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marinelife's avatar

What is your personal recommendation for the best mosquito repellent?

Asked by marinelife (62234points) July 23rd, 2018

I am allergic to mosquito bites. I also am a very attractive target for mosquitoes to bite. I am vacationing in a mosquito-heavy environment in a few weeks. Do you have a recommendation for an effective repellent? Tell me your story.

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39 Answers

kritiper's avatar

I have had good luck with OFF containing DEET.
Also, when camping, I burn citronella candles all night upwind of where I sleep to keep the little buggers away.

janbb's avatar

Repel or Avon Skin so Soft pads. I also like Cutter’s.

snowberry's avatar

As an old lady, I rarely get mosquito bites, but I was chewed up like hamburger meat when I was a child. I could not tell you why. Maybe I’ve just become too mean and tough!

I found this interesting anecdotal story:

“I was hiking high in the Canadian Rockies and the black flies were voracious. I didn’t have insect repellent with me because mosquitoes, fleas and other critters never bite me. I think that’s because I take B-complex and garlic, among other supplements, and they don’t like that.

Increasingly vexed by the black flies, I finally appropriated a B-complex 100 mg tablet I had with me. I smushed it up with some creek water, and then rubbed the bright yellow liquid all over myself. END OF PROBLEM! I admit, though, that I did look a bit jaundiced…”

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

A friend and I were working outdoors a couple of summers ago in the northern Michigan woods. On our first trip up, the mosquitoes were horrendous. Repellent with DEET was not enough. I had bites visible on my arms for months afterwards

We bought inexpensive bug jackets for the second trip, about $15 US on Amazon. Great relief! They had zip up hoods to cover our heads, like this.

Kind of ungainly for vacationing, but I wanted to share the extreme option.

canidmajor's avatar

I make my own, it works better for me than DEET, and I am so delicious that other people stand near me so they won’t get bitten.
I’ll PM you the recipe.

JLeslie's avatar

The mosquitoes love me. I’m one of those mosquito magnet people.

I find almost all of the repellents work pretty well. I tried the Deep Woods Off once that has a higher concentration, and I do not recommend it. I go for the minimal chemicals, but still very willing to use the chemicals. At dusk and later in the night I wear clothing. I cover up, definitely long pants and sometimes long sleeves if it’s not too hot, and spray any skin still exposed, but not my face. Don’t miss feet and ankles if they aren’t covered with socks.

Mostly, it’s like using spf for the sun, you have to be consistent and thorough. All I need to do is screw up one day, one dusk caught outside in shorts for 15 minutes, and I’ll have 10 plus bites.

Bring cortisone cream and whatever you need if you are bitten.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Mosquito’s hate me. I eat a lot of garlic and they steer clear of me. I also detest chemicals, so there’s no way I’d use commercial stuff.

chyna's avatar

@candidmajor please pm me the recipe also. Thank you.

canidmajor's avatar

@chyna all this time and you can’t get my name right???

chyna's avatar

You would think I could! Sorry!

canidmajor's avatar

Silly… :-)

janbb's avatar

You guys just derailed a thread!!

janbb's avatar

Do I have to come down there?

canidmajor's avatar

I’ll make up for it!

In a 3oz bottle, combine 1 TBS cheap vodka, 20 drops lavender essential oil, 20 drops lemon essential oil, 20 drops eucalyptus essential oil, 20 drops citronella essential oil, fill with witch hazel.
Shake vigorously before each use, apply liberally.

There. Am I forgiven?

seawulf575's avatar

Repel100. Our folks work out in the woods near marshes. Swarms of mosquitoes. This stuff keeps them away without fail.

chyna's avatar

@canidmajor If you could just make it for me…

canidmajor's avatar

Yikes, you don’t ask for much!!! :-D

janbb's avatar

I had good luck in the islands with Repel too.

Brian1946's avatar

Shoulder-mounted frogs or chameleons!

The best way is to have one facing aft, and the other facing whatever the opposite of aft is. ;-p

ragingloli's avatar

cover yourself in spiders.
Like this guy

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m like @snowberry. Mosquitoes don’t bother me any more, and haven’t for about 15 years. I think, more than anything, my body just isn’t reacting. I sat, not too long ago, and watched one land on my arm, stab me, suck away, then fly away…and there was not swelling, no itching. Maybe we just developed an immunity to it or something.

rebbel's avatar

@candymanor So essentially it’s oil? ~

canidmajor's avatar

@bebber, that’s essentially oil I’m going to say about it! :-p

Dutchess_III's avatar

1 TBLS vodka? What do you do with all the left over vodka?

ragingloli's avatar

give it to your kids, of course.

si3tech's avatar

Avon had a product called Skin So Soft that people raved about as being the best mosquito repellent.

MrGrimm888's avatar

When I worked at a big box sporting goods store, we sold this thing called a Thermal cell, or therma cell. It was a device that used cartridges , and required refills. We couldn’t keep them on the shelves. Hunters swore by them. Given the swamps they hunt around here, it must work. My favorite part is that it isn’t a spray, or some chemical you put on your skin.
It just clipped to a belt…

Dutchess_III's avatar

@si3tech Rick swears by Skin so Soft too…I think you can get it at Wamart now, though.

seawulf575's avatar

@MrGrimm888 the thermacells work great too, though they are relatively short lived. You can burn through a repellent pad in a few hours. Gets a bit expensive. But they are good for setting on the table on the deck and keeping the entire deck clear of mosquitoes.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^I’ll have to try one. My new yard is full of mosquitoes. I’m going to build a bat box. Maybe I can get a bunch of bats to live here…

Keepin mind that for those who get bit up, you can wash the bites with Dawn. That will get rid of the saliva on your skin. It can really reduce the itch…

janbb's avatar

Dawn seems to be a miracle product!

MrGrimm888's avatar

It really is. When I worked in Emergency Veterinary medicine, we used it for multiple uses. As long as it doesn’t contain triclosan, it’s pretty harmless too…

seawulf575's avatar

My wife found a recipe for a mixture of beer, epsom salts, and blue mouthwash. Mix, spray on area you want no mosquitoes, and it’s supposed to work. We tried it but only had limited success. Another friend of mine tried it and had much better success. Maybe his mosquitoes liked beer more than mine. Downsides: it tends to leave a film on the stuff that is sprayed and after it rains you need to reapply.

seawulf575's avatar

I recently got some Dynatraps. GREAT invention. We can now sit outside and might only have one mosquito instead of swarms to deal with.

marinelife's avatar

@canidmajor Yes, Consumer Reports said lemon eucalyptus oil was the only natural repellent that was effective.

canidmajor's avatar

I’ve used lavender when I haven’t has my own stuff, and it helps a lot as well, and the oil in a lemon peel will help as well. I have become outstanding at avoiding being carried away by swarms.

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