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Supacase's avatar

Any suggestions for an effective bug spray?

Asked by Supacase (14528points) July 3rd, 2011

My daughter gets eaten alive. She was out catching fireflies for 30 minutes last night and I have counted 23 bug bites on her legs.

Nothing works! I have been looking for the last three years and cannot find a solution. I have tried every commercial spray or lotion out there, including the kinds with DEET, as I might as well have been spraying water on her.

I have tried natural repellents with lemongrass, lemon eucalyptus, citronella, peppermint, geranium and cedar. The most recent one (Herbal Armor All Terrain) seemed to help twice, but last night it obviously didn’t do a thing. I have spent all morning looking for other natural options, reading ingredients and reviews.

I am willing to try making my own. Most recipes I have found suggest 1 part essential oil to 10–20 parts carrier oil – so I would be buying a whole bottle to use only a few drops and I can’t really afford to do that just to experiment until I find the right one. I’m happy to pay if I know it works.

I am at a total loss and I feel so bad for her.Any help?

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8 Answers

Judi's avatar

I always heard that Avon’s Skin So Soft worked really well. Also, brewers yeast in the diet works well. I know you probably won’t feed your daughter beer, but you can put brewers yeast in other foods and the bugs won’t think she is quite so delicious.

WasCy's avatar

I have heard various claims made for the effectiveness of Listerine™ mouthwash as an insect repellent spray (claims that were pretty well debunked on some other websites). But it’s cheap stuff, and if you can use it as mouthwash then you can certainly feel confident and safe in applying it topically to skin, or spraying in the air. Make your own test to see if it’s effective.

Supacase's avatar

@Judi Skin So Soft did nothing. I will try brewer’s yeast. Some websites suggested using vodka as a carrier alcohol – yeah, I can see spraying that all over a 5 y/o!

@WasCy I saw that on a few pages earlier today. Can’t hurt to try it. At least it is something we can use if it doesn’t work as bug spray.

At least she is very good about not scratching. That’s something, I suppose.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

When your daughter is outside, are there other people with her? If so, are they experiencing the same problem? If so, it could have to do more with the environment. For example, is there a water feature nearby? Or a streetlamp or porch light(s)?

incendiary_dan's avatar

Mud & smoke baths.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have had success with Lysol antiseptic spray. I spray it on my hands and then apply to the child.

faye's avatar

Watkins makes a repellent lotion with a pleasant scent and it works great for me. They would probably give you a sample to try.

linguaphile's avatar

What kind of bugs? You said bug bites but I’m only assuming mosquitoes, but could be chiggers or another type of bug. You’re talking about skeeters?

My dad said it had to do with uric acid on the skin- skeeters are attracted to the uric acid and I’ve tried scentless antiperispirants in the past- they work to some degree by reducing the uric acid from the sweat. I’ve not done much research there though.

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