Saturday, July 23, 2011


What is with the biting insects this year? I'd think it would be dry enough to discourage them, since it's dry enough to kill all the plants and reduce the sheep pastures to nothing more than essentially standing hay, but my new hobby this summer seems to be scratching my numerous bug bites.

Actually, I don't think I'm being bitten by mosquitoes this year, which are usually the culprit. This year we seem to be swarming with these little flies that look like houseflies but bite with an immediately painful bite and then just keep coming back. If you don't kill those little bastards immediately, the same one will land and bite over and over.

I seem to be amassing the most bites on my ankles and feet. I even have one on my big toe. Weird. The itching is driving me crazy, especially at night. I need to get some calamine lotion or something. And figure out how to keep them from biting me to begin with.

Any thoughts on a non-Deet (I hate that stuff and don't want to apply it to my skin) bug repellent, duckies?


Sherry said...

Sarna lotion is an excellent anti-itch lotion. But that's "after the fact"? What's wrong with DEET? it works! (Just don't use it all the time) A pharmacist told me about Sarna lotion when I had poison ivy and it worked. I also heard, at least here in western NY, that mosquitos and other biting insects are going to be worse this year due to the heat and humidity. Sarna lotion is sold in grocery stores or wherever first aid, over the counter stuff is sold. I would even use smaller concentrations of DEET on Cubby on occasion.

Anonymous said...

Are they black flies? Those things don't bite; they dig!

Toni said...

You must have gotten our share this year, because they don't seem as bad here in Indiana. Sorry I can't help on the repellent, either. I haven't found one that works that I am willing to put on myself or the kids.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I saw an advertisement for a product by OFF...a tag of some sort that you clip to your clothing that forms a sort of dome around you to repel insects....might work. If Cubby puts things in his mouth I probably wouldn't clip one to him though.

Charade said...

We've had problems this year with a bumper crop of both ticks and chiggers, but only minimal deer flies.

After picking fourteen ticks off my husband after he spent two hours taking down barbed wire fence, I went back to my childhood remedy - Avon Skin-So-Soft. I mix it in a spray bottle with two parts water, and we spray it on ourselves before dressing, then spray it on our clothes (including hats & boots). No more ticks, no more chiggers. I can even go out to the garden in sandals if I spray my feet and legs well enough.

Even deer flies come close, then turn away.

cndymkr / jean said...

I second the skin so soft from Avon. There are natural repellents like eucalyptus sprays - they stink to the high heavens but they seem to work.

Phoo-D said...

Sadly I have found that even DEET doesn't deter those biting flies. We have them and they are awful.

Star Bustamonte said...

There was recently a study released that showed the essential oil, Lemon eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora) was as effective, if not more so than DEET. It's inexpensive and easy to use. You can apply it a couple of different ways.

First, since it is an essential oil, you NEVER want to use it straight. It can be safely mixed in a water or oil base and applied that way. For a water-based application, get a spray bottle that is food safe. (Target usually has spray bottles in the section near the hair care/hair dye.) I like the 8 oz bottles for this purpose.

Add either 1oz of 190 proof alcohol (EverClear) or witch hazel to the bottle. Then add about 20-30 drops of the lemon eucalyptus and then fill the bottle almost to the top with water, leaving enough room for the sprayer. Shake well and you're ready to spray yourself, your clothing or whatever. DO NOT spray this on directly your pets - animal's livers and kidneys cannot process essential oils the way humans. You can however spray their bedding, just let it dry before allowing them access.

I'm a registered aromatherapist, so I'm not just blowing smoke up your skirt. While this works pretty well, there are other choices, too. I make my own products. I'm happy to help people be less annoyed with insect life without poisoning themselves with dreadful things like DEET.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if blowing smoke up your skirt would work too?
(See above comment)
Just teasing and trying to be funny.

Chiggers and I don't get along...well maybe they love me too much...but it is not a mutual feeling I assure you. :) Beth

word verification : onjcrans

new juice

Daisy said...

Tea Tree oil will help after the fact, too. It's strong and it smells strong, but it really helps cut the itch.