May 13, 2011

Plea for skeeter advice!

This weekend I told Pete that I'm pretty sure mosquitoes subscribe to a newsletter that clues them in on my location, if there is one lonely bug in a zip code then it will find me. Or if there are 50 million, they will all find me for feasting on. Just me. I can be right next a group of people and no one else will walk away with bites. Something about my A+ blood makes their tiny little insect hearts sing with happiness.

The bites cause a major reaction on me as well, they get all puffy and itch like hell for days. Especially compared to Pete, who usually gets a bump that is gone in two days. I also don't usually stop scratching until I start bleeding and a teeny bit beyond that point. Which all makes for some (not very)attractive legs in the summer...

Part of me really wants to include a picture of my legs just so you can all see I'm not being a drama queen. My legs get tore up in the summer because of bugs. the other part of me doesn't want to gross out my readers with legs that look like they've laid down in an ants nest covered in honey.

I digress.

The point of all this is to ask for help. I would like to spend my 28th summer not looking like I bug bitten mess. For once I don't want to have to wear pants in august because the bites look like my lower legs have been attacked by some ravenous beast, and I don't want to have to go through a box of band-aids a week trying to make the bites heal without scars.

Please, give me any tricks you know of to get the skeeters away. I'll do and try them all. Anything from skin so soft to pure deet to eat three cloves of garlic a day is welcome advice. Has anyone had luck with lawn treatments? I currently coat myself in Off before leaving the house and multiple times a day when working outside. But I still get bites. Lots of bites. Including one under my eye that makes me look like I've been rumbling in alleys with dancing gang members that carry switch-blades.

Thank you.


  1. We pestered (HA!) Camden County's mosquito control last year until they came out to test. Most of the bugs were coming from CHN's yard, despite our efforts to sneak in and flip any standing water. They put some sort of something on his yard. We wouldn't allow non-organic on ours.

    This year, the bat house is the plan. We've just started to see a few, so Mike's putting it up this weekend. Easy instructions online to make your own, or you can buy one.

  2. I'm in north-Jersey and the biters are fierce this year. I inherited my mother's reaction to them, very similar to yours. I keep a tube of cortisone cream in my pocket whenever I'm outside - as soon as I get bitten I cover the bite mark with cortisone - it's magic. I buy the Equate brand from Wal-Mart; under $4 for two ounces. Make sure to get the cream - NOT the ointment - ointment is petroleum based and will stain your clothes.


    May help may not -- good luck -- M.O.M.


  5. I have heard Skin so Soft by Avon!! Really!

  6. I've got a multi-faceted approach as I attact mosquitos about the same as you do. My record is 14 bites on the back of 1 calf during a walk that lasted 4 minutes in New Orleans. We get them in our yard. My formula -
    (1) use 1/4 cup of white vinegar in my laundry rinse cycle - acts as a fabric softener & an anti-bacterial agent - supposedly mosq. don't like the smell. I can smell it faintly in my laundry.
    (2) Skin So Soft body wash & after shower oil if I know I'm going to be outside all day.
    (3) We've planted some non-blooming geraniums in the yard that are very lacy in the leaves but smell like a french whorehouse. (Pelargonium citrona I think) When dusk hits, I pinch off a leaf (or three) and rub it on me, my clothes - face it - I'm yardworking, I'm going to shower soon anyway, right?
    (4) I keep rubbing alcohol in the freezer. When I get a bite, I do my best not to scratch & rub an ICE CUBE on it instead. This constricts the bloodvessels to reduce the inflamation & numb the site. If I do scratch, then I use the frozen rubbing alcohol to try and head off an infection that might scar. Holding a cold beer against your skin can also be helpful in a pinch when you don't have an ice cube.
    (5) Self discipline. Consider that when you scratch, you're actually spreading the histamine that's causing the reaction - so the bite gets bigger, puffier and more irritating. If you can make it through the first 4-5 minutes without scratching, the itch urge goes away and usually you don't notice the bite from there on out.
    (6) Anti-histamines. If I have a lot of bites, I pop an allergy pill. You're having an allergic reaction - treat it accordingly.