Mosquitos Bite This!

Mosquito Bite Remedies

Mosquito bites can be the challenge for anyone hiking or living in the mountains. This year they seem especially active and I am even experiencing bite more than normal.

Clearing pools of stagnant water helps prevent a larger mosquito population and Miller Park has some pools that need to be reduced but the creek provides a good breeding ground as it evaporates and pools settle.

The CDC has concerns over West Nile Virus being spread further but sometimes the cure seems to be worse than the prevention.

Many people are pretty sensitive to those commercial products so I thought I would explore some home remedies.

There are a lot of different wives tales and anecdotal stories that circulate–but if you find something that works, use it!

One of the reason many scented products seem to help dissuade these insects is because they mask your natural body odor which camouflages your scent.

This is why citronella, vanilla, mouth wash and dryer softener sheets are often described as good remedies to repel mosquitoes.

If you are sensitive they may or may not be idea for you.

In studies done previously, it was found that products containing DEET repelled best but it is nasty stuff in my book.

The study I found referenced on SNOPES reported that Off! Deep Woods (23.8% DEET) provided protection of up to about 5 hours on average but read what the EPA has to say on DEET.

Avon Skin-So-Soft has always been rumored to be effective but after Consumer Reports looked into it, and found it to be ineffective for that purpose, Avon disputed subsequent reports about the effectiveness of Avon-Skin-So-Soft with Bug Guard.

Product effectiveness was reported in both the New England Journal of Medicine study (2002) and Consumer Reports analysis (2003) after findings indicated that the duration of the repellent was much shorter than claimed.

So, just what can you do?

First, avoid creating mosquito friendly environments–no stagnant water.

Next, wear clothing as barriers to mosquitoes when you are in areas they frequent.

Then use the aids & deterrents you are most comfortable with.

Here are a variety of suggestions to consider.

Mosquito Repellents

Mosquito Bite Relief

  • antihistamine cream or stick
  • Campho Phenique (antiseptic)
  • topical use of damp green tea bag to soothe itching & reduce inflammation
  • oatmeal bath to relieve itching
  • cold Aloe Vera to soothe (anti-inflammatory)
  • Preparation H for both swelling & itching
  • rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, hand sanitizers, or tea tree oil (antiseptics)
  • Basil both repels mosquitoes & is an anti-inflammatory
  • aspirin paste (acetyl salicylic acid) is an anti-inflammatory
  • products such as Watkins Menthol Camphor Ointment cool & help relieve itching

There are electronic mosquito repellents & traps and a lot of different home remedies.

This week my pal alerted me to a combination of vanilla, lavender and lemon juice, which I may try–but I am sure you have your own favorites.

Why not leave your solutions for mosquito repellent in the comments below? 

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 and is filed under High Altitude Living, Mountain Lake Resort, Small Town Living.

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