insect repellant


New Member
It’s that time of the year again. The bugs are swarming.

What does everyone use for insect repellant?

Since we already stay away from perfumes sprays and other scents I think it helps but they still swarm. We use dryer sheets in our pockets. I’m sure dryer sheets are safer than bug spray but I’m sure they contain chemicals. I’ve also been told to stay away from bananas because they attract them. Any other ideas?


Active Member
Well, my mother, who is akin to a banana (in that she attracts May flies, gnats, green flies, mosquitoes and the like) swears by her smelly combination of a dryer sheet attached to the collar of her shirt and Avon's Skin So Soft bath oil slathered on. She is not above wearing a hat with mosquito netting either. Let me tell ya, she's a sight to behold! :laugh:


New Member
The problem is that most oils (like lavender and eucalyptus) that rebel mosquitors are also volatile and quickly disperse in the air. So unless you apply them constantly to your skin they won't work.

Citronella candles work, but I have heard that breathing Citronella is bad for you. They now sell bracelets with Citronella on them that you can wear. Although Citronella is natural it's safety is questionable.

But like with all things, you have to do a risk analysis and make some choices between two potentially harmful things. Mosquitos are not just a nuisance they are vectors for all sorts of diseases and parasites. There is also concern about lyme disease and ticks in my area as well. So what I have decided to use the one thing that has actually proven to work...DEET. I apply it in a well ventilated area to clothes, shoes and socks and any surface that is not in direct contact with skin.

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
You can actually buy Citronella plants and plant them around your patio and yard. If they are trimmed or rubbed everyday, they work. They are little and attractive and mix in nicely with other perennials. If you can't find them at your local nursery, check at a perennial or veggie farm or garden center. If still no luck, check on line.


Crazy Cat Lady
Pennyroyal, either the leaves (it is a member of the mint family) if you are lucky enough to live in the EU where it is native, or the oil extract here in the US.

Pennyroyal extract mixed with oil of citronella (lemongrass) is as effective a bug repellent as any commercial product I've found. You will smell ghastly, but the stuff keeps off mosquitoes even up here in the skeeter capital of the Americas.

Another 'product' that works is 'castoretum' which is the gunk found in the castor glands over a beaver's thigh's. This stuff has to be smelled to be believed but several trappers around here tell me it does work and work really well.

Eating garlic and brewers yeast makes one's skin taste and smell bad to bugs, as well.


I found this stuff last year called lymonessa by bug AWAY. It doesn't smell bad which is my biggest issue and it is a "natural botanical insect repellent wtih moristurizer"
I got it again this year at Christmas Tree Shops really cheap. It is non-Deet and lasts 2-3 hours. It contains: 9% citronella oil, 3% each of geranium oil, rosemary oil and peppermint oil., plus water, mineral oil and lecithin whatever that is! Hope this helps!
I also like the skin so soft stuff!


New Member
My mother in law swears by garlic pills. And something else I'll have to ask. Both herbal supplements that she takes daily. I don't know but I think I might try it this Misquitos are aweful already.



New Member
Ok my mother in law uses lots of garlic in her cooking (got this mixed with what supplements she takes sorry) for this reason (too much YUCKO) and she takes alphalpha and vitamen B complex. She says that since she started this the misquitos won't bite her. I do have to say I haven't really noticed any welts on her this year like everyone else has. Maybe there is soemthing to it.



Battle Weary
I haven't tried this myself, but my Grandfather swears by vanilla extract as a mosquito repellent, as does a friend of mine. They just dab a little on at pressure points (like you'd do with perfume). I guess there's something about it that mosquitos don't like???

One nice thing about it... at least it doesn't smell bad! :wink: