Organic methods of repelling mosquitos?

AdamM321(MA z5/6)June 15, 2005

Hi,

We have had a very wet spring and wet winter and the mosquitos are quite bad this year. Is there anything we can apply to the skin to repel mosquitos that is organic?

I already know about Avon Skin So Soft...and that worked ok for us in the past, but was not completely reliable. The other day in the yard, I rubbed Noxzema all over my arms and legs and I don't think I got bit, but I've only tried that once and would have to try it more to see if it consistently did the trick. I used it because it is so smelly.

Anyone have success with something else?

Thanks,

Adam

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lecorbeau(7b)

I used to us a product called Aussie Outback (I think), a very strong citronella based insect repellant. It worked.
Also, I don't know if it's considered organic or not (because it uses permethrin which I think is a synthetic form of pyrethrin), but Repel is a spray that you do not spray on your skin. You spray it on your clothes and let it dry, and it bonds with the fabric. Mosquitoes are killed when they land on it. It lasts up to two weeks and through several washings. You still have to use something else on the skin that's not covered by the clothes.
K.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 8:25AM
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sunflower71(z7 NC)

Burt's Bees makes a natural repellent with essential oils. Gaiam.com has Skeeter Skatter. I have used both of these products, and they work fine (and smell nice). They are kind of oily and you need to make sure you get good coverage.

This year, I decided to try a mosquito netting jacket so I wouldn't have to fool with applying repellent. I am sure it looks lovely (not), and it is hot, but that's also a non-chemical option to prevent mosquito bites. I got mine from the leevalley.com.

Shaila

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 9:46AM
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Termater(7bNC)

Havent found anything that works for more than 20 minutes, that seems to be the average for organic sprays as with citronella based sprays.
I have tried most of the sprays with not much success.

Heres what else I have tried so far:-

Have tried garlic wrapped inside a bandana, worked really well for keeping them away from my head but nobody wanted to talk with me, had to garden alone for a while.

Tried wearing long sleeves and pants, must have lost 10 pounds in the 96 degree heat. They seem to be more attracted to the sweat and got me through the clothes.

Planted Basil everywhere, supposed to repel skeeters, hmmm, no skeeters around the basil so thats good, maybe I can make clothes out of Basil?

Put up a Bat box to attract Bats but no luck yet.

Tried the skeeter magnets, two of them actually. They didnt seem to work so we sold them.

Score so far:-

Skeeters 84
Me 5

Here is a link that might be useful: my veggie page

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 10:20AM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

Thanks,

I have a Whole Foods near me, I suppose they may have the Burt's Bee product. I would like something that doesn't smell like citronella, I usually enjoy pungent herbal scents like lavender but I just hate citronella smell.

I did find on a google search, a product called Skeeterdefense, which is a patch that releasess lemon scented fragrance and claims to offer protection for up to 6hrs. You can stick it on a picnic table or chair or clothing or even on skin. But it is also a citronella based product Is that what someone was referring to?

I couldn't find Ausie Outback in a google search. I did find an article on the subject that I found interesting which I attach.

Adam

Here is a link that might be useful: Natural Mosquito Repellents

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 11:02AM
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byron(4a/5b NH)

None Better

Here is a link that might be useful: DF

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 12:33PM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

Are you suggesting dragonflies for the mosquitos? How would a person get dragonflies? It's not like you can buy them like lady bugs and release. Then they wouldn't eat ALL the mosquitos, and all you need is one bite to get West Nile, so you still have to protect yourself with some kind of repellent.

Adam

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 12:47PM
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byron(4a/5b NH)

Adam

Number one is no broad spectrum pesticdes for about 3 years

The sound of Dragon fly wings makes skeeters leave the area.

There is a battery operated device that makes a noise like dragonfly wings. I have seen this work.

Byron

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 8:51PM
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apcohrs(z5 IL)

Well, I have the solution. Costs a bunch though.

The Mosquito Magnets really and truely work. They are gas powered and attract and trap mosquitos, dehydrating them in a net. You can get them at Home Depot or Ace Hardware, etc. Unfortunately, $$$$. Ours covers our acre and cost about $500. I think the price is down a bit this year.

I'm out in the yard for hours a day and I have not even HEARD a mosquito yet this year.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 12:32AM
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Organic_johnny(z6b SEPA)

The stuff I use is called "Neem Protect", which is for animals but labeled as safe for human use. It repels ticks as well, which are a big problem in our neck of the woods. Lasts several hours on humans, longer on animals that don't sweat. Also works well sprayed on a big silly straw hat.

A truly organic solution is crushed lemon thyme and lemon balm. Both are smushed up and rubbed on the skin (you can't just plant them by the patio). This works pretty well for mosquitos, smells nice, and if it's lemon balm is alarmingly easy to grow (can be a bit overaggressive in the garden). I don't think these will repel ticks however... that's why the neem is added to the spray.

Here is a link that might be useful: Neem Protect Spray

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 3:49AM
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pamcleod(z4 NH Lakes)

Here in NH we use a product called "Crocodile!" for our son - it works well but it really greasy (probably why it works). You have to mail order it in most areas.

The mosquito magnets do work for us - we used one for 2 years and it got millions of bugs, unfortunately it broke this year and we haven't yet figured out how to fix it.

There is also a new line of clothing called Buzz Off, made by Orvis and sold by LL Bean, REI, Orvis, and other stores. They put pyrethrins in the fabric; while it only lasts for 25 washings, it really does work. We have one hat of this type - figuring it would need to be washed a lot less often than a t-shirt - and my husband and I fight over it constantly. Obviously, we need to order another!

Pam

Here is a link that might be useful: Crocodile

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 9:47PM
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penelopea(6/7)

When we were at the cottage a couple of weeks ago sitting around the fire pit, the skeeters were out in full force. At someone's suggestion, I tried rubbing vinegar on my skin. Worked for me. Though I don't know how long the effect would last. And it made everyone around me hungry 'cause I reminded them of fish and chips!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 10:17PM
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PrairieDaisie(7/ Great Plains)

I've heard people say that if you eat a lot of garlic it helps, but Dh and I eat the same amount - a LOT *laugh*- and he gets bitten a good deal more than I do, so I'm not convinced....I think I will try the vinegar. It does so many other things! I'll be out trimming tree sized bushes. *smile*

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 11:03PM
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lecorbeau(7b)

Yesterday evening, I tried something called "Repel Lemon Eucalyptus" which is a lotioin that claims to repel mosquitos and deer ticks for up to 6 hours. The active ingredient is 30% lemon eucalyptus, Eucalyptrus citriodora.
I worked very well for me last night - very strong scent even kept the bugs away from my clothes. But I wasn't out more than an hour, so can't say how long it actually lasts. The container says not to apply it more than twice in one day.
The added benefit was that it was cooling to the skin, the way eucalyptus cough drops make your throat cool.
Don't know if you'd like the scent though as it's similar to citronella.
The company website is
http://www.repel.com
I've posted the MSDS page below.
K.

Here is a link that might be useful: Repel Lemon Eucalyptus MSDS

    Bookmark   June 19, 2005 at 8:17AM
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phann100

Surprised no one has brought this solution to the mosquito problem up yet, here in Dallas we use a spray that can be used on babies (my nieces) no ill effects, dogs and you as well as spray the deck or the neighborhood. full strength 1 T orange oil, 1T vanilla 1 cup of water. You can make it weaker if you like until it is no longer effective but it will last 6-8 hrs. I've been using it for 2 years all summer, all my 4 sisters and their kids swear by it. It works . Try it, Phil in Dallas

    Bookmark   June 19, 2005 at 8:31AM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

Boy, lots of good suggestions here. Lots of ideas of things to try. I do want to try the least toxic ideas first.

Phil in Dallas....where do you find orange oil? Think I could find it at the pharmacy? That sounds like a totally non toxic idea and such a great testimonial to it too. I think I want to try that first.

I also have some lemon balm in my yard and will try rubbing that on my skin too.

Thanks to all...can always count on lots of good ideas here.

:-)
Adam

    Bookmark   June 19, 2005 at 9:56AM
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phann100

Orange oil is available at all organic nurserys and some feed stores .It is cold pressed orange peel and should be available online through many vendors it runs about $16 a qt but you don't use much and we use it here to kill fireants. marshallgrain.com has it on the web and you need to find it under "organic products"

    Bookmark   June 19, 2005 at 6:57PM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

Thanks Phil for that explanation. I will look for it.
:-)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 4:59AM
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vlatheist

Say, the orange oil and vanilla sounds like it would smell pretty good.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 1:54PM
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madorley(NY mid HV z5/6)

I"ve read reports in two magazines (maybe Consurmer Reports and Health?) that Lemon Eucalyptus is AS effective as deet products. Effects last about two hours minimum.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 2:55PM
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Ratherbgardening(PNW 7 or 8)

Here's one I heard about today, but I have no experience with it.
I use SSSTing Stop by Boericke & Taffel, for bites and to repel.

Here is a link that might be useful: Repellant

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 1:03PM
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jcordette(z7 GA)

Phil,

By vanilla, you mean the vanilla extract that you bake with right? or vanilla oil for making perfume, candles, and pot pouri?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 12:36PM
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mid_tn_mama(6)

When I worked at a camp, we showered and washed our hair with head and shoulders or other generic dandruff shampoo. It worked! Had no problems with ticks either.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 4:09PM
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phann100

The Vanilla I use is Adams best imitation but my wife found a cheaper (I think) large bottle of vanilla at Sam's club. I think you can use any kind of vanilla extract as long as it is strong enough. It is working like a champ around here and the added benefit is that you do smell good, sort of like an angel food cake . Phil in Dallas

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 8:14AM
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mdk3000(z6 WestchstrNY)

PhilinDallas: "1 T orange oil, 1T vanilla 1 cup of water." Forgive my ignorance but what do you mean 1T? What does the T stand for teaspoon? tablespoon? BTW I assume you mix this up and put it in a spray bottle and mist yourself? Thanks because this sounds very interesting and of course noncarcenogenic.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 1:43PM
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jcordette(z7 GA)

T = Tablespoon
t = teaspoon

This is for cooking/baking. It may not hold true for homemade pesticide manufacture ;)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 9:07AM
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lecorbeau(7b)

Ratherbgardening, when my children were small and we lived in Hawaii (12 years ago), we belonged to an organic grocery cooperative. That is where we bought the Aussie Outback repellant I mentioned earlier in this thread. I had totally forgotten about SSSTing Stop! We used to use that after being bitten and it helped for sure. I don't know if they've changed it to be a repellant as well, or if it always was and I just didn't realize it.

Madorley, I read on the Repel Lemon Eucalyptus site that lemon eucalyptus is the only product other than DEET that the CDC recommends as effective for repelling insects.

I was mistaken in calling the permethrin product "Repel." That is the one you spray on your clothes and let dry before wearing them. Repel is the company for that one, too. The product name is actually Repel Permanone: Clothing and Gear Insect Repellant.

Midtnmama, I wonder if Head and Shoulders would be considered organic? (No opinion, just asking.)

Carolinakate

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 8:17PM
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Termater(7bNC)

OK Phil,
I am going to the store tomorrow and buying Orange oil and Vanilla, gotta try something, the skeeters are driving me insane!!!

Skeeters 347
Me 8

Here is a link that might be useful: My veggie blog

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 10:22PM
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phann100

Termater: let me know how the solution works for you I am still red bump free as of three weeks and I'm around em all the time

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 6:44PM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

Hi,

I am in Massachusetts, and haven't been able to find any orange oil yet. I tried the only organic nursery I know of. I looked on Google..

Some of the info is a little confusing. This reference mentions that is should be used with gloves because it can be an effective solvent?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Orange Essential Oil, Brazil
Recipes
INCI = Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil
Orange essential oil is probably my most favorite because it has so many uses. Orange is used in many products for its light, refreshing scent. Orange, like other citrus oils, is a very volatile top note. Top notes evaporate faster than other fragrances and are often used at a higher rates. Use gloves when working with orange oil because it is a very effective solvent. Orange is also a unverisal blending scentwhich mixes with just about everything!

Cold pressed product of Brazil.

302-5010 5 mL Orange Essential, Brazil $2.00
302-5012 1 fl oz Orange Essential, Brazil $3.00
302-5013 4 fl oz Orange Essential, Brazil $4.00
302-5014 8 fl oz Orange Essential, Brazil $6.00
302-5015 16 fl oz Orange Essential, Brazil $8.00
302-5016 80 fl oz Orange Essential, Brazil $36.00
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Another place I read it is used in an oil for massage.

I am wondering if I could make something effective with raw orange peel? I have a juicer, I wonder if I could put it through that and soak the resulting ground up peel in a small amount of water and the vanilla and then put it through a seive to get the right consistency?

Adam

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 4:47AM
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lecorbeau(7b)

How about this one.
http://www.wildroots.com/orange-oil-sweet-p-1200.html

Here is a link that might be useful: cold-pressed orange oil

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 3:53PM
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Termater(7bNC)

Phann100,

I tried the orange oil and vanilla, sorry to say that it didnt work and I got torn up today by the little buggers, I actually have huge welts on my arms from them.

Frustrated in NC :(

But I smell really good :)

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 5:45PM
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habitat_gardener(z9 CA/Sunset15)

OK, Termater, here are 2 more suggestions.

I've successfully used essential oil of lavender as a mosquito repellent (while camping without mosquito netting in an area with a healthy mosquito population). I haven't used it for a while, because we don't have many mosquitoes here.

The Bugman (entomologist Richard Fagerlund, who writes the syndicated Ask the Bugman newspaper column) recommends a catnip product, which he claims is as effective as deet and lasts 2 hours. He says "catnip, in my opinion, is the best alternative to pesticides in repelling mosquitoes (and my cats love to be carried around when I am wearing it). One distributor of catnip mosquito repellent is http://www.insectrepel.com/.";

Another strategy is to use an herbal salve on the bites as soon as they occur. This has worked for me because I feel the bites as they are occurring; if you notice them only after the reaction has occurred, this may not work for you. I've used a homemade salve made from comfrey, calendula, chickweed, and larrea in a base of olive oil and beeswax. I have watched bites begin to swell, applied the salve, and watched them go away (along with the itch).

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 7:47PM
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Termater(7bNC)

Habitat Gardener,

I have catnip growing in the garden, I can try making my own catnip oil.
I dont notice the bites until later on, then they welt up and start itching.
One quick remedy to stop the itching is to dab a little Tom's mouthwash on the sting. Stops right away.
Of course coming back in the house with thirty bites (not kidding here, the skeeters are thick out there) I have to bathe in the stuff.

Even our neighbours who use DEET products are getting bitten so maybe we have Genetically Engineered Skeeters. Please tell me no because that means that the county gets to spray overhead with pesticides.

Cant imagine me going to the builders supply store smelling of Lavender, everyone is called Bubba in there :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Mosquito Woes

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 11:30PM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

Gee Termater, that is discouraging the orange oil didn't work for you. I hadn't gotten any yet and not sure I will bother. I have actually been trying Noxzema on my skin before I go out as it is the smelliest thing I could think of..lol. It slows them down a little, and doesn't last long but gives me a little relief.

I used to have a bunch of lavender in the yard but it didn't come back after the winter before last due to the strange dry/cold winter we had. I used to have a catnip plant but the cats in the neighborhood killed it rolling all over it. [g]

Termater, have you smelled lavender? It actually isn't girly or flowery. It is pretty astringent smelling and many girls don't even like the smell.

That article on Mosquito Woes was hysterical! It had me laughing out loud. They must have a lot of mosquitos in Maine, as that man thought about mosquitos, Waaaayy too much!!

Adam

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 6:56AM
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lecorbeau(7b)

Why don't you try the lemon eucalyptus product I mentioned above? It works, and the MSDS doesn't look any worse than the one for orange oil.
K.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 4:34PM
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acjazz28(z8 TX)

I have peppermint, lemon balm and lemon thyme growing in my garden (all in containers :)). When I'm out tending to my veggie and tea garden, I pull up a sprig of peppermint and rub it over my hands and arms, and mosquitos leave me alone. Unfortunately the last time I did this, I had sandals on and I forgot to put the peppermint on the top of my feet. I got a couple of bites, but using a drop of tea tree essential oil took the sting and itch away instantly.

I just recently bought some Neem essential oil and I plan to mix that with my lemon balm, lemon thyme, peppermint and some water to make my own mosquito repellant. Wish me luck!

acjazz28 :D

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 4:48PM
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Termater(7bNC)

OK all, heres the latest on the war on skeeters.

Phils concotion of orange oil and vanilla needed a little something so here was the experiment as the spray was not "sticking" to the skin. I figured it was because the orange oil and water dont mix, makes sense huh!

Anyway, mix the 1 TBS of Orange oil with 3 TBS of soybean oil then mix with 1 cup of water and add the 1 TBS of vanilla and pour into the spray bottle. It doesnt separate this way, although a little shaking doesnt hurt.

Worked like a charm this way, lasted about three hours then I had to reapply, OK I had to jump in the pool as it was so hot today, then I reapplied.

The orange oil was bought at the health food store, cost $11 the organic soybean oil $4 and Organic Vanilla $5

Smile on my face..................Priceless

Thanks Phil :)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 7:20PM
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fairy_toadmother

cut down on eating bananas. there has been some study that you attract more mosquitos within such and such time of eating bananas. now, obviously this isn't full proof! there are also other foods to cut back on. i will try to find it and repost.

i had lemon balm in my yard, and i could have swore they mosquitos were using it for a cool spot! then again, you know my yard!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 10:37PM
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habitat_gardener(z9 CA/Sunset15)

I'd be interested in seeing the banana study.

I stopped eating bananas when I lived in a house with cats and discovered that I got more flea bites, which lasted longer (itched day and night for up to 4 days!) and were bigger (larger welts), when I ate bananas. No bananas, and the reaction was minimal (tiny welts that still itched, but only for a few hours, and I could sleep at night!). I inadvertently tested this by drinking one of the Odwalla juice blends with bananas a few times, and the severe reaction recurred every time.

Having lived with dogs or cats most of my life, I've caught a lot of fleas as they were biting me because I can feel the bites immediately. The fleas at home are controlled, but I still get flea bites if someone who has a cat or dog at home enters the room...any fleas on the "carrier" immediately head for me.

It's been years since I've lived in an area with lots of mosquitoes, though.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 11:00PM
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bpgreen(5UT)

Not to rain on anybody's parade, but I've always considered snopes to be the best site for ferreting out truths, halftruths and falsehoods.

Repell tell

Joy of Outdoors

If using something you read in an email makes you feel better, then by all means use it. If you want to ensure that mosquitos won't bite you, buy some deet.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 12:05AM
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eibren(z6PA)

There is a little keychain gadget on the market (requires a battery) that makes a buzzing noise only mosquitos can hear which supposedly repels them. One year I was so desperate I wore it on my straw hat, dangling down like Minnie Pearl's price tag. (A deet repellant sprayed on the underside of a wide-brim straw hat helps a lot, too, as the predatorial no-see-ums around here seem to aim for the highest spot)

I keep losing mine, but it did seem to help. I think the buzzing is supposed to sound like a dragonfly, as another poster mentioned.

I got mine at BJ's, which stocks most of the same things Sam's Club (associated with Wal Mart) does.

That, plus the orange and vanilla potion, might do the trick.

I find even Deet is not foolproof when the mosquitos are hungry enough.

(I had a Chinese coolie-type hat several years ago which also protected my head quite well. The no-see-ums would attack the bottom of the hat rather than my face. I really respect Chinese organic technology. I hope they don't lose it during their rapid industrialization.)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 2:19AM
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lecorbeau(7b)

bpgreen,
DEET is not the only choice thing recommended by CDC.

Here is a link that might be useful: CDC press release

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 8:14AM
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Termater(7bNC)

I thought that this was an Organic forum, whats the point or growing produce organically then buying non-organic pesticides and promoting the chemical industry.

How many people on here are truly organic?

OK I will start a new thread as I am really curious now.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 10:48AM
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marymd7

This is an organic GARDENING forum. Deet is obviously not an organic mosquito repellent, but it shouldn't be shocking to see it mentioned here since it is obviously the standard against which the effectiveness of organic repellents will tend to be measured.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 2:08PM
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lms327(z5a NH)

We used Bite Blocker last year and it worked very well. I bought more for this year.

Lisa

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 2:46PM
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lecorbeau(7b)

Is lemon eucalyptus organic?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 7:53PM
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fairy_toadmother

the debate begins! here is one link that i will let all decide whether it is legit.

as for me, i usually get eaten alive. for some reason, maybe all our dry weather, i have not been bothered much. maybe i am just not outside at the right times.

Here is a link that might be useful: attractors

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 8:02PM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

Hi,

I saw a product in the health food store called Bite Guard Jr. It is supposed to be safe for kids and is made by a company called Botanical Solutions.

Here are the ingredients:

Geraniol 7%
Peppermint Oil .6%
Potassium Sorbate .4%
Citric Acid .1%
Water 89%
Lecithin 2%

It claims these are all natural botanical ingredients.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?
Adam

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 9:58AM
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Termater(7bNC)

Adam,

Unfortunately not everything "natural" is organic and not everything "organic" is natural.

If my math is right (usually not though) there is something else in there to make it to 100% unless a . is in the wrong place. A lot of "natural" products use inert ingredients which will disqualify them from becoming organically certified.

Lecithin is derived from Soy beans, up until early 2004 there were not enough organic soy beans to make organic Lecithin so unless its labeled organic its probability of being GMO is quite high considering the soybean production globally.

Geraniol is patented by the University of Florida and is licensed to Naturale, LTD, which is located in Great Neck, NY. Again, doubtful if its organic, mostly harvested from geraniums and roses.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 11:23PM
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cooking_in_texas

Here we have Lowe's Home Improvement and they have an organic section in their garden department - Organic Orange Oil is sold there. This year I have 3 fully mature catnip plants that I planted to discourage other insects - I'm thinking they may be a partial reason we have had so many fewer mosquitoes than before - of course weather contributes a lot to that too. I also have a mosquito magnet - anyone want to buy it? I resent being held hostage in my home by mosquitoes in the summertime. After living on the PNW on the beach for many years I was spoiled - but then I didn't grow my own red, ripe 'maters either. Life's a conundrum.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 7:38PM
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annafl(z9b/10a Sarasota)

cooking,

Did your mosquito magnet not work well? Was it not worth what you thought it would be?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 10:37PM
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urthshaper(z3 alberta, Can)

Catnip and soybean oil are effective ingredients in some non deet bug repellant. I can offer my own anecdotal evidence, that I found it as effective as off, but I did notice we had to reapply more often (2 hrs-ish). (Not a hardship because it doesn't have that heavy duty reek that I find deet does.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2005 at 3:21AM
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fairy_toadmother

here is a curious observation: i have grown catnip and lemon balm. both of these claim to have mosquito repellant qualities. however, if i brush against these in the morning i have had clouds of mosquitos fly out of them, as they used them for shade or whatever. so, it is necessary to make tinctures or bruising to release the essential oil in order to repell them?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2005 at 5:34PM
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acjazz28(z8 TX)

I tried my repellant spray this weekend, and it worked like a charm. I took a sprig of peppermint from my garden and put it in a spray bottle with these ingredients:

peppermint oil (for extra kick :))
neem oil
tea tree oil
water

Wherever I sprayed, I didn't get bit.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 6:12AM
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Violet_Z6(6a)

Great thread! Please, if something from this page really worked for you, please post to confirm.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 4:35AM
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byron(4a/5b NH)

An observation

The 2 light round kitchen fluorscent light set up.

Make the smaller bulb a kitchen/bath type and the outer one a cool white.

Skeets were drawn to this combination and something kills them

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 10:17AM
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Termater(7bNC)

Violet,

I have tried all the methods posted on here and have been enduring about 20-30 bites per day in my research, ouch!!

Anyway, the best thing by far is CATNIP. I even put my own plants in the garden so I can make my own spray. The ingredient in the catnip that skeeters dont like is nepatalactone, nobody can figure out why they do not like it but its more effective than DEET.

Heres the skinny on it.

Catnip. . . who would have thought that this unassuming little plant, that drives cats wild, would be one of the most powerful natural insect repellants?

And, after all, you are looking for ways to be able to enjoy outdoor living again, right?

Known by the Latin name, Nepata cataria,it is a member of the mint family that is a native perenneal in Eastern Europe, now naturalized throughout the United States.

In the United States, it is a short lived perenneal often grown as an annual. It is extremely easy to grow. It is well known for its allure to cats It grows to about 3 feet, if the neighborhood felines don't wallow in your plants.

It thrives in well drained soil, and reseeds quite easily, so it borders on weed status in most places.

Bees love the nectar from the insignificant purple flowers. As gardening goes, this is at the top of the scale for easy.

All part of the plant that grow above ground are used in preparing dried treats for feline pets.

The essential components of the plants are nepatalactone,nepatalic acid, nepatalic anhydride, citrol, limonene, dispentine, greaniol, citronella, nerol, -caryophyllene and valeric acid. It also contains volatile oils, acids, tannins and steriods.

It has a long history of culinary usecalming teamedicine, it has been used as a mild sedative, to combat spasms, and as a digestive aid.

When the fresh leaves are crushed, catnip releases a very pungent aroma.

It is very easy to grow large stands of catnip, as it has no serious plant diseases or pests that plague it. Unlike some other plants, the essential oils are very potent, even when used fresh.

Interestingly, the oil has been used as bait to trap bobcats and mountain lions.

Recently, the American Chemical Society presented findings from a study at the University of Iowa.

Catnip is not only good for keeping your cats happy, it is an extremely effective natural mosquito repellant. In testing it was found to be ten times as effective as DEET.

These findings were inspired by earlier work which revealed that cockroaches strongly dislike catnip's primary component: nepatalactone.

The same research team, Chris Peterson and Joel Coates, tried testing the oil on mosquitoes. They found that mosquitoes were more likely to avoid catnip oil than DEET.

Using the Aedes egypti mosquito, known to transmit both yellow fever and West Nile virus, they experimented with the use of nepatalactone as a natural mosquito repellant.

The pair put 20 mosquitoes into a tube, half of which was coated with catnip oil. After ten minutes, only 20% of the mosquitoes remained on the treated side.

When the same experiment was conducted with a comparable dose of DEET, 40-45% of the mosquitoes remained on the treated side.

The researchers expect other mosquito species to react in the same manner. Right now, no one knows why mosquitoes are repelled by the oil, only that they are.

It is safe to say that catnip oil has come out of the folk remedy arena and into mainstream science.

The essential oil is available commercially. As essential oils go, it is fairly expensive, but the bottle lasts a long time. And, for something which may serve as a natural mosquito repellan and repels roaches too, it is well worth it.

Some people make their own infusion with fresh leaves.

To make your own, take a couple of handfuls of the leaves and flowers, place the washed leaves in a non-reactive saucepan.

Cover with olive oil and heat over low heat for about 15 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to even come close to boiling.

Remove from heat, cover and let stand overnight. Strain and store the oil in the refrigerator.

Test a small amount on a small patch of skin. Wait 15 minutes to see if a reaction develops.

If you are not allergic to it, you have a great defense to the skeeters.

Happy gardening once again :)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 1:22PM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

Thanks for that info. I would love to grow Nepeta, but the cats in the neighborhood have killed every plant I tried, rolling all over it. How do others grow this plant without this happening?

Adam

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 4:39PM
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annafl(z9b/10a Sarasota)

So, is the consensus that catnip plants themselves are not repellent? That the leaves need to be crushed and heated with oil to make the repellent? Also, I suppose that any oil would be ok. I prefer not to smell like olive oil.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 10:26PM
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Termater(7bNC)

Adam,

Can you put a chicken wire cage over and around the catnip to stop the cats getting ino it? Well worth growing it.

AnnaFl,

I have found that after cooking the olive oil with the leaves and flowers that after spraying, I dont smell like Olive Oil just a little minty :)

I also crushed a bunch of leaves and flowers, mixed with safer soap and sprayed the perimeter of my property, seems to have knocked the skeeter population down quite considerably too.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 10:36PM
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kris(8b)

I'm not sure if this is technically considered an organic or not but I recently bought OFF Botanicals comes in a light green bottle and was with the other repellents in my grocery store. It is made with "an extract from eucalyptus" and says it will repel misquitoes and a whole mess of other critters including chiggers which I hate. I haven't used it yet so I can't personally recommend it.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 9:42PM
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bpgreen(5UT)

This probably won't be particularly popular here, but snopes is a well respected site for hoax busting, and they have this to say about home remedies for mosquito repellants.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 10:07PM
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Termater(7bNC)

Didnt mention Catnip though. Dont think they will as its already been proven 10 times more effective than DEET.

Yippee!!!!!!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 10:21AM
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Todd_In_Texas(Zone 8A Dallas)

I subscribe to Consumer Reports magazine and online and in their recent August 2005 issue they compared a mosquito repellent made from oil of lemon eucalyptus (Repel) to Deet.

They used caged mosquitoes and found that the lemon eucalyptus oil prevented bites longer than Deet... for up to 12 hours. The article also said that lemon eucalyptus oil mosquito repellent was also recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

I've been looking for an alternative to Deet for our 2 yr old and am looking forward to using this. However, I've had no luck finding this specific product in stores so far... oh well.

-Todd

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 11:05AM
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bpgreen(5UT)

"Didnt mention Catnip though. Dont think they will as its already been proven 10 times more effective than DEET.

Yippee!!!!!!"

I suspect that this is a response to my post of the info on snopes.

Assuming that is the case, I'll reply with a synopsis of what they try to do at snopes.com and why your comment about catnip doesn't really have any bearing.

I consider Snopes to be a very highly regarded site for information on internet hoaxes. They get inundated with emails, links to websites, etc, and they research them to determine whether the claims are true or not. They then post their findings (if you visit their site, you'll see many items marked true).

They were responding to a much forwarded email with lots of home remedies in it. They debunked the remedies found in the email.

They're not anti-organic, and, in fact, if an email started making the rounds about catnip, they would examine the facts behind it and report what they discovered. If they found that catnip is a better mosquito deterrent than DEET, they would say so. Since catnip wasn't mentioned in the email they debunked, they didn't address it.

Does that mean catnip is better than DEET and the only reason they didn't mention it is that they love DEET?

No.

It means that catnip wasn't mentioned in the email they debunked.

If they start receiving emails claiming that catnip is 10 times more effective than DEET, I'm sure they'll look into that and report their findings. Be prepared to be disappointed, though (or vindicated). I consider them to be "agnostic" in their approach. They don't care which is the right answer. They only care what is the right answer.

If you feel strongly that catnip is 10 times better than DEET, send the folks at snopes some info along those lines. I'm much more likely to believe it if I read it on snopes than if I read it on a forum that is guaranteed to be biased against any chemical answer.

Don't misunderstand me. I support organic methods. I just think it's important to be honest.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 9:54PM
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kris(8b)

There are also these machines that emit carbon dioxide, which attracts mosqitoes and then it zaps them. My FIL lives in FL lake front and he says it really works. I tend to believe floridians when It comes to mosquito techniques, Ive lived in MA and FL and FL wins hands down for agressive constant and all over you mosquitoes.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 11:01PM
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Louisiana_botanist(8 Baton RougeLA)

Here in south Louisiana, we have a simple solution....spray spray spray....both ground and aerial assault at 200 ft msl. Not too comforting when BBQing out back and a plane flys above spaying organophosphate or when I am working in a gardens and a mosquito fogger truck drives by. Just breath deeply and kiss those beneficial insects and mosquitos good by!!! Given up on installing ladybugs and predatory wasps in my gardens. Mosquito spraying kills them dead and thus waste my money.

Found this website a few days ago. They sell a number of anti-mosquito products. One is called mosquito barrier made with garlic. Spray in on the veg in your lawn. Haven't tried it yet, but want to order some next month and give it a try. If you order some before I do, please let me know how it works.

As for sprays for the body...haven't found any of the name brands effective when working in the bottomland hardwood forests or swamps of south Louisiana or Mississippi. Mosquitos come back for seconds within 10 minutes of application.

Here is a link that might be useful: Biocontrol Network

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 6:42PM
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bpgreen(5UT)

I found the following on CNN.com:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added new repellents to guidelines in 2005. Along with DEET products, advice now includes repellents with the chemical picaridin or the plant-based oil of lemon eucalyptus. The CDC reports that studies show picaridin is "often comparable with DEET products of similar concentration" and oil of lemon eucalyptus provides protection "similar to low-concentration DEET products."

So there is at least one organic substitute for DEET that is recognized by the CDC.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 7:33PM
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lecorbeau(7b)

Bpgreen, I hate to seem rude, but I am beginning to feel invisible or something. You would have learned that little bit of information you just gave us all a few weeks sooner if you had read the posts on this thread before posting your own. It has been mentioned by myself, more than once, by madorley, and by Todd in Texas, a few of these times specifically in response to your posts.

I do realize that it is not what Adam is looking for since it has the citronella smell which he says he wants to avoid.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 11:44PM
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MoJoJoJo(z6)

Has the orange oil mix worked for anyone who has a heavy Asian Tiger mosquito problem?? The Bite Blocker I bought worked last year but not so well this year. I haven't had any luck with catnip tinctures or mixes either.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2005 at 1:51PM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

Sorry MoJoJoJo,

I never did try the orange oil as I had trouble finding any and by then, our mosquito population was a lot lower. We have one of those mosquito magnets and the driest summer I can remember which may have contributed. Wish I had a suggestion.

Adam

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 3:13PM
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luvs2plant(z9 TX)

Link below is an article on WebMD about catnip as a mosquito repellant....

I found the statement (in the article) about wearing long sleeves as an effective deterrant hilarious. We get mosquitos so thick at times, they'll fly in your mouth (when you open it to curse) & up your nose, no exaggeration. Now, I'm a true believer in organic living, but honey, when it gets that bad, it's time to pull out the heavy artillery, i.e. the county planes!

Here is a link that might be useful: Catnip

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 7:36AM
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honu(z11 HI)

Todd in Texas, Amazon merchant has it (see link below).
Kris, we have one of those machines (Mosquito Magnet from Costco). It's very effective, but very expensive, and you have to keep refilling the propane tank (which is also very expensive here). Also, you have to plug it in to a power source.

Here is a link that might be useful: Repel Lemon Eucalyptus

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 3:37AM
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confounded

I used some lemon eucalyptus lotion. It gave me a pretty bad headache. I would certainly not be able to eat wearing it, but I was avoided by ALL bugs. Really. The bees and wasps in the flower garden left while I was there. This was very helpful since working in the flower garden while it is covered in wasps is a little less peaceful than I am looking for. I really felt like the top dog, all the bugs standing back until I was out of the area. Still the headache after a few hours was on the edge of migraine. I know I get that from eucalyptus so no surprises there.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 8:45AM
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MoJoJoJo(z6)

I finally broke down and bought a screened tent so my kids can go outside and play some. It really is getting ultra obnoxious. I spoke with a mosquito scientist and he said these asian tiger mosquitos are like no other mosquitos and are ruthless and difficult to manage.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 12:17PM
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batyabeth

On another thread, I found out that BOUNCE dryer sheets, unscented, rubbed over exposed skin and hanging out of various pockets, will deter the nastiest skeeters, and the US Postal service has all of their mailpersons use the unscented bounce to deter yellowjackets. They actually give out office directives to do so!!!!! This product is very expensive where I live but a box would probably last quite some time. Anybody out there who has done this? Results?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 1:41PM
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catkin(UDSA Zone 8)

bumping

    Bookmark   June 25, 2006 at 4:51PM
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cochiseaz8(az 8)

Has anyone on this thread mentioned getting rid of all stagnant or standing water on or around your property???because thats where skeeters grow and proliferate.. Tires, puddles, birdbaths, water features, fountains,,, any standing water for longer than 48 hrs is suspect, Personally, They have been found growing in my toilet after a 3 day weekend,,, A wonderful (and organic) product BT (bacillus thuringencius) is quit effective in eliminating all larval on slaught,, a by-produst of slaughter,,, ie,, cow gut, full of enzymes which shut down an insects digestive system there-by starving them to death. But neighbors don't always follow this standard, which leads me to the use of eucalyptus, mint, and lemon oil, and drop or two of neem in a pint bottle. I also spray it on the tomatoes for fungal diseases... we find it quite effective, even during the monsoons,, good luck

    Bookmark   June 25, 2006 at 8:10PM
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noinwi

I grow catnip, stuff fresh leaves into a jar, fill with cheap vodka and let it sit for about a week, replacing the leaves with fresh leaves, and adding vodka as needed. I pour a little of the liquid into a spray bottle, add water and spray myself down before going outside. This year I'm adding peppermint leaves and lemon balm leaves to the mix. This works for an hour or two, depending on the strength. Some days nothing works, not even deet, it seems, but I get sick when I use deet, and I don't mind getting the catnip spray on my skin. I've tried the picaridin spray and it doesn't work as well as deet, and it smells like dirty socks.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2006 at 12:29AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi,

Thanks for resurrecting this post. Mosquitoes have arrived here in the past week or so and they are brutal. This weekend we were outside covered from head to toe and still managed to get bit. They were even trying to bite through jeans.

I have been reading up on asian tiger mosquitoes, which I am pretty sure is what we have. They are out all day and night in sun and shade. I have learned a lot that I didn't know. Town spraying programs don't kill them. They can breed in 24 hours in a container as small as a bottle cap, and have a new mosquito up and biting in a week that lives for a month.
Time to get serious about keeping these pests out of the yard. I am tempted to copy the linked article and put it in all the mailboxes in our neighborhood. Only hesitation is that most people haven't a concern about organic methods, and will just pick up a can of Deet.

If anyone has success with anything against these tiger mosquitoes, please share.

Thanks
:-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Tiger mosquitoes new urban pest

    Bookmark   June 26, 2006 at 7:19AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

There is a second post on the forums in which Repel with Lemon Eucalyptus is discussed. Here is a review I found on the product, linked below. It would appear there is a pesticide in the spray, not just eucalyptus oil. One that doesn't require regulation by the EPA evidently.

Here is a link that might be useful: Review of Repel Lemon Eucalyptus spray

    Bookmark   June 26, 2006 at 7:35AM
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herbalmaster

After reading 100s of replys, I find no one knows about the 100% effective homemade mixture that lasts the longest that I have been outdoors in FL (4hours). For over 10yrs, I use 75% Neem oil, and 25% catnip oil. I'd use more catnip, but it's too expensive. Due to costs, I think I will try adding 20% Lemon Eucalyptus oil and reduce catnip to 20% and Neem to 60%. I'm a real old herbalist, and stuff has gotta be effective for me to use it. If one person finds this not effective, please let me know.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 1:07AM
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glenfawnmary(8 NacogdochesTX)

I have used Bounce "Outdoor Fresh Scent" for several years. I'm cheap so I cut 1 sheet in 4 pieces and pin one on each sleeve and each side of my shorts or pants leg or dress...whatever I have on [just something in the calf area]. I don't have any problems and sometimes I am out for 4 hours at a time. The smell is extremely strong and sometimes if I remember to get them off before I wash my clothes, I still use them in the dryer....like I said, I'm cheap!! I store them in 2 zip lock bags because they smell so strong to me. Don't know how "organic" that is but I'm not having to put anything directly on my skin and that works for me. Good luck..Mary

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 1:23AM
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reverse

In regards to Louisiana_botanist and anyone else interested in the effectiveness of Mosquito Barrier...

I purchased two bottles of this to help combat the army of mosquitos that we had just in our backyard. The first application I added a little more of the product than needed but we had severe mosquitos. The product claims to also repel fleas and ticks which is a plus since we have two dogs.

I applied the stuff with a sprayer following instructions and sprayed entire yard and some of the tree near our patio. Once you apply it, your yard will smell like garlic for an hour or two so be sure to spray it in a way so you don't step on the grass that was just sprayed (I sprayed it walking backwards) so I didn't track the smell in the house. The next night we went to see how well it did, surprisingly enough it worked well. Instead of getting bit 8 times while constantly moving around for 2-3 minutes, I didn't get bit at all for 5 minutes while even standing still but I did see at least one mosqutio while out.

It lasts for a good while so long as there isn't a heavy rain or you water the lawn more than once a week. General application would typically last 2-3 weeks for me due to needing to water at least twice a week and/or rain. The "barrier" tends to be breached by a few mosquitos as each day passes until they increase in numbers where you notice them again and need to spray a second application.

Since I used to live in New Orleans I know how bad mosquitos can be there but I would say you will definately see a difference after using this. The cause of my mosquito problem was due to a neighbor with a water fountain in the backyard that had lots of standing water. Now that they have let it just dry out, I have 1/10 the mosquitos I had before and haven't needed to spray anything in over a month.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 6:51PM
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sedgehammer

Avon's

Skin-So-Soft

    Bookmark   September 2, 2006 at 5:39PM
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