For me and my kiddos, mosquito season in Dallas is any time there’s not ice on the ground. With the lovely spring weather, comes one or two bites… followed quickly by months of pure mosquito assault. We can barely walk to our car without getting bit several times each. Any outdoor activity, we slather on the repellent and sprays, and still come home with half a dozen bites between us!
And I’m not talking about some tiny, annoyingly itchy bite. Oh no. Our mosquito bites swell. Then blister. Then itch like crazy, pop, bleed and finally scar.
I can’t tell you how many times people have seen mosquito bites on my kids and then insisted that I take them to the ER because “that doesn’t look right!” (Their pediatrician has seen their bites and reassured us that they are completely normal. Annoying, but normal.)
So, if there’s a mosquito repellent, catcher, or treatment – we’ve probably tried it. If your looking for ideas or suggestions during this seasons mosquito onslaught, look no farther.
- Skin So Soft – By far my favorite, this Avon special is full of nostalgia for me. One whiff and I’m taken back to camping and fishing as a little girl. You do have to slather it on exceedingly, and it is super greasy (greasy hair and slippery feet) but it’s also all natural, great for your skin, smells good, and works like a charm! Just make sure you don’t miss a single spot. I forgot my son’s chin once and he had 4 bites all right there.
- Cutter/Off Spray – Honestly I can’t tell a difference in these two brands when it comes to the sprays. Although, I do prefer the ones that say “Dry”. Also, I will only buy the continuous spray ones versus the pump spray, because it is impossible to get every spot with the pump spray. And while I do love the Skin So Soft, the convenience of the sprays can’t be beat. On the weekends, if I’m spraying in the morning for a soccer game, afternoon after the pool, and then again at night for any outdoor activity – sprays are my life-savers!
- To DEET or not to DEET – In all my research I couldn’t find anything that says that deet is bad. The studies do agree that the higher percentage of deet the better it works and the longer it lasts. Which is enough for me pick deet over deet free. When you get as many bites as we do (and they blister as bad) you tend to do whatever it takes to save you from that mess.
- Essential oils – You don’t use much (the bottles are so small) so there’s definitely not enough to cover every bit of skin for me and my kids. But if mosquitoes don’t love you as much as they love me, this might be the way to go!
- Johnson’s Baby Cream Oil – It almost seems cruel to list this one. It’s too good to be true that a simple baby lotion could repel mosquitoes, but this one works so well that a 16 ounce bottle is currently being sold on Amazon for $80. Apparently Johnson’s is no longer making this item (WHY JOHNSON’S WHY) and this stuff is in hot demand. If you’ve got an extra $80, buy it now before it’s gone forever!
- Victoria’s Secret Perfume Bombshell – I’ve heard about this through the grapevine, this perfume works like magic to repel mosquitoes. Seems like a lovely alternative to smelling like deet all night. Be sure to buy from VS herself, Amazon is not be too reliable with the perfume sales.
Yard Repellents – (While I do see a benefit in these, mosquitoes love us so much that we still use the sprays and body repellents anyway.)
- Monthly Mosquito Service – we use a service we found online that sprays our yard once a month and it’s been very helpful this summer. When the mosquitoes are out of control, every little bit helps!
- Cutter Natural Yard Spray – Helpful to spray right before your family goes outside, and actually smells nice. However my bottle broke halfway through use and I haven’t been able to finish spraying the rest of it. Which is super frustrating when it was working so well!
- Mosquito Repelling Coils – This is the only repellent I trust without putting on a lotion or spray or skin so soft. These coils work! They come with a special tray, or you can buy a hanger on Amazon, and you light it and then blow the flame out and let the coil smoke. It lasts about 5 hours (maybe more) and up to 10 feet. We use it on our porch, one on each side of the swing, and no bites even without spraying my body!
- Cutter Candles – I prefer the Cutter candles to the Off brand. I think they smell stronger and repel better. They claim to last 30 to 40 hours and are great for patios and porches!
- Off Candles – They last for 30 to 40 hours aso, but I don’t think they smell as strong as Cutter brand. But they do have some pretty candle options.
- Bug Zapper Night Light
– Bought these (for inside) in desperation and actually think they are pretty cool. LED lights are supposed to last forever, and the night light/blue light attracts the mosquitoes. We found 3 dead mosquitoes in our light after a few weeks. So not super effective. But even 1 dead mosquito is good in my book!
- Dynatrap – This was great for us (inside). But as the reviews point out, better if you’re using it for inside. Even 1 mosquito in my kids room will eat them up all night long. So this sucker in their room saves them from tons of bites! Found tons of dead mosquitoes in there, which made us so happy!
- Dermoplast – Pain relieving, itch relief, with aloe and vitamin e – this stuff is our favorite for bug bites! One spray stops the itch and has seriously helped with with “scratching until they bleed” problem. Bonus – it’s what my midwife recommended after labor and birth, so I had some leftover in our medicine cabinet.
- Lavender Oil – Besides the lovely smell, this essential oil also helps to calm the itch and pain from the mosquito bites. I try to slather on extra before bedtime, for the added bonus of it’s relaxing benefits.
- Anti itch Sticks – In a pinch these work, although I’m not exactly sure whats in them. Also, they typically dry up before I ever finish using the entire stick.
- Benadryl – Not often, but sometimes, their bites have been so swollen and itchy that I’ve resorted to Benadryl. It does help with the swelling and itching all night. But I don’t recommend it during the day, as it makes them so sleepy!
- Aloe Vera – Soothing and natural, this will help soothe the skin. But doesn’t do much for the itch, in my opinion.
- Black Ink Pen – Contributor Cassidy told me about this neat trick. Draw a circle around the bite in black ink and it helps with the itch. I was skeptical, but my little one agreed that the bite felt better!
- Slapping – In a pinch, if my kiddos are scratching a bite raw, I insist they try to slap it instead. If we don’t have anything else, it’s better then scratching till they bleed. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s worth a try!
I’m sure we haven’t yet tried everything to help with this annoying TX problem. But we can’t be the only ones who get eaten up any time we go outside. I’d love to hear what works for your family!
In the mean time — happy scratching!