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mosquito repellent for my face?

so i just started an internship where i work 6-8 hour shifts out in mosquito-infested wooded areas. i have been wearing jean-like pants, a tank top, a shirt, and a zip-up hoodie. my legs and arms are all bitten up, and i have a few bites on my face and neck. it itches like hell and i wake up in the middle of the night from the itchiness and am unable to fall back asleep easily because of that.
it's starting to get warm and i don't want to be wearing all those layers. it doesn't even seem like my pants or jacket keeps the mosquitos away from my arms or legs.

they constantly swarm and land all over my face/hands, which are the only places i can feel them land and it drives me nuts.

I bought Herbal Armor bug spray (http://www.amazon.com/All-Terrain-Herbal-Armor-Outdoor/dp/B000MWDYAY) but it only seemed to keep the mosquitos away for 10 minutes. i also ate a bunch of garlic with my eggs in the morning, but i doubt that did anything to keep them away.

i bought eucalyptus lemon essential oils to mix with a carrier oil to put on my skin/clothing tomorrow. i don't know what else to try.
this internship lasts for two months and i don't know how i will be able to deal with this without going crazy.

i know there are tons of memories on mosquito repellent stuff and that's why i got the Herbal Armor and eucalyptus lemon oil, but i need something that works!

the main thing is, i need something i can put on my face that will keep them away.
i know that a bug net won't work because i'm constantly bush whacking/dodging low hanging branches and the net would just get torn.

i just counted my bites. i have exactly 100 (that i was able to see) and i promise that is not an exaggeration..


( 49 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 15th, 2010 01:29 am (UTC)
Okay, so it isn't natural, but you don't put it on your body. The little Off! fans that attach to your pants at the waist work pretty well.
Jul. 15th, 2010 02:04 am (UTC)
i saw it at a store the other day and read the warning label. it warned against inhaling the fumes, but how do i avoid that when it's attached to me? it also mentions not to eat, chew gum, or handle tobacco after touching the fan and to wash hands for 15-20 minutes if it comes in contact with skin. it's hard for me to be willing to buy something that has those sort of warnings :\
Jul. 15th, 2010 02:06 am (UTC)
My parents are out in their garden a lot, and we're swarmed in GA with mosquitos, so they use them. I honestly have never noticed my mom's until she adjusted it one day - I don't smell any fumes, etc. It may be worth it if you're out in the middle of the woods, IDK.
Jul. 15th, 2010 01:47 am (UTC)
Also not natural, but rather than putting something on your face, get something strong and spray down a cheap trucker cap to wear. That's what I was advised to do by a Florida native, and it worked pretty well for me.
Jul. 15th, 2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
I used 30% DEET today sprayed on my clothing and hood of my jacket as well as the Herbal Armor spray.. The mosquitos didn't bite for the first 10 minutes (but did land on me, quickly flying off again). After the first 10 minutes, the swarm started and I have 50 new bites :(
Jul. 16th, 2010 04:35 am (UTC)
Ugh! I'm sorry it didn't work better. :-( My only other suggestion would be to reapply periodically.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 15th, 2010 11:58 pm (UTC)
i'd love dozens of pet praying mantises.
As for the tassels, that would be too distracting while i'm taking measurements (as i do for 6-8 hours in the forests).
I ordered a head net off of Amazon.. I don't know how long it will last me because I'm constantly going through shrubs and low-hanging branches that could easily tear the mesh..
Jul. 15th, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
Stop eating anything sweet, and start super-eating garlic.

Invest in DEET. Nothing keeps them away if they really are hungry enough, I've learned this the hard way. Spray it all over a cap or a headband, and wear that. Wear those mosquito-repelling bracelets.
Jul. 16th, 2010 12:00 am (UTC)
you're right.. nothing is keeping them away. i used herbal armor spray AND 30% DEET spray and it kept them from biting for 10 minutes.. but after those first ten minutes, the swarm began to suck my blood.. over and over and over.. i haven't heard of mosquito-repelling bracelets but i'll look it up
Jul. 19th, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC)
If you are really serious about keeping the job, look at lands end and other outfitter stores for light mosquito gear. Its long sleeve clothing, gloves, socks, etc you can wear that wicks away sweat so you don't feel hot.

The truth is with all animals, if they are hungry enough, nothing will stop them other than a literal shield. Mosquito netting over hats is always an option. Once they know they can't bite you, they will move on to whomever you are with, very quickly. I heard that they release a chemical that lets other mosquito's know you are basically good eating, which I don't doubt after having literal thousands of bites over myself as well. You want to stop looking good, and maybe only protective gear can grant you this at this time.
Jul. 15th, 2010 02:50 am (UTC)
Don't wear dark colours, especially blue.
Also, a Bundjalung (an Australian Aboriginal mob/tribe) Elder once told me that mud works. *laughs* I didn't try it for the same reason you likely won't - I didn't want to look like a mud person :/
Jul. 15th, 2010 08:00 am (UTC)
Lots of animals wallow in mud because it helps keeps the insects off.
Jul. 15th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)
I can vouch for the effectiveness of mud - at least South Carolina pluff mud - but also can vouch for everyone thinking you're disgusting, even if you patiently explain over and over again that mud, simply because it has dirt in it, is not dangerous...
Jul. 16th, 2010 12:02 am (UTC)
i'm going to go out and buy light colored shirts today since most of what i own is dark. are they more attracted to blue for sucking blood? why is that?
Jul. 16th, 2010 01:44 am (UTC)
I'm not sure about why the blue. All I know is that my old university's science department had done studies into it, and that was the conclusion.
As an aside, I was a Scout Mistress when Scouts Australia changed from the khaki "military style" uniform to a navy blue uniform, and the biggest argument was the colour - that if we had to wear it when canoing or kayaking, we would be eaten alive by mosquitoes. It also seems to be that they're more attracted to navy and royal blue than pale blue, but that could just be anecdotal (I'm allergic to mosquitoe bites - if I get bitten, I end up with huge red welts around 4 inches in diameter before I even scratch)
Jul. 15th, 2010 03:38 am (UTC)
I know vitamin b complex is supposed to give your body a scent that only insects can smell or something and mosquitoes really dislike it. I've taken b complex as long as I can remember (my parents were into health and vitamins) and I maybe got bitten by mosquitoes when I was younger? I can't even remember the last time I was bitten by one and I grew up and live in South Florida. My sister on the other hand, who doesn't take her vitamins like I do, gets bitten a lot when she goes outside. Then again this could just be because we are two different people.

Good luck and hope you find something that works!
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 16th, 2010 12:02 am (UTC)
guess i won't be investing in vitamin b capsules...
Jul. 16th, 2010 02:13 am (UTC)
As an Aussie, we say Vegemite keeps mosquitoes away - Vegemite being such a rich source of B group vitamins - but I can say that I still get eaten alive, and I'm a vegemite eater (I eat it at least once a day)
Jul. 15th, 2010 04:03 am (UTC)
lavendar oil is supposed to help, as is a diluted tincture of yarrow flowers. we've used lavendar successfully, but we're in the southwest, which does not have the sheer density of mosquitoes you're encountering. but maybe combined with eucalyptus &c, it would help. one of our friends is seriously allergic to lavendar, so we're making some yarrow tincture right now, actually; if i can remember, i'll come back here in two weeks when it's done and let you know how it worked. (hassle me about that at yarrowkat @ livejournal . com if you want to!)
Jul. 15th, 2010 05:45 am (UTC)
I have heard hemp oil works very well. I have a friend that is a perfumer that makes up a blend called 'Vampyre's Bane' that is her natural insecect repllent and hemp is the carrier oil.
Jul. 16th, 2010 12:03 am (UTC)
today i used herbal armor spray, eucalyptus lemon essential oil mixed with olive oil, and 30% DEET. it kept mosquitos from biting for the first 30 minutes, but that was it..
Jul. 16th, 2010 12:03 am (UTC)
10 minutes, not 30
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:18 am (UTC)
Completely not natural but if you're really going to lose your mind over it, invest in Jungle Juice from REI. It's like 98% DEET but the stuff works. I used it in peak mosquito season when I lived in Ghana (and didn't want to take my daily malaria pill) and it kept the little monsters from biting me.
Jul. 16th, 2010 12:04 am (UTC)
i might have to do that.. i used 30% DEET with two other natural products and still have 50 new bites :(
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:41 am (UTC)
I have heard that if you eat bananas, mosquitoes don't bite you...but I could be wrong. If you are encountering a massive amount of mosquitoes, I would recommend going the non-natural route and get something with DEET in it.
Jul. 16th, 2010 12:06 am (UTC)
i thought the opposite? i thought they were attracted to potassium.
i used 30% DEET today with no luck of keeping them from biting, except for the first 10 minutes of application..
Jul. 15th, 2010 11:14 am (UTC)
my husband bought an amazing mosquito repellent at target of all places that was called eco something. it's in a white pump spray bottle and it is all natural eo's and it WORKS. we live in minnesota and the mosquito is the state bird, and this summer they are horrible. we spilled most of the bottle around the patio a few days ago(yay kids!) and they have not bothered us in the least since then despite a few heavy rainfalls. this stuff smells amazing(almost like a bpal scent), is safe to put on your face, and does not sting when it goes over scratches.

we tried it with one arm of off and one arm of this stuff, and the arm with off had more mosquitoes land on it after an hour than the other stuff. it lasts for a long time- we reapplied after 4 hours outside just because we forgot to hit a few areas of clothing. we now swear by it, but i am tired and cannot remember the name, but it is in target with the rest of the bug repellents, works for ticks, flies, etc, and is something like $4.50 a bottle. so worth it. there are also wipes for your face and roll on forms, but we get the sprays so we can get our hair, clothing, etc.
Jul. 15th, 2010 11:43 am (UTC)
If you think of the name can you let us know, thanks :)

To the OP, I don't like using sprays either but at least spray your clothes if not your skin. I find it does help a little bit. I wouldn't do this on a regular basis(could be expensive) but the other day I went outside to work at dusk and the mosquitos were all around. I went back inside and broke off a piece of lemongrass(smells sort of like cintronella). I crushed it between my hands and rubbed it on my fair/hair. Seemed to work, but I was only outside for another hour after that so not sure how long.

Best way to help all the bites you do have so you can sleep is to get a bottle of white vinegar. Just rub some on the bite. It is a simple way to get rid of the itch, and more important it works!
Jul. 16th, 2010 12:08 am (UTC)
i used 30% DEET today along with herbal armor spray and eucalyptus-lemon eo. no luck.. i've got 50 new bites.. and if DEET doesn't keep them from biting, i don't know if anything will.
Jul. 15th, 2010 01:46 pm (UTC)
I've heard a spoon full of vegemite will keep the bugs at bay, but I don't know if it's available where you are
Jul. 16th, 2010 12:08 am (UTC)
yuck :\
Jul. 16th, 2010 02:16 am (UTC)
It doesn't work. I love vegemite (I eat it at least once a day) and I still get eaten alive - though not at the moment, since I'm in the Blue Mountains, just west of Sydney, and it's FREEZING!
Jul. 15th, 2010 01:59 pm (UTC)
Why not try an insect repellent meant for babies on your face. If it's safe for babies skin it should be fine to use on your face. I use this with my kiddos when we're going to be around bugs. http://www.gentlenaturals.com/products_bugrepellent_ingredients.html#load

Also, what about something like this... http://www.badgerbalm.com/p-21-anti-bug-balm.aspx Anti bug Balm by Badger Balm. Since it's a balm you wouldn't have to worry about getting it in your eyes or mouth.
Jul. 16th, 2010 12:09 am (UTC)
they both seem to have the same ingredients as the herbal armor spray.. i used 30% DEET today and it didn't work to keep me from getting bitten.. i figure if DEET isn't working even with 2 other (natural) 'repellents,' then nothing will..
Jul. 15th, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC)
The thing about these natural insect repellants is that you need to reapply them regularly, more often that you would think if you sweat. I would invest in a bug net for sure, they work wonders. Woodsong Herbals in VT makes an excellent bug repellant 'That Bug Stuff,' that actually smells good! The owner does mail order. It works well and has been field tested all over the country, but it does need to be reapplied once an hour for moderate sweaters. They carry a whole line of 'that bug stuff' lotion, salve, shampoo. One could really load up. Have you looked at supplementing insect repellant with an insect repelling shampoo and soap?
Jul. 16th, 2010 12:10 am (UTC)
once an hour? agh. are there natural insect repellent shampoos and soaps?
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 15th, 2010 04:06 pm (UTC)
I usually smear bug repellant on the back of my neck as well as arms and ankles (I wear long pants), and that usually works for a while. When I was at Girl Scout camp if I got the back of my neck before bed, I wouldn't notice mosquitos until 5am.
Jul. 16th, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
they haven't bit the back of my neck yet, but have bit the front of my neck. my hands, wrist, elbows/right above elbows, forehead, and back of thighs seem to be where they bite the most.
Jul. 16th, 2010 01:20 am (UTC)
Oh, they don't usually bite the back of my neck, but putting (natural) bug repellant there prevents facial bug bites without it dripping in my eyes, nose, or mouth. The summer I learned this I stopped counting at 70 bug bites. Good luck.
Jul. 15th, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC)
while not totally natural, the skin so soft line from avon works wonders. i grew up wearing it and it seemed to work as well as citronella (never been into chemical bug sprays).
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
Yes. Their bug guard plus is the best I've used. You can get it in pump or aerosol, and the kind I use is the waterproof, sunblock + bug spray stuff. It doesn't dry my skin and smells pretty good too.
Jul. 16th, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
where can i get it? i couldn't find it in target yesterday.
Jul. 16th, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
Avon. you can order it online, you don't need an avon lady.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 16th, 2010 12:13 am (UTC)
it seems to have the same ingredients as another spray i was using that didn't seem to work.
Jul. 17th, 2010 02:04 am (UTC)
Some companies are putting piperidine/picaridin in their repellents instead of DEET now, and it's supposed to be more effective and safer. I think Cutter is one.

When I was in the tropical rainforest, I had a hat with about two inches of brim, which protected my head net, which protected my head. :) And I found that not having mosquitoes buzzing around my face and in my ear made a difference psychologically.
Jul. 19th, 2010 12:22 am (UTC)
I was just thinking back to summertime on my grandparents farm. They used to use what they called punks to keep the bugs away. All they were were the sticks that you dip in oil to make incense out of. They used to light them, stick them in the ground, and let them smoke in the area we were working. Sure, smoke isn't the healthiest for the lungs, but if you already are used to being around incense...
( 49 comments — Leave a comment )

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