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Do any of you know of any non-horrible-chemical-based mosquito repellents that actually work? I've tried the one put out by Burt's Bees and it's pretty useless. (as an aside - I started out using Burt's Bees lip balm and hand lotion years ago when this one little country store in Va Beach sold it. It was bizarre to me that they started popping up in salons and stuff and that they've now changed their whole look and feel to a point where you wouldn't think it was the same company. Anyway...)

I'm not sure where else to look. I know in theory things that should work but I haven't really found anything that's easy to obtain and that anyone has real experience with. I literally end up with 5 or more mosquito bites just from taking the dog out to pee real quick. If I'm out for longer than a minute or two I can be assured of a good 20 minutes of insane itching once I get back in.

I've been putting on long jeans to do yard work because I just can't take all the bites I get otherwise. And doing yard work in 90 degree heat with that lovely mid-atlantic humidity is just balls.

On a completely different note, I finally made a follow up appointment (that I should have had a month ago) with the doctor. So by this time next week I should be even MORE medicated than I am right now. heh.

Technically my doctor is a nurse practitioner. Do I refer to her as "doctor" or as "NP" or what? Is there a proper title for that?


Sep. 5th, 2007 10:28 pm (UTC)
I'm fond of not killing my pets because I can't nut up and deal with a few bug bites.

Now I remember the skin so soft stuff. I might look into that.
Sep. 5th, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
I suppose if I was being licked by pets between application and washing one's skin, I'd be concerned about that.. but that isn't generally the case. :)
Sep. 5th, 2007 11:51 pm (UTC)
The moment I walk in the door three cats and a dog are on me, touching me, rubbing up against me, licking my hands, etc. And DEET can cause neurological disorders in pets if an appreciable amount is absorbed. Our pets don't live outside or in their kennels. And if my dog can transfer the oils from poison ivy to me by rubbing against me after she's been exposed to it why wouldn't she pick up pesticide from me after rubbing against me. (and she's a groomer so anything that gets on her fur eventually ends up in her mouth). It's not a hysterical "I've read too many websites" thing. But we don't even use basic insect sprays in or around our house because of the potential effects on the dog and the cats - not to mention ourselves.

Even if it weren't for the pets I don't feel comfortable applying a pesticide to my skin. I wouldn't roll around in a weed killer - I won't spray DEET on my skin.

If it works for you, though - cool

Sep. 6th, 2007 12:35 am (UTC)
On the other hand, an effective insect repellent can prevent a host of insect-borne diseases--it's a tradeoff. (Same applies to insecticides applied to the animals and lawns--have to find the ones that are safe enough for the animals while still toxic to the insects.
Sep. 6th, 2007 02:14 pm (UTC)
First let me just say again - if DEET based products are what work for you and you're happy with them then *great*. I just don't feel comfortable using them. Sort of pointless arguing over a personal preference.

I never said that repellents made specifically for pets were out of bounds. I said that I didn't feel okay putting a pesticide on my skin - especially given then amount of contact my pets have with me. And there is a WORLD of difference between a DEET based repellent and a flea and tick repellent made specifically for cats and dogs. First of all one of them isn't known to cause neurological disorders through exposure.

The actual chances of me or my pets contracting malaria, Lyme disease, or West Nile are so small that it's hilarious trying to figure them out. Once I give up my home and decide to live in a tree on the Congo I'll take insect-borne diseases into account more seriously. As is stands where I live and my general lifestyle make the chances of actually contracting a disease from insects ridiculously slim. If (or the dog) get a tick, I'll take it off within 36 hours. I'll watch for any Lyme disease symptoms. I'll destroy mosquito breeding grounds. I'll look for non-toxic repellents. I won't coat my skin and clothes in a chemical like DEET.

Personal preference.

I looked it up - between 1997 and 2002 (can't find earlier numbers and don't care to look further) there were 4 reported cases of Malaria in Virginia. 2 of those happened in 2002 and were highly publicized, reported on national news, etc. They found a small puddle of water with mosquito larvae that were carrying a fairly weak strain of Malaria.

And Lyme disease is a pretty big deal in northern VA. Loudon Co. gets something like 20 times more reported cases than the rest of the state. The chances of getting Lyme disease are greatly reduced if you just check for and remove any ticks early. I don't know about you, but every time I've ever had a tick I've gotten it off of myself and my dog well within that 36 hour time frame. And I think I've had a tick twice in my life.

I'm sure there are plenty of other diseases that I should be fucking *shattered* over like... West Nile or Denge Fever or some other thing. And the CDC still recommends DEET based repellents and that's fine.

If I contract West Nile or Malaria you can feel free to point, laugh, and feel superior.


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