Heading over east where the 'skeeters are swarming. Anyone had any luck with home repellents (essential oils, listerine, etc.) I keep trying different concoctions but haven't hit on a sure winner yet. They don't come after me as bad as others, so I am fortunate there. My sister reports they are so bad they can't even sit on their back porch. She has also tried all sorts of things and I think is going to eventually resort to a screened porch (unfortunate since she looks out over the Methow). It is impossible for her to control her breeding grounds as her house sits between the river and a series of beaver ponds. Looking for things to put directly on the skin, and things to place around the porch, and things to spray in the grass. Anything really.
Mosquito repellents ?
I had good effect with peppermint oil to repel fleas. Perhaps it would work on skeeters too.
I'm a recent convert to the beauties of essential oils. There IS a citronella available at my local hippie-dippy joint. Might be worth a try. You could sprinkle it on your clothing. Wish I'd thought to bring some here to Montana. I don't think I could EVER live in skeeter country again. Well ... maybe the south of France would have enough upsides to compensate.
We experimented with layers of product. I started with eucalyptus oil, then added the ever popular Skin-So-Soft. Seemed to work pretty well and I smelled nice. We also spread around some sort of garlic granule repellent which may have helped and burned citronella candles. We actually decided the best method of attack is to keep some young children around as 'bait'- they seem to have much sweeter blood than us gray-heads. Both of the young boys we had visiting went home looking like they had the pox.
I haven't come up with a good solution to keep them away, but my sister-in-law shared an idea with me that is effective for the after-bite. Purell hand sanitizer seems to get the bite to go away fairly quickly.
I have found that the bites of the mosquitos aren't nearly as bad as the no-see-ums. Those make a welt immediately and take days to heal. My neighbor says they actually make her feel feverish and headachey. And they are so small that they don't even come with a warning.
My solution has been Off! with Deet (doesn't take much) and to encourage bats . . .
I'm really hating the biting flies this year - would way rather put with skeeters. Those suckers pack a punch.
I have been practicing sitting in the woods and watching them land on my skin and enjoy the beauty of their injestion of blood and listening to their song as they sing to me. No need for repellents when you become Henry Thoreau. Everything is attitude.
Sofer - that is a pretty heavy dose of woo-woo - hope it works for ya. I fortunately don't respond much to skeeters although they do get their fair share of blood from me. On the other hand, I get huge long-lasting blisters from any sort of spider bite. The mysteries of chemistry...
Whereas I react almost as badly to mosquitoes as I do to a beesting!
I was sitting in Hope BC an absolutely beautiful town at the exit of the Fraser Canyon. I had been driving 2 days non stop from AK and had stopped to rest here. The oxbow I sat next to along the river put me in a dream like state of wonderment. The air was steamy with speckeled sun rays filling the forest above me. Cedars around me composed the air with an essence of peace. The forest floor was filled with slugs, centipedes, beetles, ants, salamanders, and the complete palate of greens only nature can paint. Each misquito was pushing and sucking moving their proboscious deeper to fill their bellies with their music as a backdrop to the roar of the river in flood stage nearby. Quietly as I sat in peace, a coyote walked by only 20 meters away stopping to stare as he passed. This surreal time was a period of awe that I haven't seen in years. I can only thank my Creator for this moment I shall always vividly remember this moment of peace. After an unknown time I walked out of the forest dancing with a joy gifted to me as I turned on my IPod to dance in a bee filled meadow of lupines. NO I DID NOT SMOKE ANY POT! LOL