Mosquito repellent – help!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 08-07-2010, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm guessing there is already a thread about this but went back pages and didn't see anything. If there is, please direct me - thx.

My children hate mosquito repellent saying it stinks, burns and itches.
Unfortunately, like my husband, they attract mosquitoes and swell up into huge welt-like areas where bitten. Their faces are bitten the most since they wear long sleeves and pants when hiking but they wear shorts around the yard. (All four of us are out and the three of them get bitten much more than I and react much worse.)

We have the following repellents and they scream and cry when I put on any of them:
California Baby (They seem to mind this one the least. We recently ran out and I might purchase more.)
All Terrain Kids Herbal Armor
Jason Quit Bugging Me (This one seems to sting them the most.)
Gardens Alive Sting Free Insect Bite Protector Herbal Spray

Any suggestions? They will be attending a school located on wooded property boarded by National forest where they will be hiking and learning outside. Bug spray will be needed until frost. (They can continue getting bitten up as they have most of the summer. However, we live on a mostly sunny subdivision lot and they have bites everywhere…it will be even worse in the woods. I was mostly concerned about their comfort as the bites cause them sleepless nights of itching (I have several homeopathic anti-itch meds that help). My husband is really concerned about diseases carried by mosquitoes – in our area I guess that would mostly be West Nile...I didn't even think about disease. )
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#2 of 10 Old 08-09-2010, 03:15 PM
 
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I mostly don't have trouble with bugs, but then I spent a summer living in a cabin in a very wet, muddy woods. The mosquitos were horrific and I was desperate to find a solution. Here's a few of the natural solutions I tried:

- Pure citronella oil, diluted in cheap vodka in a spray bottle. Maybe 30 drops oil in 1 1/2 cups vodka? I think I added a few drops of other insect-repellant oils to make it smell pretty, like lavender, rosemary and geranium. This worked when the bugs weren't too bad. And it was very gentle on the skin, no burning. You can find a recipe online, I'm sure.
- For slightly worse bug nights, I would take 3-4 drops of pure citronella oil, rub them in my palms, and then rub my palms all over my body & face. Not too bad in terms of burning, though I don't know if I'd recommend it for really sensitive skin, esp. faces.
- Raw garlic, pressed to a pulp and rubbed on skin. Doesn't work at all, and it makes you smell ferocious. Eating raw garlic for a week also didn't work -- the bugs still came around, but the people stopped visiting!

I think the citronella mixture seemed to do the trick for most of the time. And certainly plain citronella works well for me in ordinary summer-bug situations. By the middle/end of my summer in the woods, the bugs were so outrageously bad that nothing seemed to help -- even yucky commercial sprays -- and I finally resorted to plain liquid 10% DEET, which I rubbed all over my body and face. I shudder to think of those chemicals on my body now. But at least the bugs left me alone! I don't think I'd go back to the woods for a whole summer again...

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#3 of 10 Old 08-09-2010, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Comtessa, I'll try the citronella oil mix.
The other day my uncle clipped a little OFF fan onto my son while we were working in the garden. I've always avoided the nasty chemicals and am worried about the children breathing in the chemicals...but it did work. Now that is what my son wants but I told him it might be too dangerous.
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#4 of 10 Old 08-09-2010, 06:00 PM
 
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I found a good little writeup here about natural bug repellents, with a recipe for a homemade one.

There are some other area repellents (like the OFF fan) that might be helpful, if the biggest issue is not having chemicals on their skin. Citronella candles/torches come to mind. You could also invest in an electric bug-zapper lantern, too. It's a little creepy and violent, IMO (who doesn't remember being fascinated by frying bugs as a child?), but for your family it might still be preferable to all the harsh chemicals.

I'm traveling the world with my kids without ever leaving home and blogging about it -- watch, taste, and share our adventures at TheGlobalStayCation.com!
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#5 of 10 Old 08-10-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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I didn't realize there were mosquito repellents that sting. I make my own with some herbs, oil, beeswax. It's then rubbed on before going outside. I've made it for years and it works great. The one thing I haven't figured out is getting a good consistency every time. The batch that's lasted the best is a harder batch...otherwise, the heat melts anything I make. I'm still working on it.

I think, if you're looking for something, look for oil/beeswax mixes...even lotions. There are good answers out there.
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#6 of 10 Old 08-11-2010, 01:39 AM
 
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Ugh!! I hate mosquito bites! It sounds like your children react to them the same way I do. I swell up and one time my face got bitten and my eyes and lips got so swollen I had to go to the hospital. Anyway, somethings you can try are Badger Balms anti-bug balm or Shake and spray. Another trick to give a try is putting an unused dryer sheet in their pocket or somewhere in their clothing. I've tried both methods and while I can't say I went COMPLETELY un-attacked by mosquitoes, it was much much less than w/o anything to repel them. Maybe 1 or 2 bites.

http://www.badgerbalm.com/c-2-balms.aspx

OT- but your the school for our children sounds so awesome! Getting to hike in the woods!
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#7 of 10 Old 08-11-2010, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies...I'm going to try the suggestions.

Yesterday we worked in the garden and as usual were eaten up. This morning my children asked if i would buy them hats with netting (I'm guessing they saw them in a book or on tv.). Anyway, I found this online and they want them. I think they might be a good idea but may result in teasing at school.

insect shield head net


We already have hats with built-in repellent...I don't think it works. I thought the net might prevent access for biting.

Anyone use anything like this?

ok...now they saw that jackets and pants are also available. They want to net their entire body!! They already hated bug spray but, after mentioning WN, I'm afraid I've made them too fearful of mosquitos!
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#8 of 10 Old 08-11-2010, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did a little test today...
I was out picking blackberries and apples between 3 & 5 in the sun, 90+degrees out and the mosquitos were still horrible. I borrowed a couple of dryer sheets from my neighbor (wow they stink) but it didn't seem to help. I sprayed on one of our herbal sprays and it helped but I was still being bitten. I clipped my uncle's OFF fan on me and was not bothered again.

For the children, I think we will try the netting over the head and a mosquito netting jacket for now. I will also try mixing up some of the home made recipes suggested above. If everything fails, we might resort to OFF fans.
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#9 of 10 Old 08-14-2010, 12:34 AM
 
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We use Skedattle, it works really well, it smells nice, it's reasonably priced, and, more importantly, it isn't nasty. I've been using it a couple years now and am very happy with it - I also use it on my 2 y/o daughter and did last year, too. We also use it on all of our daycare kids, including one with many allergies, and no one has ever had any issues with it.

rainbow1284.gifJuise - stillheart.gif Vegan-organic greenthumb.gif food-growing mama to dust.gif Kaia Hanako - 8 Feb 08, babyf.gif Katalin Reiah - 13 July 10, flowerkitty.gif 4x Little Furry Kitty Friends, chicken3.gif 11x Chickens, goldfish.gif Assorted Aquatic Life, and Wife to malesling.GIF Lee. computergeek2.gif

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#10 of 10 Old 08-14-2010, 01:57 AM
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This is the only one I can stand:

http://shop.avon.com/shop/product.aspx?pf_id=7894

(and it works amazingly well)

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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