How to Be Repellent -- to Bugs
Want to avoid bug bites this year? Get them before they get you.
Another approach is to attract bugs to their death. This is the
idea behind zappers. "I tell people to put those in the neighbor's
yard," laughs Holscher. "After all, (zappers) attract insects before
supposedly killing them."
A fourth approach is to make yourself or your campsite or patio
so disgusting bugs will fly away on their own. After all, how is a mosquito
going to find juicy old you in this vast world without a great sense of smell?
"I would rather go inside than sit next to a big bucket of burning
citronella," Holscher says, "but people use it."
Using the same principle of grossing bugs out rather than
killing them, a skin application newcomer called Repel Lemon Eucalyptus, now on
shelves, claims to be perform as well as DEET and has been registered by the
Other folks, Holscher says, recommend garlic taken as a pill.
"I wouldn't want to be in a tent with you," laughs Holscher.
What about Skin So Soft, the Avon lotion that some fans
consider to be the best bug repellent going? "Some like it, some
don't," Holscher says. Interestingly, however, Skin So Soft works by
putting a barrier over the skin so bugs can't bite through -- it's not the
smell, it's the goo.
So What's Left to Try?
To avoid gassing yourself or slathering your children with
poison, the best strategy is to keep bugs from getting to bitable areas in the
- Stay away from places known to be full of ticks or mosquitoes or during
seasons or times of day they are known to be most active (summer, usually, and
dusk and dawn)
- Avoid wearing strong-smelling cologne
- Wear a hat and light-colored, loose clothing (no red)
- Tuck pants into boots, wear long sleeves
- Use mosquito netting on beds in infected areas
- Check for ticks after coming out of the woods
Or you could just go to a movie. The summer ones usually are
Star Hope Lawrence is a medical journalist based in Chandler,