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Day 188: Frugal bug repellent options


You guys, I HATE MOSQUITOS SO MUCH. And I know hate is a strong word, but it's completely appropriate in this instance because it turns out that they are a MOBILIZED ARMY whose mission in life is to DRAIN ME OF ALL MY BLOOD AND MAKE ME SUFFER AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.


*deep breath*

OK. I'm not just being melodramatic here, the mosquitos this year are apparently even crueller and more aggressive than usual. These are kamikaze deathwish mosquitos, like, usually when you brush one off your arm, it flutters away. These ones just suck your blood HARDER until you have to physically rub them off, at which point there is a little explosion of blood (mine, mixed with theirs), and they have given up their entire LIFE just out of stubbornness and cruelty.

As I outlined a few posts ago, I am in the midst of a scientific study to determine the best way to KILL MOSQUITOS. I mean, the best way to avoid bugbites (DIE, LONG-NOSED INSECTS, DIE DIE DIE). I have not gone without any defence, because that's what I've been doing all summer and anyway, the thought of heading out unprotected makes me break out into pre-emptive hives and causes a nervous breakdown at the thought of all the itching.

I'm taking these suckers down, Diana Rigg style.
Don't mess with a crazy lady in a turtleneck and perfect eyeliner.

Day 1:

Children's strength bug repellent (I already had this in my cabinet) in "ocean fresh" scent. This was quite effective, as I went all day with no bug bites even after sitting outside for 45 minutes on my lunch break, and biking 40 mins to and from work.

Scent is unpleasant and chemically, but not as unpleasant as DEET usually smells. Child strength means less chemicals, but still, kind of worrisomely chemical composition. Also: you need to apply after 2 hours. Possible extenuating circumstances: during both bike trips, I wore a long-sleeve (sunscreen) shirt.


Pretty sure the Snuggle bear is in league with the mosquitos.
Doesn't he have a shifty, Gremlins-esque look to him?
Day 2: Dryer sheets (store brand, purchased for the purposes of this experiment based on blog suggestions). Scent: "unscented". (Actual scent: smells strongly like dryer sheets). Effectiveness: TOTAL FAIL.

Now, I can see how maybe this sort of thing might work if you were sitting around with a dryer sheet sticking out of your pocket or something, but it's not at all effective when biking and wearing an outfit without pockets.

I left the open package in the front of my bike basket on the way to work, so that the scent would disperse around me like an invisible shield, and did not get bit. In retrospect, I think that's because my ARCH NEMESIS the mosquitos sleep in during the mornings.

Back-up plan: start wearing mosquito netting like a dramatic fashion statement.
May interfere with ability to eat lunch outdoors.

Lunch: open package in my purse, no bugbites. Bike ride home:

- first, leaving open package in bike basket. Bug bite on thumb.
- rub dryer sheet on both hands, then bike holding it in my hand. Three bites on legs.
- put dryer sheet between head and helmet (imagining a protective dome of dryer sheet protection). Bite on my arm.
- Dryer sheet in helmet, one sticking out of bra, and clutching one in hand. Three more bites on legs.
- Rub sheets on ankles, knees, legs, arms and bike home with all three dryer sheets still in place (helmet, bra, clutched in hand). Two bites on legs when I stop to lock my bike.

Possible extenuating circumstances: I wore a short-sleeve shirt today, thus exposing more arm area to insects.


I'm going to take these mosquitos down, Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman style!
(Less tan, though) (And probably with sleeves on my shirt)

I'm thinking of trying vanilla tomorrow BUT I will also bring along bug spray, in case the vanilla doesn't work so I can save myself from TEN MORE BUGBITES tomorrow.


inmintcondition said...

I can live with any other insect except the mosquito. I hate those little buggers! I hope you eventually find a way to keep them from biting.

Annabelle said...

Thanks, I have high hopes! The mosquitos are seriously hardcore this summer, it's quite scary. If they weren't so itchy and obnoxious, I'd be impressed with their tenacity.

Sharon said...

Oh, I hate mosquitos too! Thanks for commenting on my blog, because now I get to follow your adventures! :)!!

Annabelle said...

Welcome, Sharon! It's always great to have a fellow mosquito-hater on board ;)

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