8 Things That Attract Mosquitoes – Don’t Be A Mosquito Magnet

things that attract mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are not equal opportunity biters! Whether out in the woods, camping, hiking, or at home in the backyard, some people seem to actually attract mosquitoes! They are constantly bit while others not so much. Why is that?

WHAT ATTRACTS MOSQUITOES?

Avoid these things:

1. Dark Colors

Wearing dark clothes will attract mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can see and use their vision to locate targets from a distance. Most of their day-to-day targets will be found in the shade or within foliage, so they are naturally attracted to dark colors. This means that they will be more attracted to people wearing dark clothing than people wearing light clothing. Ask me how I know this!

Tip: I’m not kidding, this is what I use, it’s better, safer than DEET in my opinion! Reviewed by Consumer Reports in its list of safe insect repellents, effective up 14 hours!

Picaridin Insect Repellent Spray
(view on amzn)

2. Fragrances

Are mosquitoes attracted to perfume? Yes, fragrances are known to attract mosquitoes. Avoid perfume, cologne, perfumed shampoos, hand creams, soaps, fabric softeners, detergent, etc. Switch to as many unscented products as you can during the summer to avoid the mosquito bite.

3. Movement

Moving around will attract mosquitoes. They can see their victims from within 30 feet by locating the changes in waves of light around them, caused by moving objects.

Tip: Extremely effective for on clothing, will not stain or damage clothes, fabrics, plastics, finished surfaces, or outdoor gear, lasts up to 6 weeks (or 6 washings) :

Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent Spray
(view on amzn)

Permethrin for Clothing

Another tip! I spray Permethrin on my hat – really helps keep mosquitoes from biting my head area. I also spray my clothes if working outdoors while mosquitoes are biting.

[ Read: Permethrin Insect Repellent For Your Clothes – and How It Works ]

4. Sweat

Perspiring will attract mosquitoes because they need water to reproduce, and they are naturally attracted to areas with higher humidity levels. This includes people who are sweating. Perspiration will also dilute any mosquito repellents that you might have applied; making you more attractive to mosquitoes.

5. Carbon Dioxide

Your breathing! This is a big attractant – maybe the biggest. Your exhaled breath will attract mosquitoes big time. Mosquitoes are attracted by areas that are higher in carbon dioxide (living-breathing animals, humans). I’ve read that a mosquito can ‘see’ carbon dioxide from 200 yards away!

6. Body Heat

Mosquitoes have sophisticated heat sensors. They will be attracted to  circulating blood in animals and humans – their heat. They follow body heat and exhaled gases and fly to their target!

7. Lactic Acid

It’s produced by our bodies after we exercise or after we eat certain types of food that are high in salt or potassium. Someone who is sitting outside eating pretzels and a banana will attract more mosquitoes than someone who is sitting outside eating watermelon.

Exercising causes your body to do three things that will make it attract mosquitoes. You are breathing harder, meaning you are exhaling more carbon dioxide; you are sweating, which increases the humidity around your body; and you are releasing more lactic acid. You might as well be wearing a neon sign asking all mosquitoes to bite you.

8. Urine

Does urine attract mosquitoes? Yes, urine attracts mosquitoes. Take care of this business further away from your camp (for example)…

 
Tip: Keep mosquitoes out of water fountains, water troughs, bird baths, rain barrels, lasts up to 30 days:

Mosquito Dunks
(amzn)

[ Read: Mosquito Control (How To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes) ]

 
What are your own experiences with what works or doesn’t work for mosquitoes?

Are you a mosquito magnet?

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165 Comments

    1. We plant lemon grass in the yard. Here in Florida. Also diffuse lea on grass essential oil at night.

    1. Ha… this entire time I was doing it wrong. I thought urine repelled them! Now it makes sense why people gave me funny looks while hanging bags of urine around my tent

      1. North of Detroit in summer… my Dad’s cousin said, “Don’t flush the toilet after you pee… all of the mosquitoes in the house will go to the John.” He was right.
        Bedrooms were mostly okay.

  1. We have the mosquitoes bad. Some people put up Martin houses to attract birds that like to eat them. I find no matter what you do, they still get you anyway. Anbesol, the stuff used for numbing your toothaches, works good on the bites after you get them sometimes.

    1. You might also consider putting up bat boxes, too. Bats eat many more times their weight in mosquitoes than birds. Remember, bat boxes must be high off the ground, and facing the sun for warmth.

      1. We put up a nice bat house 2 years ago. On the proper pole at the proper height and the proper facing direction. I think we finally have one in the house! The migrating pregnant females are the ones you are looking for. Our house will hold up to 150 bats!

  2. Rubbing tobacco on your exposed skin will repel mosquitoes from those areas.
    Also leeches.

    If you are walking into a steamy jungle area or rain forest or just walking around rice paddies rub some tobacco on or eucalyptus oil.

  3. Anyone out there ever tried consuming garlic as a mosquito repellent?? Thoughts or experiences on this?

    1. Garlic and onions are toxic to dogs. I don’t recommend giving it to your pet. “Since garlic is significantly more concentrated than an onion, an even smaller ingested amount will likely lead to toxicosis—as little as one clove of garlic can lead to toxicity in dogs and cats. Please note that a pet’s weight, type of breed and prior health history can vary the toxicity level of ingested garlic.”

      1. I have been giving garlic to my dogs for years, premeasured tablets are available from springtimeinc.com. check it out!!

      2. Onions are toxic but garlic is not. I’ve been using garlic powder on my dogs food for years. Works real well for fleas, not so much for ticks, don’t know about ‘skeeters’ though,

        1. Daisy,

          There is 7 grams in an envelope, on one of those three envelope strips. so I’m thinking that one gram would be a small pile about the size of a quarter. Good on ya for the 28 grams in an ounce reference! I’m guessing you either attended school during the Carter administration… or you were once a successful drug dealer. Hahaha!

      1. I used to be Pieface. Now I am Skeezix. Why is Pieface now asking about yeast?
        Stay frosty (calm and cool)

    2. Stardust, so nice to hear from you – I’ve been missing your posts. I hope all is well for you.

    3. I am from the south of France and I eat LOTS of garlic, daily, I am still a living mosquito magnet. Always have been.

  4. Take an unused dryer sheet and attach it to your hat (back). It repels deer flies, mosquitoes and wasps/bees/yellow jackets. You will still need repellent for your legs and possibly your arms. Mosquitoes love me but I have to pick vegetables. This has worked wonderfully! Of course, we look like we belong to the French Foreign Legion!

    1. yes! unused downy dryer sheets! attach one to your hat, another one or two around your neck, others sticking out of your pockets and socks. rub the scent of these on the front and back of your clothing. this has worked for this mosquito magnet for years. hope it works for you.

  5. A person eating bananas attracts more mosquitoes than the one who is not…..scientifically proven.

  6. Years ago visiting Puerto Rico, I discovered by accident (and subsequent experimenting) that mosquitos bit me far less often if I wore white.

  7. As I said before I grew up in Orlando Florida, the skeeter capitol of the USA.
    We use “Skin So Soft” the lotion to repel skeeters. It doesn’t work that well against chiggers or ticks but repels skeeters.

    1. Good thread to remind folks of the need for good window screens and/or mosquito netting for each bed (in your stash). No a/c translates to open windows.

    2. @ wildbill
      I’ll second the “SOS”, works great, and let me tell ya, the humming bird sized “skeeters” here in the NM desert are far and few between, but big enough to pick ya up and fly off with yar tush.
      NRP

    3. Sorry I have to challenge you there. I lived in Alaska for 15 years and they have some mighty and plentiful mosquitoes there. One attached itself to my car antenna and was still there 1 mile down the road. The first ones out are huge, slow but you really have to hit them hard as they will get up and fly away! Really I have seen it.
      I was a tour guide where we went from the coast to the interior by a glacier caving into a river. We were given dark red jackets (duh) and put sweaters underneath, put up the small hood and used muskox repellent on our faces and wore gloves. They would light all over us and we just ignored them as they couldn’t bite through. (no they didn’t carry us off- but close). We did the same when we went fishing and sometimes wore nets over our hats as during a hatch you could breath them in. Once I remember starting a small fire on a frozen lake in some brush when we went ice fishing and skating. As soon as there was heat there was mosquitoes and it was Nov,!

  8. We have so many right now it’s hard to walk the dog. Only thing I find that works is staying indoors!

  9. I’m extremely allergic to mosquito bites, big welt that lasts for 3 or more days and itch and ooze like a poison ivy rash if I don’t do something soon after I’m bitten. The itch will even wake me up at night. I avoid outdoors, especially early evening when they seem to be the worst, but I even got bit inside at the computer 2 nights ago.

    The best thing for me to reduce a bite’s effects is deodorant on the bite as soon as I feel the first itch. If I don’t have that, ice helps, but it has to be within 5 minutes of getting bit. It’s different for everyone, but I’ve found that if I keep moving, they have a harder time zeroing in on my breath and I’ve read they are really attracted to alcohol breath, but I’ve found that actually deters them for me, being sweaty does too. Also, the little people in my life get it just as bad as I do, so not sure about that theory either.

    1. We use turpentine both for bug bites and once or twice a year internally. It’s a old time Southern cure and works for me. Have only found one small company that is high enough grade and purity to use. Diamond G Forest Products out of south Georgia. Look up all the uses and you my want a few bottles for your survival medicine cabinet.

  10. Spraying with Listerine mouthwash also keeps mosquitos away…and it won’t harm animals so it can be sprayed around yards, picnic tables/areas, etc.

    1. Michel Cromwell
      How often do you spray around the yard?

      I use this for removing odors, mold etc, so who would have thought it would remove the pesky mosquito. I use the W/M brand, same ingredients, and a lot less expensive.

    1. I was using a heat gun yesterday outside of my shop and was swarmed by them.
      Took them all out with my AR. Only kidding. I think with the fire it’s the smoke that keeps them away.

      1. Wrong they are attracted by the heat. I was camping in the Yukon and we lit fireworks with a group of people for their 3rd of July celebration. They swarmed us and we all had to run for cover. Later when we were cooking on a coleman stove they were over 100 in the bottom of the stove around the burner.

    2. When I lived in my 14 ft. TiPi with a liner, I put a small fire in the center of it which creates a chimney effect. Not only did it keep me warm at night and took the dampness out, I never had a mosquito in it. I camped in the middle of the northern Minnesota woods where it is our state bird.

    3. wrong wrong wrong!
      Mosquitoes once chased a group of us out of a field in Northern British Columbia when we set off fireworks. They were into everything. I heated some stew on a coleman stove that night and covered it of course, but there were hordes of them around the burners.

  11. Moving air works well. I have a fan outside in my covered patio, and when that is on, no mosquitoes, even though there is a pond right behind the patio and a ton of little critters there.

    1. Katy J
      Use “food grade–Hydrogen Peroxide”(found on Amazon) on your outside water ponds, dog dishes, horse/cattle troughs for keeping the critters out of your water.

      1. antique collector, we change out smaller water sources for the dogs, chickens, etc. but for the large water troughs we purchase feeder goldfish. They gobble up the mosquito larvae, and are usually winter hardy, as we bust the ice up, or put a heater in the trough. In the winter if you want to feed the goldfish just toss in a pinch of oatmeal once in awhile, it won’t hurt the cattle.

  12. I read in one of the comments that a person used Skin So Soft lotion – I agree to this!

    After a bath of SSS body wash and an application of lotion, I noticed that after a few nights’ uses, I had not one bite on my skin.

    The makers of OFF! bug spray should look into this.

    1. Because of so much anecdotal evidence of Skin So Soft being a mosquito repellent, Consumer Reports tested it along with other things a few years ago. This was before Avon sold a SSS product that was especially designed as a repellent. CR didn’t find that it helped at all. (DEET was, as you can guess, the best repellent.)

      I HAVE often heard that as long as someone else’s blood is more tempting than yours, that person will get bit instead of you. SSS may be just enough to make you less tempting than the person next to you, perhaps?

      1. @ Wendy,

        Be careful of anything that has Deet in it. This is a neuro-toxin. Only put on your clothing, not your skin. I had a family member who attracted mosquitoes like crazy, so they used “Off with Deet” and had a seizure with-in 30 minutes of applying directly to the skin.

        1. Peanut Gallery,

          I have heard, anecdotally, of others with seizure and problems too.
          We have seldom used it, but when did, only on shoes/socks/pants, hats etc….

  13. Skeeters love me. I’ve tried everything. Nothing helps. Ticks love me to. I’m just a tick magnet I guess.

  14. Permetherin (sp) works well against ticks., chiggers.

    Once sprayed on clothes it, supposedly, lasts thru several washings.

    1. I have a bug repellent shirt that works well — on my arms and hands at least. (It is too big for me and hangs down halfway over my hands.) You still need something for your face and ears. Supposedly, it lasts for 50 washings, but I use it as an over-shirt and usually only wash it at the end of the season as I would any other jacket, so I have lots of years left to use it.

  15. One night last summer, I was at an outside party in the neighborhood, lots of beer and food being consumed. For some reason I could never figure out, the mosquitoes were hitting everybody, but me. Normally, they target me, too. I was dressed as everyone else was,shorts and short-sleeves.

    Weird – as I said – never figured out why!

    1. Survivor1

      It had to be something you ate/didn’t eat/meds. you were on/something washed with/etc..

      Give it some thought, please, might be a good hint for us all.

  16. Texas is swarming with the Zika bombers (mosquitoes). There are dozens of so called repellents out there but the problem is that one, just one, mosquito bite ruins my day. I’ve learned to wear long pants, high top boots, long sleeve shirts, cloth gloves, and a mosquito net that covers my head and shoulders. I do this regardless of the heat. Better to sweat than scratch and sweat.

    1. i’m the one among family or friends that is the mosquito magnet.I have learned to live with it and stop going berserk when i hear the whine on a hot night. Sometimes I have a lot of bites. I have a solution that works for me. I have a natural bristle hair brush, it is too soft to work as a hairbrush but hard enough that i can go into an orgy of brushing. the bites. The brush reddens the bite area but doesn’t scratch or break the skin and after a very satisfying while whatever my body is producing to create the itch in reaction to the bite seems to be overstimulated and become exhausted.This affect lasts longer each time until the irritation becomes minor and forgettable

  17. Actually, now that I think more about my previous comment about me being the only one at a nighttime party not being attacked by mosquitoes, here’s the thing:
    It was at a Colombian family’s house, and I was the only Gringo there with a whole bunch of Colombians. Quite possibly their diet (what they normally eat) had made them more attractive bait!

    I just can’t think of any other reason.

  18. There is a plant that grows wild and can also be bought at nurseries. It is called Beauty Berry. If you crush some leaves and rub it on you it repels mosquitoes, ticks, and chiggers. I attract all of the above like a magnet. This plant keeps them off of me, which is wonderful. I live in the country and the pests are everywhere. I rub myself down before going in the pastures to pick blackberries and never get the pest anymore.

    1. Pencilpusher6

      Is this a small plant, like say Mint, or is it a tallish shrub.

      A while back I read something about a tall shrub, the old timers used to tear a branch off of, and swipe over their animals/horses/cows to keep them off.

      1. It is a semi tall shrub. It has purplish red berries around the stem close to where the leave come out. Google a picture of it. Yes, old timers used this to repel pests.

  19. I recently read an article in The People’s Pharmacy that Vicks Rub put around the clothing/body was a repellent. My wife has started to get the large swelling and redness from skeeter bites…just really came on in the last couple years. Will be trying some of the other methods also, thanks to all for the great suggestions.

  20. A few more words about mosquitoes.

    They’re more attracted to people with type O blood.

    Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is the vitamin in garlic and other foods that repels mosquitoes.

    Permethrin works great for ticks and chiggers, and possibly mosquitoes, of course I can’t say for sure since I’m always wearing long sleeves and pants since I’m one of those type O people.

    One caveat for type O people, while we do attract more mosquitoes we are also naturally more resistant to malaria. :)

    1. @ Grits

      Hate to blow a hole in your theory of blood type O being most attractive to skeeters. Those little beggars absolutely LOVE me and I’m blood type A+. They always go after me regardless of what I wear, eat or apply to my skin. I always end up with those big giant welts/hives that last for days. It takes a couple of months for the bite mark to disappear.

      I’m going to try Vicks to see if that works. Our area is loaded with skeeters. There are several ponds, slow moving creeks and a lake close by, prime breeding grounds.

      Dreading when I have to pick the wild black raspberries on our property. The skeeters just wait for me to show up and then its buffet time for them.

      kk

      1. @kawartha kween

        Thanks for the reply, but the theory isn’t my theory. I used to live in Chicago and hardly ever got bit by mosquitoes but after moving down here to Alabama I’ve been a target. I wanted to know why so I hit the Internet and did some research on the subject.

        I started with the light/dark colored clothing and that helped. Then I came across the B1 vitamin thing and that helped a lot so now I add B1 to my supplements from April till October.

        The part about type O blood is scientific fact, at least statistically. According to the statistics, type O people are bitten more and in countries where malaria is present type A people get malaria people more often even though type O people are bitten more.

        I’ve been to too many websites on the subject (and too much time has passed to remember them) to list any references. So take it with a grain of salt, or do a search for which blood types attract mosquitoes more? :)

        1. @ Grits,

          The study you are speaking of was done by Wood and Dore in 1972, published in “Nature” magazine. Type O folks get bitten more according to their research, but Type A & B were more likely to contract malaria. Ironically, after being infected by malaria, Type A & B individuals attracted more bites.

          Hopes this helps.

        2. @ Grits

          Didn’t mean to imply that “your theory” is bogus, just that I also get eaten alive and I’m not type O. My daughter is type O and I get bit way more than she does. I also take a B complex but it doesn’t seem to have any impact on my getting bitten. Apparently I’m too sweet to resist…..if you’re a skeeter.

          Never thought to research blood types and skeeter bites. May do so when my project list is pared down.

          kk

          1. @kawartha kween

            It’s all good. Thing is, there are many contributing factors and blood type is only one of them, not the end all be all. Personally I focused on blood type because since I came down here I was getting bitten more than everyone else around here and also having extreme reactions to the bites.

            My brother joked that it was because I was new blood for them and they were drawn to me more because I had the new city taste and they liked it. On a side note, I also found that I was getting bit by gnats and chiggers more than everyone else down here too.

            I stopped wearing shorts after my legs were covered in itchy welts. It looked like I had the measles or chicken pox or something. That was a rough few days till they healed up! Since then I’ve figuratively bought stock in pants and long sleeve t-shirts. In the long run I think clothing is a better investment than sprays anyway.

            Now all I need to do is find something to get rid of all the spiders in my cabin in the woods! They’re drawn to it and are freaking me out.

          2. My Mom used vinegar/water mix 50%,..in a spray bottle. can also use tea tree oil and peppermint essential oil abt 6 drops each in a qt bottle, small squirt of dish liq. shake spray…

        3. joss

          Spiders LOVE mosquitoes, I leave them be [ outside, of course] so boot them outside to do their JOB.
          Cup and paper. plastic cup over the top of the offending spider,slip a firm piece of paper under the cup, escort them outside.

    2. I have always wondered if a mosquito magnet and diabetes potential are connected. the sweet breath smell possibly has something to do with sugar in the blood? always wondered.

  21. Another thing I do is set up mosquito traps. I put a few 5 gallon buckets in shady spots around the yard and threw some goldfish in them. They love eating mosquito larvae. Just change the water once a week and they’re fine. Next best thing to an actual koi pond if you don’t have the space or money to make one.

    1. Makes no sense to attract them to breed in water you have placed, so the goldfish will eat the larvae. How about don’t attract them with buckets of water in the first place?

  22. With all this rain we are getting, we have them bad. I hate mosquitoes. One bite and you will itch for days. I have tried everything to repel the beasts. Nothing works. They still find an area of my skin to bite.

    Incidentally, I am type O blood. Or I am just so sweet. :) Trying the B1 and whatever Shepherdess suggested.

  23. Give fingernail polish remover a try on the skeeter bite, it contains Acetone and works wonders, I use Cutex Brand.

  24. Just found this recipe for a DIY EO bug repellant spray
    (Note I have only used the Nature Shield oil itself, but these sprays look interesting)

    “Here is the recipe for creating a bug spray from this, from Plant Therapy’s blog:

    What you will need:
    Insect Shield Synergy(Ken put the link in my earlier post buy on Amazon)
    Water
    Natural Witch Hazel (You can also use Apple Cider Vinegar)
    4 oz Spray Bottle

    Directions: Fill half of the 4 oz spray bottle with water. Add the Witch Hazel or Apple Cider vinegar to fill the bottle almost full. Add about 20-50 drops of Insect Shield Synergy. The amount will depend on the strength you need. For children start out at the 20 drops. Adults can add up to the 50 drops.”

    Here is a much more diluted recipe for people, dogs, furniture (I did not test this, just passing along)

    “I mix several drops of this oil in a spray bottle with alcohol and distilled water. I spray it all over myself, the dogs, and the furniture on the patio late in the afternoon because that’s when the mosquitoes start bothering us. It must work because I haven’t had any bites since I started using it, although I still see them flying around, but not biting.”

  25. For many years skeeters were blamed for the spread of cycle cell anemia. Fortunately, research has shown that skeeters do not transmit that disease. Research has shown that cycle cell anemia is caused by licking food stamps.

  26. Wow quite a lot of replies on this.

    I use Repel with 29% DEET, sprayed on bare skin and clothes. Works on Skeeters and Deer ticks. For outings in the yard and camps I use citronella oil in hurricane lamps. 4, 5, or 6 of them burn all night maybe two nights. Ha, most folks put that in their tiki torches and only get 4 or 5 hours on burn. The hurricane lamps look nice too!

    1. why not just apply the citronella to your body with a spray bottle?

      Who cares if it smells?

  27. You can grow the citronella plant. We take the leaves, crush them and then rub on your arms, legs, face to repel the little critters.

    I never get bit.They don’t seem to like me much. The wife, on the other hand, gets nailed badly and she gets big welts.

    She uses lavender oil on the bites and the itch is gone. She swears by it for any and all bug bites…

  28. Yes, stagnant water attracts them too.

    We grow lavender here so I rub it on my skin.

    I also bought several citronella plants and some lemon balm and planted it around the yard just the other day.

  29. I use citronella burners around the yard and clear my standing water sources. I used to use a high concentration of DEET from surplus shops but I got tired of the stuff leaking out and melting plastic items in my pack.(will also discolor varnish on wood rifle stocks too.)

    Skin So Soft works for some people and it is an unaltered recipe going back over 30 years. Deep Woods Off is convenient and I use it on kids and fair skinned adults. I keep it away from the mouth, nose and eyes.

    I like using a camphor stick called Sting-eze for after bites. Seems that any topical lotion or cream that contains camphor will stop or ease the itch if the bites. With summer coming on, I am a big fan of Banana Boat brand of Aloe Vera gel with lidocaine for status-post cases of sunburn. It is day-glo blue and it works like a charm. I try to smear it on affected areas prior to Emergency Dept. admission. Aloe Vera gel with lidocaine also works for prickly heat rash as well.

    Thanks to all for mentioning plants that repel biting bugs. I am trying to learn more about plants that are repellent to biting bugs as well as plants used to provide topical analgesics. My knowledge of pills, creams and lotions is extensive though I doubt they would be readily available after SHTF or in a primitive area.

    Lastly, prior to travel in primitive areas, bring your own supply of above mentioned topicals. Treating injuries, sunburn and bites in a campground kept me as busy as fixing rifles in hunting camp in the fall.

    1. Diphenhydramine 50 mg 100 count bottles are dirt cheap from behind the counter at Bi-Mart. Possibly at other big box stores too. Trade name is Benadryl and it’s a good thing for things that make you itch. Shouldn’t be used if you take meds for high blood pressure and can make you drowsy.

    2. walmart brand chigger bite ointment helps, and it’s under $4.

      Has Benzocaine like anbesol. [ 20%]

  30. I too am a mosquito magnet. I think people invite me to outdoor parties so THEY won’t get bit. I’ve tried SSO and the fragrance was so strong it gave me a headache. The product is mostly mineral oil. Maybe mosquitoes don’t like mineral oil in their nasty little beaks. I have several mosquito screen hats and jackets. I spray “bug-off” spray on my clothes. I hang a dryer sheet from my hat. And I welt up and the bites get really sore.

    I did read an article (will have to find it), that there is a genetic reason that some people attract mosquitos. I guess I won the genetic lottery.

    So, here’s my cure for a mosquito bite. I learned it from my Grandmother. Adolph’s meat tenderizer. Catch the bite early and rub the powder/granules on the bite. I just spit on my finger, sprinkle Adolph’s on the spit and rub it in. I swear the bite never welts up. Which reminds me – I need to stock up.

  31. Re: bites – My son used to welp up and they lasted for 30 days or more IF they didn’t get infected. He regularly was sprayed with DEET as anything less wasn’t effective. He’d even get bit in the house. We had an Rx steroid cream, but used the camphor or ammonia dabber bottles for immediate relief. Also don’t know why it works, but making an x indentation with your fingernail over the center of the bite is very effective. And while I may not have the other remedies, I usually always have my finger…..

    1. Country Mouse

      this is good info to know, especially about the fingernail and X..As you say, always handy.

      I have been told, by someone who used to live in Brazil, and in area with LOTS of mosquitoes, and was allergic to Mosquitoes,
      that her Doctor there suggested she take a daily B complex, and they would not bite. She said it has never failed.

  32. I think some kinds of weeds must also attract them.

    I seldom have much trouble with them.

    This morning I went out to weed a flower bed. I fended off a LOT of them.
    Though I seldom use spray or repellant, went in the house and hunted some down.

    I sprayed a little on me,
    and then
    I gave the flower bed a good spraying, and waited for it to settle. Got the bed weeded.

  33. I too am a magnet (also type O) but thanks to a friend for finding this…called Mosquito Barrier. It’s a garlic concoction spray that is safe for plants kids pets etc. I was a total skeptic but this stuff WORKS!! haven’t been bit in weeks after spraying the yard/patio area and here in Louisiana they are our state bird as well.

  34. I lived in Alaska for 15 years and we used a product called Muskoil or muskol. It does have deet but it was the only thing that really worked. It does have a smell I never got used to. I tried Skin so Soft but it only worked for about 15 minutes.
    I was a tour guide in Cordova, AK and took people out 50 miles to Child’s glacier on the Copper River. May thru July the bugs fed royally. We were given RED jackets to wear- duh. We just kept covered including using the hood, hands and most of your face. They landed but didn’t get through the layers.
    The early mosquitoes were very large, like quarter size and you could feel them land. When you went to kill one you really had to smash it or it would get up and fly away- no lie. The later ones were normal size but there were so many. My advise would be to visit Alaska in early August before the snow flies and after the mosquitoes go to bed- mostly.

  35. I do not have very many bloodsuckers but 500 yards away, my neighbors do. We always argue about it and they hate me when they visit because they do not get bit.

    Now I will tell you what I do and you too can think I am crazy.

    I do everything to encourage birds, feed the bug eaters suet in the winter to keep them around. I have three bird feeding stations positions like guard houses around the property. I take care of bird nest raiding tree rats.

    I have furry flying bug eaters every year and have built bat houses. The parents are called Mat and Pat.

    I have eight bird houses that attract blue birds and swallows – for some reason they fight over the same house each year – swallows won this year which please my DW because bluebirds always took poop from the birdhouse and put it on top of our house at the peak – white dung on green roof.

    So, I believe that my friends the Robins, Swallows, Bats, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Bluebirds, … help to keep down the insects around here. I also change their bird water everyday – no permanent standing water.

      1. Stardust

        Oh ya, I forgot I have feeders for them as well. Plus wild and domestic flowers – Boss Rufus the blazer orange chested hummer is always trying to protect his territory.

        But there is one more insect eater I neglected to mention – I have several charcoal grey garden snakes that are about 1/2″ in diameter and 24″ long. These are the only snakes I have seen in ten or so years.

    1. Hermit

      I to am a big believer in birds, for me its Barn Swallows, Purple martins and plenty of Robbins. The standing water is a big one. Mosquitos need as little as a bottle cap to reproduce.

  36. I usually just blast myself with Off deep woods,,
    I did buy a bunch of bottles of a spray that has lemon eucalyptus oil in it though, it works ok, but not as good as the off if its a particularly heavy mosquito day. Weve had so much rain lately that the mosquitoes are thick in spots,

  37. Our Aquaponics greenhouse was quite an attraction for mosquitos. I made a spray mixture of Dawn dish soap and white vinegar. It killed the mosquitos instantly. I also spray the patio area when I’m sitting outside. Works great!

    1. How’d that work?

      Vinegar and dish soap kills weeds in hard to pull areas like sidewalks, etc…. by end of day.

  38. I think the mosquitoes are becoming more and more resistant to everything. Its quite maddening. LOL Mosquitoes and fire ants. They are everywhere!!!!! Ughhh…….literally trying everything to fight them.

    1. Texasgirl

      I know it is a pain, but at some times like early morning or dusk, long sleeves, pants, and a netted hat may be needed. Tall grass and shaded woods hide the little buggers. Like in agriculture, nature has a way of adapting as the chemical onslaught intensifies. They say insects will inherit the earth after we annihilate ourselves – I believe this.

    2. Texas girl, For fire ants. I am using Borax and sugar mixed half and half. to treat a mound take 1/2 to one cup disturb top of mound… sprinkle on heavily. cover with a peice of cardboard. weight the cardboard so will not blow off., leave for a week.. then check. May need to re treat once. after gone level the mound…or will be re populated..
      Old neighbor said, to take ants from 3 differetn ant hills and mix the populations they will fight each other and kill off…he said…

  39. Perhaps not eating sugar before going outside may help. Also hair spray and scented deodorants may attract them as well. A lot of good info. The AR should probably be used as a last resort :)

  40. Not that mosquitoes are bigger in Texas, but one summer riding fence for a ranch, I spent the night in a line shack. I woke up to the sound of metal clanking one morning, and I couldn’t find my horse. Walking around to the back of the shack to investigate the noise that had woke me, I spotted two mosquitoes. They had already ate my horse and were pitching horseshoes to see who got the saddle.

    I escaped while they were occupied.

    1. @ Dennis

      Ahhhh heck, those in little-ol-texas mini-bugs ain’t so big; those blood suckers over here in New Mexico are so big that one actually sucked the color right out of the sand when it landed, that’s why we have White Sands NM. :-)

      NRP

  41. When your quary goes to ground, leave no ground to go to.

    Keep your grass cut as short as possible. I use a reel mower so I’m able to keep mine cut down to about an inch high. Mosquitoes lay eggs in water, but they live in the grass! Keeping it short makes it easier for the birds and dragonflies to find them.

    On a side note, short grass also makes your property less appealing to snakes and easier to spot the few that do venture through it.

  42. I’ve forgotten about all the mosquitoes in Texas, now ya’ll are making me think twice about moving back!

  43. NRP

    Thank you for the history lesson about White Sands 😊 I will remember that the next time I visit the area.

  44. There is a lot of water on the surface in our area along with the many crops.
    We bought a fancy bat house from Pennsylvania and put it up according to directions last fall. No bats yet. The females are the nesters. Have not seen any yet. Might take a year or two before the migraters find us. Noticed the skeeters get bigger every year.

  45. Ever wonder how many mosquitoes it would take to meet your daly protein needs. ?

    might work to use them as a thicker in stew or soup ?

    I’m serious about this , wonder how they taste?

    Not so sure about use in protein bars tho

    Better go back to my tea and chocolate

      1. hermit us & Oldhomesteader

        Ahhh, do not believe I would want to put them on the list of foods to be consumed when they carry so many unwanted pathogens..plaque, Ebola, malaria, dengue fever just to name a few.

        But if you guys want to give it a try..who am I to stop you. bon appetit

        1. AC don’t you think cooking would take care of the nasty things, in E&E school we ate worst than that ,no one died ,at least no one I know of ,from that ,

    1. Oldhomesteader,

      Tried it for awhile, had to stop. Overwhelming desire to sleep in a cave, upside down. Tasty though.

      1. Similar experience with an attempt to make survival biscuits from pond scum. Overwhelming desire to become a democrat and run for congress. Guess they’re right when they say you are what you eat.

        1. Dennis

          Now you have an overwhelming desire for free sh*t? The mosquitoes are not the only bloodsuckers in the swamp.

  46. I have one in my backyard and every year it blossoms with these perfume-y white flowers – and around that same time my backyard becomes mosquito infested. It is impossible to be in the backyard without getting eaten alive!

  47. Propane Mosquito traps work well. When I lived in McCarthy Alaska we used these, within two weeks no more blood suckers.

  48. You could move to southern California. We don’t have skeeters. And according to the news, all the people are leaving too. You could have bug relief and help restock the pond out here. ……….
    ……………….. Ok, I’m leaving now. NRP, don’t break your screen; it’s not worth it bud.

    1. I think living in Laguna or a little farther down would be kinda nice,,, lots o people but is entertaining

    2. No offense, but you have too many other things, like TB, Typhus, and other diseases that were eradicated years ago.

      Of course we have lime and now triple E because of these little monsters.

      Bright side, they’ll be history first frost…

  49. – Bananas do definitely attract mosquitoes when eaten, Found that out the hard way. B=1 (Thiamine) does work as a repellent, but not enough to allow eating bananas!
    I have used DEET, but the more I read about the stuff, the more it scares me. Garlic and onion rubbed on the skin will work after a fashion, but are best applied internally, raw, and allowed to sweat out, in my opinion.

    years ago, read that aspirin would help keep the beasts away. Just as an experiment, when wife, daughter, and I went fishing, applied then new Deep Woods Off to daughter, G.I “Jungle Juice” (95% DEET) to wife, and I took two regular aspirin. I was careful to wash any residue of the other two off of my hands. Daughter had two bites, wife had one and I had none we could find. Score one for Bayer! Having said that, I still use the Deep Woods Off when needed, but the Aspirin is a thought for those who can use it. as a secondary or back-up. I have found that bites seem to disappear more quickly when I take aspirin (not Tylenol, Motrin, or Naprosyn)

    The best combination I have found when I was actually living in the swamps for weeks at a time was Permethrin soaked into long sleeved clothes, bloused boots, and B-1 twice a day. Add Deep Woods Off as needed. I re-treated my clothes after about six washings and rarely had bites. I did strictly leave bananas alone, though.
    – Papa S.

  50. I have fairly bad seasonal allergies, also allergic to cat dander. My wife is a cat person, and we have three, Annabelle, Joshua Beckett, and Ophelia aka Checkmark,plus our beloved Australian Cattle Dog, Stella Blue. The point is, I take 10 mg of Loratidine daily. I do try to avoid/prevent biting insects, but the antihistamine prevents me from having a reaction to black flies, skeeters,chiggers, etc…food for thought if you are extra sensitive to their bites.

    1. kevinH ,
      Glad you have found an option that works for you and each should consider….all options. I am thankful not allergic to the dog yet.
      I am working toward repelling the insects that seem to think I am candy. Already avoid perfumes, and having breeding grounds, as much as possible for offenders…
      I have had multiple allergies to bites and pollens since in grade school. after a whilemost of the meds used continually have stopped working… remainder makes me so sleepy can’t keep eyes open…so if i am having trouble sleeping, is viable option. I reserve the ones that work for most acute need.

  51. as a kid, we had a large citronella bush growing in the back yard. we used to crush a handfull of leaves on it when we would be out in the evening. it would work for a couple of hours pretty well.

    1. – I would have to second the notion about the large Citronella bush. We had one as well, and crushing a handful of leaves seemed to work pretty well for about a 30-foot radius around the plant. If the skeeters came back, crush another handful. We also tried rubbing the oils from the plant on our hands/face, but that didn’t seem too effective.

      Wind, of course, ended the effect, but also seemed to blow the bugs away as well.

      And for those asking, I will go ahead and answer. Mosquitoes LOVE blue-skinned blood, too!

      – Papa S.

  52. Here in central TX. powdered sulfur works real well for chiggers and ticks; Just dust your pant’s legs/your legs and they won’t bother you.
    Mosquitoes are another problem all together, especially for me, me being type O and light skinned. When I go out at night for a walk I hear “COME AND GET IT…..DINNER TIME!”

  53. I read on the Grower’s Exchange website that the Lemon Catnip plant is an excellent mosquito repellant. I ordered one plant and plan to order more to plant around the perimeter of my house. Rubbing the leaves on your skin is supposed to repel mosquitos, too.

  54. Y’all want to avoid these pesky and dangerous critters??? I have the solution…

    INVITE ME to hang out with you and you will be spared! We have literally watched friends walk through a swarm untouched as we observed the swarm zero in on my location.

    Now we live out in the boondocks (thank God!) on land densely forested with hardwoods and a 2 acre pond. I can hear those critters ringing the dinner bell when I walk outside!

    I keep the yard cut very short, and am thinning out the woods and brush a little more each year. Not much seems to work for me by way of repellents. I’ve done the vitamins, garlic, SSS, Cutter, Deep Woods OFF, dryer sheets, light colored clothing- still usually end up with at least a bite or two.

  55. I did two tours in Alaska in Recon during the 70’s (more skeeters in the arctic than in the tropics, or so they say…) so we spent a lot of time outdoors, both winter and summer. We used to eat a head off of a (paper) match every day. May have been the sulpher on the match head, but seemed to work pretty good, not perfect mind you, I still got plenty of bites but not as many as other guys.

    We also sprayed our clothes with DEET and years later, in Afghanistan we sprayed our uniforms with Permethrin, it supposedly lasted through several laundry cycles.

    1. Yes, In my experience, permethrin works very well against mosquitoes when sprayed on outerwear. I always keep a spray bottle of permethrin on the shelf near the front door!

  56. As a child, my parents bought sleeves of “sulfur cream of tartar tablets” every spring. Each sleeve had something like 24 tablets, each about the size of two quarters stacked together. We had to chew up one tablet everyday until they were gone. They tasted nasty, but like all children at the time, we obeyed our parents (disobedience could be very perilous). We were told this regimen prevented “boils” and other infections and repelled ticks, chiggers, and mosquitoes.

    1. Anonymous— I think I have heard of this before…But, the question is…from your memory, did it work? Do you still do this? thsk

      1. Anon,

        My guess is they did. We lived on the blackland prairie of NE Texas where chiggers were a curse. My brother and I would still get an occasional chigger, but one summer a cousin came to spend a couple weeks with us who had not gone through the regimen. He suffered a a huge number of embedded chiggers resulting in a serious skin infection around his private parts from scratching the itch. Probably wouldn’t have progressed that far had he told my parents earlier.
        By the way, that was Dennis, not “anonymous” posting.

  57. Ugh. It’s that time of year again…….we put up the Martin houses. Zero effect so far. Huge mosquitoes. Tried everything and still get darn bites.

  58. About 20 years ago we were backpacking in the Sierra’s. It was over 4th of July and the mosquitoes were very thick. We used Ben’s 100% and wore long sleeves and pants. It wasn’t any help – the buggers bit me up right through my clothing and my shoulders were covered in bites.

    We recently bought some Sawyer’s Permethrin to spray our clothes and hopefully that will take care of any future problems.

  59. Mosquito time again!! LOL……….Same problems, no viable solutions. These little buggers are resistant to everything. Literally tried everything. They get bigger every year. Itchy red bumps that last weeks. Ughh…..

  60. I have found a great natural mosquito and other insect biter repellent. Rub crushed Beauty Berry leaves on the skin to repel mosquitoes, gnats, chiggers, ticks, horse flies, etc. Insects love to bite me but don’t when I have this rubbed on. The US Dept. of Agriculture had a report in 2006 that said Beauty Berry was as effective as Deet. They grow wild but can be bought at nurseries. They may not have berries yet. I would post a picture but not able on this format. Look them up. Sometimes called American Beauty Berry.

    1. Been There

      I recall reading previously that Beauty Berry was (in olden days) widely used. Also, read of taking a branch and swiping over oneself, or one’s horse, working well too. When I asked around at growers, could not find them. If you can send Ken a photo, would love it if he could publish it.

  61. They seem to be attracted by heat. Around the 4th of July in the Yukon a bunch of us campers, set off fireworks in an open field. We were literately attacked by swarms of mosquitoes and had to run for shelter. Also that night I was heating stew, with a lid and hordes of mosquitoes attacked the flame of my camp stove. When I was done there were bodies of dead mosquitoes lining the bottom of my stove by the burners.

  62. I now use a mosquito trap in my back yard. It works. It uses a light, carbon dioxide, a fan to pull them into a trap, and a packet of skin scent.

  63. East Tennessee. This is my first of 69 years to attract mosquitoes no matter what I do. Most everything that has been listed here, I have tried since 1st of June 2019. Staying indoors is the 99.9 % solution. I’m outdoorsy and its making me crazy. The newest thing I’m trying is vitamin B1. I’ve been using it for about 5 days and I may get brave and mow the yard soon to find out.

  64. Hi,
    NE pa here.

    Just got word that a turkey was found to have the Equine virus transmitted by mosquitoe.

    Referred to as the triple E virus.

    No cure, no treatment. Horses have the vaccine, but not humans. WHY IS THAT???

  65. Afternoon to y’all! Here’s another thing to think about with the skeeters… a few months ago after the start of the covid scamdemic, I woke up one day with fever, coughing, sneezing, aches, runny nose…and a little mosquito bite on my arm. Figured I got the virus. The next day I woke up and looked in the mirror. Covered from the neck down to the bottom of my feet with red spots and welts that looked something like chicken pox. They didn’t itch, burn or cause any problem at all. The doctor said it was the Zika virus, which also comes from skeeters. All of the symptoms were gone in two days or so except the red spots which took about a month. The bright spot in this is…you only get it once, then you’re immune for life.
    The point being that avoiding the bites in the first place is a good idea. I’ve heard, but not sure, that it can be a problem for some people in specific conditions, like pregnancy. Guess I’m safe on that one… :-)

  66. My browser at work says that your certificate is not trustworthy and won’t let me look at your web page. Not that I would use company time to look at your web page.

    I noticed that smokers seem to have less problems with mosquitoes.

  67. A tip from where mosquitoes thrives.
    A net in front of the fan. Table or standing one. Wrap it to the edge of the back of the fan by a rubber string (or any method you can think of and make sure its easy to detach) while the net is at the front of the fan, let the fan suck them all in. But be advised. You have to deal with the result (you’ll see what they look like up close and personal and too many of them in one place) and put it back on if you want to again for the suckers to enjoy the ‘transporter.
    They can’t breath (maybe) while getting stuck in the net getting blowed aT.
    Choose your net opening size. In Alaska, I think a 5mm opening should be fine =) Shower cap with holes, anyone?
    Tools needed, a scissors, springy line, some method to fold the net and put the line in. Add your own tools afterwards.
    Enjoy your catch then.

  68. Lemon eucalyptus (citriodora)
    The oil from the leaves works for all sorts of stuff, besides being a pleasant odor it is a very good repellant

  69. Feet seems to be an attractant to mosquitoes. I ve been massacred by bites wearing deet, But this may have been increased by my dark clothing. An this maybe a great excuse for actually wearing a MASK while playing wooded sports as DiscGolf. I hate and despise masks, but I abhor insect bites more!

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