questionshow do you keep mosquitoes at bay?

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The spray with Deet is the only thing that really works. The patches and bracelets seem to only work for that particular body part. So when I wear a bracelet, my wrist is safe but they attack my neck because it's not close enough.

I believe it's your exhaling of CO2 that attracts them -- not the sweetness of your blood. Stop breathing and you will be okay :)

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@cengland0: I have heard that they are attracted by our breathing and CO2 but anytime I am outside with groups of other people I am always the only one getting bitten, and I'm pretty sure we are all breathing... Very annoying. Heavy amounts of Deet does help but I was looking for a different approach. Thanks for your experience with bracelets.

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@jbraunonline: If you're looking to keep them out of them yard or an out door space you should plant mosquito plants and citronella grass/plants. They both work very well. smoke works so being next to a fire will help. We used to use citronella candles on the deck when we lived in an apartment with great success. Those torches usually do a decent job a keeping them at bay as well but they're basically just like burning citronella candles.

@functioningwino

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@jbraunonline: You may be able to reduce your attractiveness to the little monsters by changing your diet. I never saw that garlic consumption made much difference, but cutting out red meat certainly did. It's also unfair that the little bloodsuckers prefer fair skin, and if you are blond and female (or that rarest of creatures, a natural redhead), you will be attacked more.

I live in a desert, and watch constantly for any potential still water that they might breed in, and don't see many (or even any) from one year to the next, but in an area where they're more prevalent, I've usually been the preferred snack.

I've noticed that my bullfrog sunscreen also seems to discourage them.

I'm unable to use DEET sprays, sadly.

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I have used these homemade bars. There is another website that has the bars with lavender and rosemary that I like, too, but I can't find it right now. I have issues with Deet, so I had to find alternatives.

Just a word of caution...Lavender and sun do not mix well if you are light skinned like I am. I burn a lot quicker. It would be smart to wear a long sleeved fishing shirt and hat until you determine whether this is an issue for you.

Here is one you can place around you from GreenBootLiving.com: http://greenbootliving.com/2013/06/26/natural-insect-repellent-for-camping/
I use it while camping in my RV and add it to my dogs shampoo.

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@shrdlu: I am of that rare natural redhead breed, and the little bloodsuckers definitely flock to me more than to other folks in my party. The only way I have found to keep them at bay is to stay inside a screened area, and even that doesn't fully protect me. I have found that freezing the bite area with an ice cube till it hurts will often completely neutralize the venom, though. I only use it for particularly pesky bites, though.

Here's a very interesting article:
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-do-mosquitoes-bite-some-people-more-than-others-10255934/?no-ist

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@moondrake: Really interesting article. I am indeed type O blood (rh negative). On the other hand, I'm anything but large (five foot something, and appropriate configuration for it). My body temperature is actually very low; normal resting temperature for me can be as low as 96.4, and it's rare that it gets above 97, unless I'm ill.

I'd forgotten about the beer drinking (which I don't do), but have seen that people who drink beer are more likely to provide sustenance for those little vampires. I prefer red wine, but drink no more than 4-6 ounces in an evening.

The acid secretion is also interesting. I wonder how I'd know how much (for myself)??? I'll have to look it up, later.

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@shrdlu: I am fair skinned, blond as a kid, O+ and a mosquito magnet. (Which REALLY sucks down in the swampland!) I am delighted to hear that I am not the only one whose body temp is naturally low. If mine EVER gets up to 98.6 I feel like c**p, but can never convince a doctor that I have fever.

@jbraunonline: The best suggestion I can make to keep mosquitoes from biting you is to stand next to me. I will naturally attract them away from everyone else. (Hmmm. Maybe that's my next career move. I will just hire myself out as a mosquito magnet!)

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The old Avon Skin So Soft really worked as a mosquito repellant; we used to buy it six bottles at a time. (The Spouse's workshop is in our detached garage, which is unfortunately not climate controlled.)

Unscented Backwoods Cutter Mosquito Repellant is what he uses now. He says it works great, but I have to have him shower when he comes inside in the evening. You might want to try it, though.

EDIT: He just walked in -- says his blood type is O+.

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I lived in Phoenix for 35 years and citronella candles were great when it was too hot to sit near a smokey fire. And I agree with those who extol Deet's effectiveness, but I still worry about the underlying chemistry...

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Live in a town or county with a good mosquito control program.

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I can usually just use my wife as a mosquito repellent. They love her, shes small and very fair skinned. She swells up pretty insanely too. When I do get bit they're gone in 15-20 minutes. I'm 5'10", less than 190lbs, O+ blood type, and I drink a lot of alcohol.

As an undergrad I worked for the forestry/NR department. I spent a lot of time in the hoffman forest. The mosquitos there could bite through 2 shirts and any pair of jeans / carhartts I wore. I had to wear a net to cover my mask. I had to use 100% DEET to keep the damn things at bay. I'm probably going to get cancer from that but it was worth it.

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I'm O+ too and mosquitoes can't get enough of me. Almost nothing works on me, but I don't mind and gave up trying.

One summer I was working at a summer camp and had over 100 bites on my body at one point. I'm used to it.

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Apparently, my poisonous personality carries over to my blood chemistry. It's a desperate 'skeeter that would bite me. Black flies, on the other hand, see me as a buffet. Pure DEET is the only kind for me.

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I'm A- and rarely get bit. If I do, it only itches for a few minutes. On the other hand, my husband is also A- and they go after him like they haven't eaten in weeks.

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As long as I smoked cigarettes(menthol), skeeters and chiggers wouldn't touch me, but now it's still only occasional. Oddly, poison ivy/oak never affected me, and now it's only slight irritation.
The blood type tie-in is interesting(I'm A+, but with pretty messed up blood numbers)...
Like many here, my spouse attracts 'em like, well, mosquitoes to a pale one.

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My best friend swears that carrying a dryer sheet in his pocket stopped his long time battle with mosquito issues. Quite frankly, I'm tired of hearing about it. He says he read a comment about this "trick" online one day as part of an article about something else but doesn't remember what the article had to do with, why he was reading it, or pretty much anything else that would help locate it.

He says the comment stuck in his head until the day he decided to grab a dryer sheet and stuff it in his front pocket. So anyway, for what little help this is probably worth, I've passed it along. In addition to not wanting to carry a dryer sheet in my pocket, I've never had a real issue with skeeter bites so I've not tried it, but he really, really says it works and tells EVERYONE!

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I'm the one who can stand in the middle of a feeding frenzy without getting bit. The only ones who seem to prefer my taste over others is the black flies.
Spouse suffers if she doesn't slather on the 100% deet. Kinda wonder, though, if she has cured the suffering at the cost of suffering from the cure later in life. That stuff just doesn't smell healthy.

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I also heard (somewhere) that a dryer sheet is supposed to deter some insects. I guess it would not hurt to try and sure would be inexpensive! I will test this summer and update. Right now I think I will try this stuff. Sawyer Premium Permethrin:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001ANQVYU/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

It is supposed to be great but requires a little more planning.

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My wife seems to have very sweet (or insect-appealing) blood, and gets bit all the time. I apparently have bitter (or not appealing to insects) blood and get bit almost never. I always bring my wife with and she is a form of natural insect repellent for me, as they all go to her.

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I'm not sure what type of clip you're alluding to in your question, but I've also had good success with the Off brand clip-on fans for keeping the flying guys away. If there's very much of a breeze though, they don't work as well, but they do seem to provide a little protective cloud around me. They do not work for ticks though, so I usually end up with a little DEET on me anyway.

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I tried the clips when walking and they didn't do any good. I think I outwalked them. But as I got to be better at walking and got up to over 4mph steady pace, I also found I was outwalking the mosquitoes. I thought of you this weekend when saw a product at Costco, I can't recall the name of it but it's a misting lantern. It uses essence of lemongrass which it mists into the air. Claims to be safe around kids, pets, and food (lemongrass is edible) but deters mosquitoes in something like a 300 foot radius. Runs on AA batteries so it's portable. I can't find it on Costco's website, but this looks like it's probably the same product. I think it was $39.99 at Costco.
http://tinyurl.com/m9v4jrz

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I personally use :

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002Y57MGE/ref=oh_details_o08_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Similar in function to permethrin. But, it is food-safe (once dry). It works against a wide variety of insects - depending on the mix to water ratio. It is awesome and easy to work with. Extremely safe, when it comes to chemical stuff -- used by a lot of the pros in the area.

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Some friends added an outdoor entertaining area (complete with not one but TWO Green Eggs, a big screen television, and lots of other cool things!) and included a bug repellant misting system around the entire area. The system sprays a chrysanthemum-based mist periodically (on a timer) so it's pretty green and it seems to work incredibly well. Some mosquitoes still hover, but they don't bite. Makes me think that the chrysanthemum juice messes with their wee brains or something. Now I'm wondering if they make this stuff in a form that people can use as personal bug repellant.

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Thanks for all of your answers! I mostly need this for when playing sports (ex. volleyball, softball, tennis) or biking outdoors so I will probably have to stick with something I can spray/wear on me and/or my clothing. I also like to sit on the patio and then the other types might work better. I think we still have some tiki torches somewhere I will have to track down. I will also be trying "Bullfrog Mosquito Coast Sunblock & Insect Repellent" since I will no doubt need the sunblock anyway..

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If you put sage over your campfire or burn it on your patio in a controlled manor it will keep them at bay.

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Dryer sheets. Just rub them on your skin and clothes. They work great in North Texas.

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@magic cave: Most years, mosquitoes kill more humans than humans do, which is quite a feat. Their primary role in the ecosystem appears to be human population control. I'd expect if we find an effective way to prevent them from fulfilling their job as agents of pestilence, something new will rise up to fill the niche.

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@moondrake: Entirely possible, but I'm unwilling to condemn people to the misery and/or death from malaria if there's a way to prevent it. I wasn't upset that India is now polio-free, for that matter.

Luckily, there are other potential upsides to this discovery as well:

"The researchers, who were funded in part by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, say that, so far, VUAA1 has worked on every insect they've tested it on.

That widens the possibilities for it. Potential uses range from shooing away bugs that eat crops to a commercial product that can be used to keep pests out of the home."

"The researchers, who were funded in part by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, say that, so far, VUAA1 has worked on every insect they've tested it on.

That widens the possibilities for it. Potential uses range from shooing away bugs that eat crops to a commercial product that can be used to keep pests out of the home."

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I use neem oil soap. Stinks, but it works.

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@magic cave: I understand. I wouldn't deny help to people in need either. But as a lifelong sci-fi reader and one-time student of sociology, I've spent a lot of time reading fiction and fact regarding the unintended consequences of well-intended actions. Like Ian Malcolm said in Jurassic Park, "Life will find a way." Those bugs need to eat those crops just as much as we do, and unlike us some of them are able to evolve within a handspan of very short generations. What sort of bug will we create with this new anti-bug discovery? In the long run will we have really helped people in need? When I was a kid, Star Trek's non-interference Prime Directive seemed like the height of ivory tower elitism. As an adult with a greater (but still minimal) grasp of chaos theory and the butterfly effect, I am not so sure.

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@moondrake: And I understand unintended consequences, also. When I was lobbying back in the 80's I used to spend hours with the lobbyist I worked with parsing out proposed legislation from our opposition to see where it could lead and how hard it could bite our butts. Of late, though, and especially as technology has sped faster into the future than I once thought possible, I've learned there's a limit to how much of that parsing I can do. Even more importantly, I've learned it doesn't matter a rat's patootie whether I worry and parse and fret or not. If there's some way to monetize any change of any kind, someone will do it. Someone with the money not to have to worry about any consequences.

Some days I'm glad I likely have no more than another 20 years ahead of me, but I worry about my son, his wife, and my soon-to-arrive grandson.

EDIT: My first sci-fi story was one of Heinlein's, sometime in the mid-50's, and I cut my sci-fi teeth on my Sturgeon, Dick, and Asimov. Good times.

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@magic cave: I have days like that, too, when I am glad I have no descendants to leave on the hook for my generation's mistakes. My dependents have fur, and if they do not predecease me, will shortly follow (after enjoying the benefit of funding for their remaining lives via my estate). My immediate family is unlikely to outlive me. I will, more or less, take everything I truly love with me when I go. The only imprint I will leave is whatever good I can do while I am here.

EDIT: I often think you are my sister from another mister. That's why we are in synch so much of the time, much more so than with my real sister. We enjoyed the same sci-fi storytellers in our formative years.

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@moondrake: (And it just gets better. Or weirder.) I've often thought the same about you.

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They love me. My hubby, sitting next to me has not problems. Since I am black it can not be related to skin color, it's the love of our blood. A product called "bite free" has worked wonders for me. It's bee's wax based, smells good, water proof. (for us who sweat outdoors in the heat), www.honeyguyproducts.com. i have the cream. Not cheap, but who needs cheap when you are being eaten. For short-term outside use, gardening and such, I find that the towelletts are great (as compared to the sprays), mild enough to use over all body areas including your face work wonders.
Otherwise, get out the bendryl. LOL

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@magic cave + @moondrake = a match made in Woot heaven. Such a nice story you two finding each other in this place of deals where "Blinged-Out Cabbage" is most sought after.

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why did the question spelling of BAY change to BAE?

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@jbraunonline, we could ask @faughtey, when she shows up in a bit, to change it back. It makes no sense. I'm sure that the change in the question from "...mosquitoes at bay" to "...mosquitoes at bae" was someone's typo, while doing something else.

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I'm surprised nobody mentioned using a fan. They are very poor fliers. A slight breeze blows them away.

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I make candles, so have tons of different essential oils on hand. It's fairly cheap to make up a natural mosquito repellant. Just make sure to buy some jojoba oil to mix into the oils, don't ever put uncut essential oils directly on the skin.

Oils that naturally repel Mosquitos: eucalyptus, basil, blue cypress, lemon, peppermint, clove, thyme, lavender.

Try looking into also planting some thyme around your house!