Bugs, real ones

We live in the woods in N. Va. I am a mosquito magnet and seems like also for “other things” but I can’t i.d. them. I would rather spend more time outdoors without dousing myself in chemicals all the time. What do you use? Do citronella candles really work? Thank you!

It’s old school but I have found Avon skin so soft works better than many of the other products.

Following. My son is an absolute mosquito magnet. He can be outside for literally 30 seconds and come back in with 5-6 giant bites.

We use the brown type of listerine if we aren’t going to be able to wash off deet before bedtime (on skin, hair, etc). Then on clothes, we’ll use deet. It’s not perfect, just a lesser deterrent but it’s also not toxic and you can use a lot. We put it on our dog too.

When I lived in Hawaii a local woman suggested I take a slice of lemon and lightly brush myself with it after drying off from showering, being certain to touch the spots that wouldn’t be covered with clothing (feet, back of neck, etc) - that was 33 years ago. I’ve been following that since and honestly can’t tell you the last time I was bitten by anything. I slice the lemon into rounds and squeeze just a bit to release the oils and the juice (too much and it can become sticky). And I smell good too!

I am also a bug magnet. I have found a couple of non toxic botanical sprays which have worked well for me: Repel lemon eucalyptus spray, and Ecosmart botanical insect spray.

Active ingredients considered effective to repel mosquitoes are:

Oil of lemon eucalyptus

According to https://www.consumerreports.org/insect-repellent/do-natural-insect-repellents-work/ , “oil of lemon eucalyptus” is different from “lemon eucalyptus oil”.

I’m the first person to get a mosquito or bug bite. When I’m outdoors on my deck in the evening (I live in a heavily wooded area) I can’t stay on the deck once it gets dark. I use a DEET insect repellant (Deep Woods Off). It’s the only thing that works for me. I’ve tried all kinds of the natural stuff, but it just doesn’t for me–I wish it did.

Another person loved by mosquitos - and black flies.

Around here, I use Deep Woods Off as well. Yeah, chemicals but Lyme Disease is common here and the DEET works well for ticks also.

I’m the mosquito magnet among my friends and family, so it makes me feel better to meet other sufferers. There’s nothing worse than getting eaten alive while others offer advice like “don’t wear perfume “ Ummm, haven’t in a decade.

I’ve tried everything to no avail. I have given up on deet, sprays, lemons, chemicals ect… I figure I drink a little more in the summer, let the squits do their thing and fly home drunk


I have a bug off shirt that works well for me. I use it as a light top layer. I think the repellent is Permethrin.

When my daughter was volunteering at a National park in the summer, we bought a bottle of it and sprayed her field clothes with it. It supposedly lasts for 50 washes or so and isn’t as toxic as DEET since you don’t apply it wet on the skin. It worked well for her and she attracts mosquitoes also.

Absolutely nothing works for me except for the three chemicals listed in @ucbalumnus 's post above: oil of lemon eucalyptus, DEET, and picturing. Of these, picaridin preparations are the least greasy and foul smelling.

Lemon eucalyptus oil really reeks, and can cause a rash.

In the trade off between the possibility of chemical harm, and the threat of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, EEE, West Nile, etc., I’m going to risk the chemical stuff.

@Massmom I totally agree with you. I had one friend who got anaplasmosis and another who got babesiosis–you do not want to get one of these tick-born diseases. Both were in the hospital. I live in an area with lots of ticks.

Our town has trapped mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile virus every week for the last six weeks. I know two people who have had it and both were very sick for weeks. We had a service that put down a powder in low lying parts of the yard (stops the larvae from developing) but it wasn’t really dong anything so we discontinued.