Buzz Off

It is no secret that the mosquitos in Edmonton are pretty bad.  According to this news article, the mosquitos are only at 30 or 40% of norms, but I find that hard to believe.  Regardless, most reports agree that things are likely to get worse, so brace yourselves Edmonton for a summer with those pesky biters and arm yourselves with protection!

According to Health Canada, most repellents containing “naturally derived” materials aren’t your best protection against mosquitoes, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work at all.  In fact, many do repel mosquitoes, it’s just not for very long so you will likely have to reapply more often. I don’t know about you, but I will take natural over chemical products any day, and is it really a pain to reapply?

Products that include the oil of citronella in their ingredient list will generally give you between 30 minutes and an hour of mosquito freedom. Natrapel is one of many citronella sprays on the market and you can easily grab a bottle at MEC.

Lemon eucalyptus plant extract is registered in Canada for use as an insect repellent. It may protect you for up to two hours, but is not recommended for use on children under the age of three.

Soybean oil two per cent “Blocker” products may keep you mosquito-free from one to four hours. Soybean oil has low toxicity, has no age-associated use restrictions, and is non-irritating. This may be your best alternative to DEET folks.

There are a few other things I have heard of lately, which although they may  be old wives tails, could just do the trick:

  • Fabric softener sheets,
  • Clear real vanilla, and
  • Listerine,
Feeling adventurous?
For those of you who want to know  exactly what you are putting on your skin, why not try making your own insect repellent? I found this simply recipe to follow over at Hilltown families.
  • combine rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, vodka, or olive oil with one of the following essential oils: cedarwood, citronella, lemongrass, tea tree oil, geranium, catnip or eucalyptus).
  • To make an effective repellent the base-to-essential oil ratio should be 10-to-1. Store your mixture in a glass spray bottle and be sure to shake well before each use as the base and oil may separate.
Another interesting tidbit:
My sister was at the Lake for the long weekend in Winnipeg, which let me tell you is home to some of the worst mosquitoes in the world.  Because she can’t wear mosquito spray at all right now, she was bitten by swarms of mosquitos and black flies leaving welts on her feet.  After some internet sleuthing, she tried a scotch tape remedy for removing the itch and lo and behold it seems to work.  simply clean the bite and apply a piece of tape and presto, itch relief.
Let me know if you have any tried and tested mosquito repelling methods. I would love to hear them!!
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