Mosquito skin patches actually attract mosquitoes

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DEET definitely works, but lemon eucalyptus insect repellent is almost as good and is much more effective than DEET four hours after application.

If we’re making statements about DEET, shouldn’t we be looking at the nearly-pure formulation, not the 1:3 diluted one?

The 98.11% DEET brand was more effective than the lemon eucalyptus after four horus.


I met a guy on the Appalachian Trail who tried using some all natural insect repellent made from “rain forest plants”, and he was so covered in bites he looked like he had chicken pox. “This stuff is like BBQ sauce for the bugs or something!”



Was this trial controlled for the genetics of the participants?


There is an urban legend about Complex B Vitamins and mosquitoes…


DEET is amazing and I would not be without it when traveling in the Sierras. The 30% DEET works, but it loses effectiveness after an hour. The nearly 100% DEET will be effective for 10 hours.

I also wear permethrin treated jacket and pants to keep the ticks off, and a netted veil to get the mosquitoes off my face. It’s kind of important not to be distracted by insects when operating a chain saw :slight_smile:


It depends a lot on the person. Upon arriving in Hawaii, I got bitten nine times walking up a flight of stairs from the parking lot to our hotel room. My wife, who was beside me the whole time didn’t get a single bite.

The lemon+eucalyptus stuff sounds interesting, but we’re both allergic to eucalyptus, so I guess we’ll stick with DEET.


I’m a mosquito magnet. I have friends who swear they will not be bitten if they are within 10 feet of me.

According to my experiments, if you eat garlic, B12 or brewers’ yeast to the point where you can smell it coming out of your skin, mosquitoes are in fact repelled. As are many other animals, such as potential romantic interests.

DEET is less effective at keeping humans at bay, but works great for mosquitoes.


I’m a magnet, while my wife is not. I know mosquitos are really bad when she notices that there are any.

My father just suffers them…to the point where he no longer gets allergic lumps and itching with the bites.


Have you tried spraying them directly in the eyes? That usually works for me.


My brother and I toured around India, where the mosquitos are, in 2008 and exclusively used the Cutter eucalyptus stuff for the whole time. It works great and smells better than DEET.

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I just tracked down the paper, because I have used B12 successfully in the past, and man is that some bad “science”. It proves something about the transfer of skin oil to glass tubes, perhaps, but literally nothing about mosquitoes.


I am very, very pleased that the lemon eucalyptus oil, aka Picaridin has been made available. It’s very effective and for me, has no side effects.

I have very few allergies, but for whatever reason DEET goes right to work on my brain. A couple of minutes after I put it on, I fog up like I have a high fever. It’s not a pleasant high either. I haven’t heard other people complain about it, but it’s happened each time I tried the stuff.

Nope, no more DEET for me.


actually attract mosquitoes

The Florida State bird…

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Pah. The answer is obviously guns.


Oh, my, yes, DEET is some creepy shit, you betcha! When I was in the Army, I somehow ended up with a 1 oz. (I think?) bottle of PURE (yes, 100%, no foolin’) DEET.

Holy. Crap.

One drop, rubbed briskly between your hands, then all over your body, was MORE than enough to repel not just mosquitoes, but many other nasties (noseeums, for example, and sand fleas). If you used too much, though… Wow, just as you say, not a fun time (and this was for everybody who tried it, mind you). The warnings on the bottle were quite strident about limiting use, until the damn stuff literally ATE OFF all of the text. I shit ya not. It also softened the (I think PVC?) container somewhat, so the outside eventually became badly scored w/o much real abuse.

Sometimes, however, the bugs can be so bad, that you slather on the DEET anyway ^^’. Similarly, no one was ignorant of the personal or environmental dangers of Malathion, on the Eastern Shore of MD, but people damn well let the county spray the crap all over to keep the mosquitoes down. You could put up a sign requesting “no spray” if you had issues, but even folks who could barely tolerate the stuff due to asthma or w/e, often still allowed spraying. What’s a little dire, carcinogenic poison, if it keeps you (half) sane…?


I only clicked through, but there isn’t even a hint about methodology, or a clue what 68% means. What is 68% of what?

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I remember those! Greasy nasty feeling stuff. Was really good at taking off camo paint, too.

Source: Canadian Infantry, 1981-86 or so.

The 98% stuff I’ve used is effective for days, soaks into your skin, puts a metallic taste in your mouth, and the skeeters will literally die as they land on you.

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