Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I get bitten by mosquitoes worse than pretty much anyone I know. Well, not just mosquitoes--bugs too. Anyway, I have it bad. While in Physiology class a couple weeks ago, we learned that the make-up of people's blood is different and some people literally attract more mosquitoes than others. One person can be sitting around in the jungle, for example, and be totally fine while the other suffers debilitatingly from bites and post-bite itching/madness. I am in the latter group. To an extreme.
One time I went to Costa Rica for spring break with my ex-boyfriend. I counted over 100 bites on my legs alone to his one or two (seriously).
Interestingly, since moving to New York City, I have suffered worse than probably ever before in my life. The bites are not small, they are huge. They are not short lived and scabby, they are welty and persistent. They hang around in huge red marks on your skin for days, weeks even. Last year I went to the doctor because I thought I had hives or, worse, bedbugs. Nope, just gnarly mosquito bites he said. GOD! They are like BOILS! PLAGUE!They are really fucking miserable and I got my first one just the other day. So, this year, I vow to do better to protect my skin (and those that are forced to look at it) from the madness.
So, I am researching home remedies for mosquito repellent (since I can't verywell have that horrible OFF! or whatever on my skin for the next three months). I want it to be natural and not so stinky! Here's the best of what I came up with but if anyone has anything better to share, it would be MUCH appreciated. Sounds like citronella oil itself is the way to go...
PS Can you burn citronella indoors? haha.

From MotherEarthNews.com:

Herbal Insect Repellent

2 1/2 teaspoons total of any combination of the following essential oils: basil, cedarwood, citronella, juniper, lemon, myrrh, palmarosa, pine, rose geranium and/or rosemary (available at health food stores)

1 cup 190-proof grain alcohol (available in liquor stores)

Place ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously. Transfer to small bottles for storage. To use, rub a small amount on any exposed skin (test first to be sure your skin will not be adversely affected by the repellent) or dab it on clothing.

Experiment a little to find which essential oils work best with your body chemistry. If you’re lucky, you also will like the way they smell; otherwise, add a few drops of peppermint oil to fine-tune the fragrance.

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