Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Not just a cute name...

Nope, it's not just a cute name and a scary logo. Our little flying friends are back in full force! Mosquitoes were our big surprise farming challenge last year. Of course, we didn't see them when we started getting going in May of last year, but then came July... At first we panicked and ran for cover as soon as the sun dropped behind Sumas Mountain, but slowly we adjusted. I got a special hat, started taking more B vitamins, and experimented with various types of citronella sprays.

So, was I ready for the arrival of our skeeters this year? Not exactly...I was only at the farm for a few hours this evening and I am now covered in calamine lotion. This means it is time for my now annual review of the latest (non DEET) mosquito repelling techniques.

Of course, many people swear by Avon's skin-so-soft, but the reviews online (both medical and otherwise) don't look very promising.

There's the intriguing Bug Button, which one can wear on the wrist, pin to clothing, or hang from a tree. The special ingredients are Indonesian lemongrass oil and Philippine geranium oil. It claims to repel for 220 hours once it is unwrapped.

Then there's Bite Blocker, which is a soybean-oil-based spray and lotion and calls itself the #1 DEET alternative. WebMD reports that it worked for an average of 94 minutes during a particular study...not all that impressive.

Finally, I think Repel Lemon Eucalyptus has some promise...Lemon eucalyptus oil is one of the three mosquito repellents recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (along with DEET and Picaridin) and this is apparently the only commercially available spray that contains it. It claims to block bites for about 6 hours.

Given the aggressiveness of our skeeters, I've got my doubts about all of these...but I'll try anything once. Let me know which one you think I should try and I'll report back!

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