Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Mosquito Repellent

We have a terrible mosquito problem.  What's worse is I have what my Granny calls "sweet blood".  I'm like a walking mosquito magnet.  Once, I was being eaten alive while I was hosting a yard sale.  I didn't realize the extent of the damage until I was brushing my hair in the mirror and saw the back of my arms.  It looked like I had measles!  I had red spots all over the back of my arms.  I guess they figured since I couldn't see them, they would chow on me back there.  

Unfortunately for us, the mosquitoes like to keep us held prisoner in the house during the summer months, and we hate it.  The kids and I love to be outside.  We have a little swimming pool for the kids and they love to play in it during the hot summer months.  And of course, we have our vegetable garden that I love to be piddling in, weeding and spraying bugs and what-not.  So the mosquitoes are a real nuisance.  

Last year, we purchase two of the OFF Clip On fans.  These worked wonderfully!  This year, I can't seem to find the refills at the stores.  They must have been pretty successful and now everyone wants them.  I did find them on, so I might be able to get some using my Swagbucks. There are some really great products on the market containing DEET.  I'm not really fond of spraying myself DEET.  Although this ingredient is very effective in repelling the mosquitoes and other biting bugs, I'm a little concerned by the harmful effects.  I have used it in the past, and each time I did, the sprayed skin turned bright red.  I'm probably allergic to it. 

I wanted to share some mosquito repellent ideas I've found and even heard about through friends and family.  Some of these things you might have on hand in the bathroom and laundry room.

1.  Fabric Softener Sheet.  I've been using this for the last couple of weeks and it works good, but not great.  I actually rubbed my arms and neck with the sheet the first time and it worked good.  I wouldn't recommend doing that if you have sensitive skin or skin allergies since the sheets are pretty smelly.  After that first time though, I decided to pin it to our clothes and it's been working pretty good.  They still buzz around us, but I don't see as many bites.  I even pinned the fabric sheet to the back of my daughter's swim suit and she was able to play in the pool without being bitten all over. (By the way, you might have some of these from the past FREE Snuggle deals.)

2.  Listerine.  My cousin told me about this.  I haven't actually used this yet, although I have a ton of Listerine I got for free doing the drug store deals, so I might use this soon.  She said you can spray it on you but it might leave you feeling a little sticky.  I'd rather be sticky than the feasting ground for mosquitoes.  She also said you can pour a little Listerine into bowls and place them around the deck and yard to keep them at bay.  I'm going to be trying this soon, I'll let you know if it works for me.

3.  Skin-So-Soft by Avon.  My husband can't stand the way this stuff smells.  In fact, he gets an immediate migraine from it.  So I try to use other things when he's around.  If it's just me and the kids during the day and my hubby isn't home, I'll use it.  I'm not fond of the oiliness of it, but again, I'd rather be oily than be bit.

I'm hoping to experiment with a homemade natural mosquito repellent in the next few weeks.  Once I figure it out, I'll share the ratio and ingredients.  

In the meantime, what kind of home remedy do you use to repel mosquitoes and other biting nuisances?

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Susie said...

We need those suggestions in the great woods of Wisconsin:-)

Carrie said...

California Baby makes an excellent non-toxic bug spray maed from essential oils. It's around 12.99 at Target, and it smells great!


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