Sunday, June 5, 2011
10 Bizarre Tips For Mosquito Prevention—True or False?
Even though it's not officially summer until June 21, the fact is that Memorial Day has come and gone and it's now the summer season. In most states school is out and summer vacations are underway.
And summer time means being outdoors whether a picnic in the park, a barbeque in the backyard, or a camping trip. Unfortunately, being outdoors has one very large stigma attached to it—mosquitoes. With this year's excessive amounts of rain and flooding in many parts of the country, that will undoubtedly translate to more mosquitoes than usual which is not good news for the outdoor enthusiast.
I recently came across an article listing 10 bizarre tips for dealing with mosquitoes, some of them real and others merely rumor. Here's that list.
Tip #1) Drink Lots Of Beer
This is a rumor. The reasoning behind this wishful thinking tip is that alcohol and yeast are not appealing to mosquitoes. In reality, the opposite is true. Mosquitoes prefer the blood of beer drinkers over anyone else.
Tip #2) Fire Up A Bubble Machine
This is real. It's been shown that mosquitoes have been repelled by soapy solutions. This is less about bubbles and more about the soapy suds.
Tip #3) Mix Up Some 'Dew
This is sort of real. Someone made a suggestion that mixing up a solution of Mountain Dew and dish washing soap, putting it in cups, and leaving them around the yard would keep mosquitoes away. Attracted to the soft drink and repelled by the soap. Perhaps save the Mountain Dew for the refreshment stand?
Tip #4) Wear Only White
This is a rumor. The theory behind this is that when you wear bright and dark colors your clothes absorb heat which attracts all kinds of bugs including mosquitoes. In reality, when it's hot outside you're going to have a higher body temperature no matter what you wear.
Tip #5) Rub Chives On Your Pulse Points
This is real. But do you really want to do it? Mosquitoes do not like the smell of chives, but that also applies to the friends and family around you.
Tip #6) Eat Plenty Of Garlic
This is real. But, as with the chives in tip #5, do you really want to do this? If you happen to be eating a garlic laden meal, mosquitoes hate you. And you'll also be repelling vampires if you're eating this garlic laden meal at night when they're out and about.
Tip #7) Vacuum Them Up
This is real. However, how many of us have the reflexes and eyesight to be able to vacuum a mosquito in mid air?
Tip #8) Try This App
This is real. But there are reservations about doing it. There are a few iPhone apps available that are designed to put out a noise that repels mosquitoes. Unfortunately, it doesn't work on all varieties of mosquito and it drives cats and dogs nuts.
Tip #9) Rub Yourself With Fabric Softener Sheets
This is real. This tip agrees with tips #2 and #3 about mosquitoes not liking the taste or scent of soap. However, it sounds as if it would be irritating to the skin.
Tip #10) Spritz With Mouthwash
This is a rumor. It has been suggested that using a spray bottle and spritzing yourself with a 10 to 1 mix of water to Listerine will repel mosquitoes. It's true that the menthol and eucalyptus in the mouthwash doesn't appeal to them, but the 10 to 1 dilution negates that. And applying mouthwash directly to your skin will dry it out.
So, there you have it—the bizarre suggestions for avoiding the mosquito bites that seem to come along with summer's outdoor activities. Perhaps it's best to stick to the conventional choice of a product manufactured as an insect repellent. I, personally, find that Cutter Insect Repellent is a brand that works well.