

    Being a bonafied mosquito magnet, I often come in from outside with my body covered with nasty welts that about drive me to madness from the itching. What works for me is getting into the shower, heavily soap my body from head to toe, turn the water off, stand in the shower for about 5 min. before rinsing it off (you will know when relief is there). The itching not only stops, but it stays away and the welts dissappear. I have not tried the repellents that you have suggested yet, but am going to try B-1, garlic, and vanilla to see if they work, and put a fan outside where I will be sitting. Hope something works. It’s going to be a bad year for mosquitos because of the warm winter. Thanks for all your suggestions, and hope mine was of some help to even just one person.

    • Blue Ridge

    After 48 years of being eaten alive by you know who I have finally found the answer – brewer’s yeast tablets. I take 2 x 500mg tablets every morning with breakfast. I was advised to take them for a few weeks before venturing out in the evening by the pond. Well I’ve been taking them for a few weeks now and so far so good – no bites. My life has changed! I can go out in the evening now and actually enjoy myself!! Remember, take for a few weeks before putting them to the test. They’re safe to take and you just wee out any excess. Good luck and please try as I tried just about everything else!!

    • Blue Ridge

    I meant to add that apparently it’s the B vitamins and Thiamine in the brewer’s yeast tablets that do the trick. I cannot tell you the difference it has made to my life! I no longer feel like a prisoner in my own home and can now sit outside without paying a heavy and very itchy price! Freedom!!

    • Stephanie

    I just tried the heat-therapy on a new bite under my arm and it worked very well. I used a hair dryer set on high temperature and low air flow and just blew the air onto the spot for a few minutes. I am also going to try the vitamin approach to prevention. I have not had insect bites in anywhere near the number I am having this year since I was a child. Based on some of these comments, I think the problem may be that I quit taking a multi-vitamin last year when a highly publicized study said survival rates for women my age was actually slightly worse in those who take them. The way these things go, I’m sure the next study will reverse that conclusion anyways.

    • Debra

    Hi Dustbunny,
    the only thing that you need to stop the pain and itch of a mosquito bite is a drop of household ammonia. It is perfectly safe and it will work in just a few seconds. You do not need to swallow a pill or put anything else on it. The ammonia will also work on ant bites and yellow fly stings (although you may need to reapply a couple of times for those). If you ever go into a drugstore, look at the medicine that you put on bites for mosquitos…it is ammonia. Just don’t drink it or put in your mouth or eyes…my disclaimer. It will work beautifully. Also much less expensive than buying a bite pin. Good luck and enjoy your summer; hopefully sting free.

    • pat

    tea tree oil — its a natural remedy, smells terrible but works on the bites

    • Sabrina

    Ive heard of the spit thing, told by my grandpa when i was little. I thought it was gross, but it did relieve the itching temporarily. I remembered someone saying to put salt on it, but if your a scratcher it stings like hell. When I went to India i found the ceiling fans a huge relief even though I had the plug in stuff too. When getting hair done there i got bit on my arm and the lady quickly put rubbing alcohol and it was like it never happened. I find smoke does help (like the cogar story told earlier), and i am a smoker. But the second you butt out, the bugs are on you. So ive used insence (sp?) sticks to keep them away. Im in China right now and brought some hand santizers and use those on bites. Stings mildly for a couple of seconds and the itch is gone! Within a few minutes the swelling goes down considerabl, sometimes they disappear all together. To summarize:

    Spit, smoke (insense), rubbing alcohol/hand sanitizers (keep handy in purse/car), fan

    I do intend to try the antiperspirents. I eat a lot of garlic so i dunno if that will be effective for me, and maybe b1 vitamin. Blood type O+ if anyones keeping track of blood type attractions. But my understanding is that thyre attracted to CO2 and sweat odors. Also ‘feet smell’ does attract which is why some people get bit around ankles and the feet.

    Also debating getting a pet dragonfly. Gonna name him Gizmo. :p

    Sorry bout the bad spelling:)

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