3

votes

Paleo Remedy for Mosquitos?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 03, 2011 at 8:19 PM

Hi everyone! This week im heading to the Bolvian jungle to work at Ambrue Ari, a puma and jaguar sanctuary.
Ive been told that the mosquitos are really bad there. I'd really not like to use any chemical repellent. So...

What is the paleo mosquito remedy?

Anyone have success with foods like garlic?

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

I know there have been other reports of children getting estrogenized from plant oils (I think it may have been due to lavender oil). I'll see if I can find it.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 18, 2011
at 09:36 PM

Of course, it could just be that I'm old and my blood is stale.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 18, 2011
at 09:35 PM

LOL. I know people are sick and tired of hearing about the miraculous benefits of VLC eating, but I gotta say: Not one bite so far this summer, and I don't recall any problems last summer, either. And I used to get *chomped.*

Medium avatar

(39821)

on August 18, 2011
at 09:15 PM

I have no relevant info to offer, but I would like to say that your life sounds quite a lot more interesting than mine.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 04, 2011
at 02:11 PM

I will continue to avoid the better researched endocrine disruptors like BPA, but will keep a weather eye out for more research. Also, the link focused primarily on lavender oil (and to a lesser extent tea tree) not citronella e.t.c

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 04, 2011
at 02:05 PM

Thanks for bringing this to my attention, however I find it hard to give significant weight to such a small number of cases (3) especially given how prevalent these oils are. It is also possible that the oil content of these personal care products was incidental; even so-called natural products often contain endocrine disruptors with a far greater body of research behind them, such as parabens. In short, our environment is now saturated like never before with endocrine disruptors ranging from mattress stuffing to the oral contraceptive pill. So for the sake of my own sanity (cont)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 04, 2011
at 01:55 PM

"have to admit, garlic has always been a staple." i think garlic is a big think people who regular eat garlic. Have a healtheffect for sure*

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on January 04, 2011
at 06:57 AM

I'm O- as well, and that's something I've wondered about. O- is less common than O+ or A+ and barely more common than most of the other types. that said, it seems like I got bit a lot as a child, so I'm wondering if it's hormone production. Also, after replying to this thread the first time I did a little research and found this: http://www.allmosquitos.com/what-attracts-mosquitos/what-attracts-mosquitoes.html and one thing that stuck out was that lactic acid attracts them. I have issues with lactic acid that affects my muscles, but I'm not an athlete.

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on January 04, 2011
at 05:50 AM

This is terrible advice. Many of the plant oils you mention are loaded with estrogen-like compounds that can have PRONOUNCED side effects, particularly on prepubenscent children. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa064725

Cfccbcf3450ac4919311ded8ef162d49

(2312)

on January 04, 2011
at 02:42 AM

I'm convinced it depends on your blood type. My girls and I are AB+, hubby is O-. He is the only one not bothered by skeeters. Not sure if it's the A or B or the +, but all my girls and I get bit.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 04, 2011
at 02:26 AM

That I'm aware of! We tea tree oiled EVERYTHING when we had the lice issue. I just never thought to look up alternate uses! THANKS!

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 03, 2011
at 11:48 PM

I always keep a bottle of tea tree in the house, as it's cheap, effective and has loads of applications (pun intended!). It's a potent antibacterial and anti-fungal. Use it to dry up zits, treat dandruff or as an odour-eliminating wash for feet/underarms. It's also good for soothing cuts and burns as it has mild topical anaesthetic qualities. (Just don't apply it neat if your skin is sensitive.) Be warned though, its pungent aroma will have everyone downwind pegging you as a crunchy hippy. ;)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 03, 2011
at 11:15 PM

Now I know what to do with the left over tea tree oil we have from when my daughter had lice! SWEET. Thanks!

F53a74de3f8df19a114c5ac702af2b12

(826)

on January 03, 2011
at 10:30 PM

citronella and lemongrass work quite well when mixed into an olive/coco/shea compound or dropped into a bottle of Dr. Bronners. I also find that tea tree oil dries up a mosquito bite in 24 hours much better than the old alcohol trick.

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12 Answers

5
Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

Certain plant essential oils such as citronella, lemon grass, cedarwood, eucalyptus, peppermint, penny royal, lavender, and bergamot repel most biting insects. As a bonus, some of these oils (lavender, peppermint and in particular tea tree) will also help to soothe bites and prevent/fight infection if diluted in a carrier oil and applied topically. However, pure citronella is the most widely used and recognised insect repellent.

You can buy candles impregnated with these oils which will provide your sleeping area with some localised protection. If you can't find any, just drip some of the essential oils straight onto regular candle tops.

For personal protection, blend your chosen essential oils together in an 20/80 ratio with either water or a carrier oil such as jojoba or sweet almond oil, and apply directly to the skin. A word of caution; some people find essential oils irritating to their skin, so be sure to do a patch test for 24 hours beforehand. If you use a gel wash soap or shampoo, you can also add the repellent mixture to this.

Essential oils are also quite photosensitive, so make sure that your bug repellent is stored in an airtight and UV blocking (i.e. dark glass) container.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 04, 2011
at 02:26 AM

That I'm aware of! We tea tree oiled EVERYTHING when we had the lice issue. I just never thought to look up alternate uses! THANKS!

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 04, 2011
at 02:11 PM

I will continue to avoid the better researched endocrine disruptors like BPA, but will keep a weather eye out for more research. Also, the link focused primarily on lavender oil (and to a lesser extent tea tree) not citronella e.t.c

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 03, 2011
at 11:15 PM

Now I know what to do with the left over tea tree oil we have from when my daughter had lice! SWEET. Thanks!

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on January 04, 2011
at 05:50 AM

This is terrible advice. Many of the plant oils you mention are loaded with estrogen-like compounds that can have PRONOUNCED side effects, particularly on prepubenscent children. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa064725

F53a74de3f8df19a114c5ac702af2b12

(826)

on January 03, 2011
at 10:30 PM

citronella and lemongrass work quite well when mixed into an olive/coco/shea compound or dropped into a bottle of Dr. Bronners. I also find that tea tree oil dries up a mosquito bite in 24 hours much better than the old alcohol trick.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 03, 2011
at 11:48 PM

I always keep a bottle of tea tree in the house, as it's cheap, effective and has loads of applications (pun intended!). It's a potent antibacterial and anti-fungal. Use it to dry up zits, treat dandruff or as an odour-eliminating wash for feet/underarms. It's also good for soothing cuts and burns as it has mild topical anaesthetic qualities. (Just don't apply it neat if your skin is sensitive.) Be warned though, its pungent aroma will have everyone downwind pegging you as a crunchy hippy. ;)

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

I know there have been other reports of children getting estrogenized from plant oils (I think it may have been due to lavender oil). I'll see if I can find it.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 04, 2011
at 02:05 PM

Thanks for bringing this to my attention, however I find it hard to give significant weight to such a small number of cases (3) especially given how prevalent these oils are. It is also possible that the oil content of these personal care products was incidental; even so-called natural products often contain endocrine disruptors with a far greater body of research behind them, such as parabens. In short, our environment is now saturated like never before with endocrine disruptors ranging from mattress stuffing to the oral contraceptive pill. So for the sake of my own sanity (cont)

1
B3c0950cd33bf7689ca0b98e5f2b6cdc

(588)

on August 18, 2011
at 08:59 PM

Have eaten Primal/Paleo for 7 years but this summer am very focused in lowering carb intake, and upping fat intake with coconut oil and grass-feed beef tallow. In addition to Vitamin D, I now take Vitamin K, Iodine, Magnesium, and Selenium. I also garden a lot and have noticed masses of mosquitos on my legs. Often I can feel the bites but not once this summer have I actually seen evidence of a mosquito bite, not a trace of itching, redness or discomfort in any way. Mosquitos are definently attracted to me but either something is repelling them before they can do their business or I have become immune to the effects of their bites. What do you think?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 18, 2011
at 09:35 PM

LOL. I know people are sick and tired of hearing about the miraculous benefits of VLC eating, but I gotta say: Not one bite so far this summer, and I don't recall any problems last summer, either. And I used to get *chomped.*

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 18, 2011
at 09:36 PM

Of course, it could just be that I'm old and my blood is stale.

1
Bc2110309df459e4fd6c8dab58e364ab

(1096)

on January 04, 2011
at 01:59 AM

it's not perfectly paleo, but if you drink a few spoon fulls of raw cider vinegar, you're good to go. You're sweat will smell funky, though. (Tested 3 weeks in the Adirondacks)

1
E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on January 03, 2011
at 08:49 PM

Mosquitoes have never been interested in me (I'm 40), and my diet has changed dramatically and wildly over the years. So I'm not convinced there are food remedies, although I have to admit, garlic has always been a staple. I'm always the one person in a group of people who gets annoyed when everyone wants to go inside because the mosquitoes are biting them and I'm still having fun because they leave me alone. The use of body products and colognes, etc over the years has varied as wildly as my diet, so also not behind my natural repellency. One natural thing I've used externally when I'm going into swampy places and know I'll have to deal with other kinds of insects is rubbing lemon balm (Melissa officianalis - it contains citronellal) leaves directly on my skin. Perhaps you could get some essential oil and make a lotion, oil or antiseptic to splash on.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 04, 2011
at 01:55 PM

"have to admit, garlic has always been a staple." i think garlic is a big think people who regular eat garlic. Have a healtheffect for sure*

Cfccbcf3450ac4919311ded8ef162d49

(2312)

on January 04, 2011
at 02:42 AM

I'm convinced it depends on your blood type. My girls and I are AB+, hubby is O-. He is the only one not bothered by skeeters. Not sure if it's the A or B or the +, but all my girls and I get bit.

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on January 04, 2011
at 06:57 AM

I'm O- as well, and that's something I've wondered about. O- is less common than O+ or A+ and barely more common than most of the other types. that said, it seems like I got bit a lot as a child, so I'm wondering if it's hormone production. Also, after replying to this thread the first time I did a little research and found this: http://www.allmosquitos.com/what-attracts-mosquitos/what-attracts-mosquitoes.html and one thing that stuck out was that lactic acid attracts them. I have issues with lactic acid that affects my muscles, but I'm not an athlete.

0
Ef2f6c723983d7fe7a06bd57af6adeed

(1725)

on November 16, 2011
at 09:56 PM

If you don't mind getting dirty, cover yourself in mud. It works like a mosquito repellent.

0
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 18, 2011
at 11:08 PM

Garlic oil capsules worked for me in a hot & humid South Carolina summer.

0
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 18, 2011
at 10:46 PM

No style conscious paleo peep would have been caught in these, but they look like they'll do the job. My SIL had some clothing much like this and loved them. Don't forget some mosquito net for your bed too. http://www.rei.com/category/4500559

Added: watch out for similar clothing that is impregnated with pesticides.

0
3a325ffc389f14f090ca464b95e72914

(205)

on January 04, 2011
at 12:59 AM

www.canyoncreeksoapcompany.com has a product called Outdoor Lovers that is a NATURAL, hand-made product and it repells mosquitos better than anything I've ever tried. They have soap, lotion, and a lotion stick (I keep the lotion stick in my purse for the extended periods outside).

0
1b52cbf14cfae77395838138c3903e31

on January 03, 2011
at 11:28 PM

High doses of vitamin B1 (thiamin) have been used as a repellent. The dose is 100-200 mg/day. I don't have any personal experience with this method, but thought I would share.

0
Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 03, 2011
at 09:35 PM

Additionally, if you are bitten camomile cream is an excellent natural soother. There are cheap, pocket sized devices on the market which contain quartz crystals, which deliver a small high voltage but low amp electric shock. This breaks down the secretion of histamine in the body and consequently reduces the swelling and itching.

Here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Zap-It-Mosquito-Bite-Relief/dp/B0012GMT0A

Also, if your sleeping area has electricity, there are some plug in scent diffusers which can be left overnight, unlike candles. I would advise you to steer cleer of the plug in repellers which use sound/light to repel mosquitos, as these in my experience are consistently ineffective.

Plus, don't forget to buy a mosquito net!

0
D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on January 03, 2011
at 09:23 PM

These two products took care of me when I was in Belize:

http://www.rei.com/product/703338

http://www.rei.com/product/751171

-1
1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad

(1061)

on January 03, 2011
at 08:35 PM

I don't know about food, other than that eating bananas can attract mosquitoes. And so does the colour blue - so do not wear blue jeans, etc.

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