SKEETERS! itchy, itchy! why am I so tastey?!?

gardeningwithlcgrace(7 Delaware)July 12, 2006

I'm tryin desperately not to scratch...I'm the type of person that gets the huge, hot, red welts. I'm just soo tastey to these things! They are the little guys with the sharp "needles". I went to the mailbox and got 3 more bites....on top of the 25 + that I've gotten in the last 3 days. My sister got bit right thru her jeans! Nasty!

Is there any truth to the thoery of taking a vitamin or mineral supplement to make me less tastey?

The rains and floods must have really boosted the fertility of these lil monsters!

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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

OMG -tell me about it, I've never had as big a mosquito problem as the last few days..... a definate downside to the good growing weather.

They are attacking out in the open on warm sunny days, they're horrible, I had to resort to bug spray which is something I almost never do unless I'm out in the woods at night. I've never seen it so bad here.

I'm getting the nasty ones with white stripes on their legs.... trust me there have been enough encounters for me to really get some good looks at the little b*strds. I've even killed them two at a time as the land on me to feed. Yuck.

Two words that I'm keeping in mind..... West Nile.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 3:57PM
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Kathy46(Z6 Pa)

I have heard 1)to avoid eating bananas it secretes an oil that attract skeeters. 2) taking garlic supplement is supposed to secrete an oil that repels them. 3) keep a fabric softener dryer sheet on you. ( I tie one into my shoelace. #3 does seem to help. I feel your pain.

Kathy

    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 4:43PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

The mosquitos have been so bad that there were even news reports about it this past Tuesday. My mom, who my sisters and I always remarked must have a natural repellant in her body because she rarely if ever got bit, was assaulted by the buggers the past weekend, so it's REALLY bad!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 9:19AM
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zeffyrose_pa6b7(6b7)

I know just what you mean.

I can't go outside for one minute without getting more bites.

I just wanted to pick a couple of roses befor the JB's got them and I got three more bites---to add to the rest.

I react with swelling --burning and pain.
the other night it was so bad I rubbed ice cubes on the welts.
Today--I ran right in and rubbed alcohol on them right away----seems to be helping------I'll know better tonight when they keep me awake.

I can't believe how bad they are this year---usually they don't bite on a sunny day but it seems like they are out there all the time.

Florence.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 3:08PM
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gardeningwithlcgrace(7 Delaware)

Out of desperation, I've tried a few different remedies...

Benedryl spray: works wonderfully but is a little sticky when dry. For us more "sensitive types" you can also take a benedryl pill before bed...For severe cases..a trip to the doctor can provide a super-benedryl med to take. Basically you sleep thru the itching.

generic hydrocortisone cream: helps with the "allergic" reaction (which I get) but doesn't really help with the itching.

Lanacaine: works great...but if you read the back of the tube, it says, don't use more than 1-3 x's per day!

Alcohol for an immediate help right after a bite does work.

something else that works...if you're out "with the guys"...(it's GROSS, but works)...a "fresh" pinch of chewing tobacco from the can rubbed on it will stop the itch and reaction. It smells a little funny and leaves you with "dirty" looking patches over the bites...but, when you're desperate..you'll try anything you hear!

I haven't tried the garlic capsules yet, but I will.

The sun and breezy air has definitely helped today...only 3 more new bites from 2 trips outside with the dog.

I'll post more as I make new discoveries!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 3:56PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

he he.
"Alcohol for an immediate help right after a bite does work."

c'mon LC, turning to alcohol doesn't solve anything... but I have been known to resort to a few shots myself when the itching gets real bad! LOL

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 4:11PM
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floragal(z5 PA)

I'm a mosquito magnet too! Girl Scout camp was pure torture; I have literally had my eyes swelled shut from bites before. And if I even THINK about scratching a bite I end up with a big red welt and intense itching.

I've found that if I can just ignore the urge to itch for the first 30 minutes or so of getting bitten I can avoid releasing the histamines that cause the reaction. And, get this - learned from a fellow scout - make an 'X' on the bite with your fingernail as soon as you notice it. Instant relief without scratching. And no welts, either.

But I think I'll try that 'alcohol cure' this Friday nite!

Tamra - do you use any repellent? Living here on the creek I have to. I use the Off Skin-tastic. It smells nice and provide an SPF too. It's a pain to use but the pain of the bites is worse.

M

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 6:27PM
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earthlydelights(6 pushing 7)

wow, i thought i was the sad sap that attracted all the mosquitos. not happy that everyone else does as well, but glad to see it's not just me.

i have repellent bracelets that i wear and i have to spray myself to just go out and pick a tomato. i too can't walk to my car, go empty the trash, etc., without being a feast for those bugs. i was remarking to my mother the other day about when i was a kid how the bug spray truck would come around and spray their sweet smelling stuff and our neighborhood was never under seige. none of us ended up with extra toes or eyes or anything else, but i'm sure it certainly could never happen in this day and age. i'm looking into that outside repellent machine that looks similar to a grill. don't know if it is worth it, i'll be doing more research before i shell out the $400.00.

another good remedy for instant relief. take about a cup of epsom salt and add a few drops of rubbing alcohol (which i'm sure is the alcohol GWG is referring to) and make a thick paste. rub it into the bit and let it dry naturally on your skin. then rub it off. has really been doing the trick.

last year while fishing down in tucketon, i got bombarded by green flies. i hate 181 bites on just one leg. we never counted the rest of my body. my son fished the entire time without a shirt and not once was nipped. guess i'm the sweet one in the family :)

be well all, happy blooms.
maryanne

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 7:24PM
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gardeningwithlcgrace(7 Delaware)

Yesterday, the sun came out and a breeze blew thru...and it wasn't nearly as bad...how long is a "mosquito life? short I hope! Maybe if we can endure round 1...it'll get better. maybe???

My husband brought home a "family firendly" bugspray...haven't tried it yet...I don't want to spray myself top to bottom just to take the dog out for 2 minutes. I did try the Avon skin so soft spray oil...just because I had it here...lol...I was a walking skeeter trap! They'd land on me...slip & get stuck!! Oh well, a few less skeeters in the world and we're all better off. Revenge on a small scale!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 7:25AM
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Kathy46(Z6 Pa)

This really works. You can get hours of relief from itching by taking a shower or running bitten area under the hottest water you can stand for several minutes. The itch will go away for hours at a time. Has something to do with the histamines being released.

Kathy

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 2:35PM
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zinnia_PA(z5PA)

I've been using Deep Woods Off, 3-4 times a day. I don't like to, but is the only thing that helps me. They are biting through clothing. Not only skeeters, but biting flies and anything else that will bite. My husband doesn't get any bites. It just isn't fair! He smokes--maybe that's it. My Dad used to say cigarettes kept them away and I thought it was just his excuse.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 6:58PM
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gardeningwithlcgrace(7 Delaware)

The cigarette smoking doesn't even phase them here! I was telling the husband about the ideas so far..he has one to add....

He's heard the "alcohol"...like "beer" specifically...brewery breath will cause the skeeters to stay away...but the flies like it! If my husband had more than 2 drinks per year...the comment would be really funny! He says that it's only suupposed to work for beer though, not for wine, mixed drinks or hard liquor. I wonder if beer in a watering can would kill my plants? hhhmmmm, organic gardening or alcohol abuse?!? HA HA HA (sorry, I just cracked myself up!) Oh yes, he's heard of garlic too....Pizza & beer anyone?!?

Our county's West Nile Virus/Mosquito control officer has offered some info....There are mosquitos that lay eggs in dry grass and the eggs hatch when the spring rain happens...and others that lay eggs in the water. Since we had such drought conditions here early this year...the eggs never hatched until the rain started...and the flooding brought on the mosquitos for wet conditions also. He's heard of the "dryer sheet" deterrent method also.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 1:30PM
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zeffyrose_pa6b7(6b7)

I just bought Sarna my friend told me about it and then I saw the as on TV-- It costs about 12 dollars so it better work--------It has helped a little---at least I forgot about the bites for a little while so I guess it is working---You can only use it 3-4 times a day.

I've only tried it once---I'll know better tomorrow---the ice cubes help to numb the area.

Florence

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 8:14PM
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earline_pa zone 6 Pa.

I am suprised no one has mentioned "After Bite" The Itch Eraser ;)
This product has been around for years and works great and is not expensive.
Active ingredient is 3.5% ammonia.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 10:20PM
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floragal(z5 PA)

My son uses after-bite religiously - he's the other skeeter magnet in the family - and it works for him. Me, it burns too much. I have very sensitive skin so there are lots of things I can't use. I sprayed myself with Cutter's once and had a burning rash for a good 12 hours! The "fingernail X's work best for me, of all things. Don't know why.

Interesting - my son and I both have the worst sweet tooth. And we both get eaten alive by both mosquitos and fleas - connection?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 11:01PM
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naturenut_pa(z6 PA)

Last year I caught a documentary on TV about mosquitos, that was filmed in Canada. There are places near lakes in northern Canada where it is possible to receive THOUSANDS of bites in one hour.

Believe it or not, research suggests that being prone to mosquito bites is at least 60% genetic!

The ONLY deterrent that has been proven is DEET, which is the main ingredient in Off! and other sprays. I only use this if I absolutely must. After a while it begins to burn. I also hate it because when showering afterwards, as the water washes it away, it will temporarily burn in, uh, other places that you haven't sprayed.

Cigarettes will not help. Matter of fact, they might make it worse. One of the things that attracts mosquitos is carbon dioxide. Smokers excrete higher levels of this.

I have been fortunate this year. Normally I am THE mosquito magnet. This year actually hasn't been so bad for me. Well, as far as mosquitos are concerned. I mowed the grass on Friday and had lumps all over my back and legs from deer flies.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 5:47PM
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zeffyrose_pa6b7(6b7)

Earline---I always used to uses"after-bite" and I found it does help if you get it on right away--Haven't seen it around in the stores lately

JUst got some Sarna---it is helping

Florence

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 3:27PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Floragal- I think of you every time I X a bite! LOL

It seems to be working for me, at least it satisfies my urge to itch for a few minutes.

I suffered from a headache for a couple days over the weekend. I'm convinced it was West Nile. Glad I'm over it already. (sorry- don't mean to make light of the dangers of west nile, but I'm always imagining I've got some odd new disease)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 9:23PM
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floragal(z5 PA)

naturenut - Genetics! That makes sense. I have to laugh though, when we try to blame our many cavities on the same thing (DS and I). Can't be the sweet tooth thing...no, not that...

Kato - A convert to the X's - not too scientific, but it does work as a detractor. And if you can get through the first few hours the rest is downhill. Until, of course, you die of some odd disease LOL!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 9:51PM
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not_a_contessa(z5b S Central PA mtns.)

I'm just another major mosquito magnet, so I'm constantly looking for ways to avoid getting bitten. Ironically, they don't even land on my husband.

After Bite is ammonia with a bit of oil added to help keep the skin from getting dry. I refill my After Bite stick with fresh ammonia when it runs out. When I can't find the stick, I just splash on some ammonia.

I have learned to make my own repellant from a mix of herbal essential oils, a base oil, some water, and some Vodka to help it to dry quickly. I'm happy to say it works very well and it has a very pleasant herbal fragrance.

Avon's Skin-So-Soft lotion is great too, especially against the no-seeums I encountered in Florida.

I can't get refills for the repellant lantern that was on the market for a couple of years. That was great, I used to just carry it around the garden to keep the bugs away. It had a small fan inside that pushed the repellant smell about 15 feet in all directions. It kept my open porch free of mosquitos even after dark.

But another company has come out with a lantern that uses an insert in the top, instead of the liquid the first one used. It is probably very effective too, but since my porch is now screened in I don't need one.

I really don't like using the canned sprays at home, but at camp it is a very different story. We camp on a river, the bugs are ferocious. That's when I go for the deep woods formula!

Forget about the "it's a bad year because of all the rain etc." story, because if mosquitoes like you, EVERY year is a bad year. Try your local health food stores for some herbal repellants, and always have some ammonia at home and After Bite in your purse or pocket.

Mary

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 9:57PM
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gardeningwithlcgrace(7 Delaware)

SSSHHHHHHHHH!!! Either my deterrent methods are working or they've left to feed on someone else! I've had a few here and there..but nothing like what it was. Thank goodness!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 4:40PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

I don't know what happened but I think the rain must have quadrupled their numbers! I am really getting eaten up every time I go out now. Time to pull out the punks (one of my sisters found them for sale at Vermont Country Store and got us all some)!!!!! LOL

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 7:27PM
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annld(6B PA)

After Bite is good stuff, if you can stand the odor. I had forgotten about that. (I'll bet a little Windex would work, too.) I have really sensitive skin on my legs, and when I get multiple mosquito bites and am crawling out of my skin (because the itching increases exponentially), the only thing that really helps me with the worst of the itching is an ice cube on the bites. After that, some hydrocortisone cream will usually take care of the lesser itching. As for repellent, DEET is the only thing that works for me. My ex bought me some special new formula Cutter last year -- claimed to be so effective but didn't contain DEET. The mosquitos *completely* ignored it and gnawed away at me to their little hearts' content.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 9:36AM
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lkplatow

Somebody told me about this thing earlier this year - I get HUGE golf-ball sized welts from every skeeter bite that don't go away even if I use afterbite, benadryl, etc. This thing does work well, though you have to do it as soon as you get bit for the best relief. It works on the principle of heat breaking down the venom -they say it works for bees and wasps too though I've never tried it.

Anyhow, I can't believe this doesn't get more press - it was invented in Canada and I think Lee Valley Tools is the only place you can get it in the US. Works wonders!

Here is a link that might be useful: Therapik

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 10:57AM
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terri_in_pa(z6B)

This was the worst yr ever for me.. i rarely get bit, but wow.. this yr i was chewed up alive!! Its been my first yr back in the Lehigh Valley after being in another area of PA for 11 or 12 yrs.
I hope each skeeter choked on my blood.. i know the welts i had werent pretty.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 9:22PM
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jrdpa(6)

Hmm. I probably got bitten twice all year here around Pittsburgh. I've heard before that they are attracted to certain colors like blue/denim and such. I don't think the ones around here like me too much though. I think maybe since I grew up in TX I taste/smell different than what the ones around here are used to. Seems I heard something about that somewhere too. I used to always use the thick "pink stuff" with the pink bottle and lid? Caladryl or something?

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 5:40PM
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mersiepoo(6)

Supposedly if you take vitamin B1 every day (check with your doc if you have health problems) it will keep them away. My best friends parents went to ecuador and they got really bad mosquitoes down there. They took the supplements and they said it worked!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2006 at 7:18PM
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