Most everything I do is excessive. I don’t just have a pleasant conversation, I throw my arms around, support every statement with a personal story, and talk like I’ve just eaten a handful of speed. I’ve never just had a “job”. I end up living, breathing and owning it. I have trouble buying just one of something. If one’s good, four is probably best. I’ve tried changing this probable mental malfunction, but have now pretty much accepted that it’s just how I’m wired.
Apparently the same over the top mind signal that controls my personality also speaks to my body instructing it to perform in overdrive. I’m either too fat or too thin, I’m either full of energy or I’m exhausted. I don’t just have allergies, I get full on asthma. (Okay, Pat, they get it. See how I am?)
So when it comes to mosquitoes, (after circling for two paragraphs, this is where I come in for the final landing), they LOVE me. I swear to GOD they do a fly by to assess the group of people I’m with, then single me out of the crowd. People used to think I was paranoid until a few years ago when the hubs (Paul) and I went camping. Standing in the woods right next to each other, he wasn’t bothered, but there was a swarm of them around me. When we went to Mexico, had it not been for the huge swollen bites on my legs, and the uncontrollable need to scratch them, it would have been one of my best vacations ever. The hotter it got, the more I’d sweat, and the more they itched. I came home with my legs covered in scabs. Paul had umm… ONE. My body reacts stupidly and extreme (big surprise) to mosquito bites with crazy-making itching and ridiculously massive swelling. Obvs, I avoid mosquitoes like the plague.
My suspicions that I’m a mosquito magnet were confirmed when I did some research and learned some pretty interesting facts, especially how mosquitoes choose their victims…
Who are Mosquitoes Most Attracted To?
- One in 10 people are highly attractive to mosquitoes
- Genetics account for 85% of our susceptibility to mosquito bites
- People with high concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on their skin surface attract mosquitoes (people who process cholesterol efficiently have residue left on their skin)
- Mosquitoes target people who produce excess amounts of certain acids, such as uric acid
- Any type of carbon dioxide is attractive. Large people give off more of this (adults as opposed to small children)
- Mosquitoes sense movement. Exertion, causes you to breathe heavily and they can smell the increased carbon dioxide. Activity triggers your sweat glands which produce lactic acid. You’re a dead man!
- Only females bite (bitches!)
So I need to be stick thin, sit perfectly still, and not breathe or sweat. Right.
Nope. This year I’m going to be prepared. I’m going to pull out all the stops and enjoy my summer evenings not being a prisoner of sticky bug sprays, or legs caked with patches of pink, cracked Calamine lotion.
Plants That Repel Mosquitoes
First off, I’m arming my deck. I love to sit outside and read in the evenings. I learned that mosquitoes hate the smell of certain plants. Out of a long list I found, I’ve picked the ones below (that I can also use for seasoning) to plant in pots scattered all over my deck. (I’ve heard you can also crush their leaves and rub them on your clothes – but not directly on your skin).
DIY Mosquito Traps
I’ve heard of varied success level with these, but I’m going to give them a shot anyway. (click pictures for directions).
Soda Bottle Mosquito Trap
Lightbulb and Dishsoap Mosquito Trap
Homemade Mosquito Repellants
I’m trying both of these. If one works, I will be wearing a spray bottle full of it as a fashion accessory this summer.
1/4 cup vegetable oil mixed with these essential oils
5 drops eucalyptus
4 drops lavender
2 drops rosemary
2 drops juniper
1 drop peppermint
1 drop cinnamon
1 drop clove
2 cups witch hazel
1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
20 drops citronella essential oil
20 drops lemongrass essential oil
If any of those little suckers manage to penetrate my barriers and get to me, I’ve found some homemade concoctions to help take the itch out of those bites.
Easy Homemade Mosquito Bite Anti-Itch Remedies
Quick-grabs. Pick your poison below and apply to the bite as soon as possible. (One or all of these will be within arms reach this summer).
- A dry bar of soap rubbed over it.
- A dab of nail polish
- A squirt of toothpaste
- Scotch tape
- Hot (as hot as you can stand it) water. (I used to use this little trick to keep from scratching my eczema).
- A piece of cotton soaked with mouthwash
- Ice cube or ice pack.
- Solid or roll-on deodorant
- Rubbing Alcohol.
- Hot tea bag, or cotton soaked in hot tea. [/note]
Pastes. Apply nice and thick, to the skin ASAP
- Baking soda and Water
- Meat Tenderizer and Water
- Salt and Water
- Epsom Salt and Water
- Crushed Aspirin and Water
- Crushed Tums and Water [/note]
I treasure our time away and hated camping until I discovered it’s actually a free pass to do exactly what I feel like doing guilt-free, so I get a little pissy if anyone or anything interferes with that time. Mosquitoes have turned me into a raging bitch on more than one camping trip. So along with all of the above ammo, I’m going to try these Pinterest ideas to keep the little bastards from screwing with me.
And there you have it. I honestly am miserable when the mosquitoes are out, and being a huge fan of sun, summer and camping, I will try anything to keep from being bit. I would so appreciate, and will try, any tricks you use and will share. Thank you in advance for passing them on to me!
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I swear by rubbing alcohol! I get the stuff with at least 75% alcohol, soak a cotton ball and rub the bite and dab it over and over on the bite, literally drenching the skin and bite until the itching stops (if it starts itching again, repeat). I usually don’t have any red or swollen spots by the next day and NO itching! Try it, it works great!
Ginene, I love this idea. It would be easy to carry with me too. I’ll definitely try it – thanks! There was an article in our local newspaper stating that hydrogen peroxide works. Has anyone tried that?
make a paste with old fashioned oatmeal an apply….leave on till it drys completely…..then peel off……works wonderful…….
Hmmm…sounds messy, but if it works, I don’t care. Thanks for the tip Reba!
not all true with the children thing. I was very tiny age 5 and would get 10 to 20 bite’s from mosquitoes. I still do even as an adult.
Maeliosa – I’m sorry. You must just have one of those other qualities in the list that mosquitoes are attracted to. Welcome to the mosquito bait group!
Yes it is one of the remedies for itching and it will not be greesy.
Being one of those on your list here….fill in the blanks, I fit all categories. I’m tired of being “lumpy”, itchy and miserable for weeks… Tried the stick deodorant and OMG it works. I did hear the orajel and haven’t tried it yet. But keeping the stick next to me works.
Patt…Yess!!! Good to know you landed on something that helps you. Will you be wearing a stick of deodorant on a chain around you neck this summer? 🙂
Most useful tips. Thanks.
s.venkatesan, you’re very welcome. Hope they help!
Coconut Oil Will Stop The Itch also
Kathy, it’s worth a try! Does it make you feel sticky or greasy?
Indeed, I am a mosquito magnet also….and they swell up and itch for a damn month!
Paula, I hear ya. I wonder if the Type 0 blood type theory is true?
We have many mosquitos in our yard and our granddaughter is always getting bitten. I have bought lemon balm and a lemon marigold and we still have them all around us on our deck. I looked at a lemon grass plant and it was ugly, gets too big for our area and I didn’t know where I would put it. I am thinking of getting rosemary and trying that but now have my doubts about any of these.
Hi Pat! I’m not able to determine which one plant has been the most effective because I planted a whole arsenal this spring! Because the little buggers eat me alive, I have lemon balm, lemon thyme, basil, rosemary, peppermint and spearmint. One of them, or the combination of all has really seemed to make a difference for me. My suggestion is that you just keep planting!! -Patti
I feel for you. Last week a friend said “I missed you at the bbq. We needed someone to distract all the mosquito’s.” Once i got so many bites i stopped counting at a hundred bites below my knees and that was using deet. If you’re near power, a fan is great. We use a box fan pointed at legs. best relief is orajel and oral benedryl. (I cut the tablet in thirds and just take a little.) I also like a super hot shower. I know, sounds crazy, but sometimes it works. Good luck.
Debbie, I am so that person your friend described! This summer when I’m not taking an hour long hot shower, I’ll be sitting on my deck with fans strapped to my body dosing up with Orajel and oral Benadryl. Thanks so much for the tips, and best wishes to you for a bite-free summer!