04. 20. 2005
Non-chemical mosquito repellers
I'm one of those people you bring along to picnics to keep mosquitos away from you. Sit me at the far end of the table, and you'll be safe while the mosquitos feast on my blood all day, even through my thickest jeans. I've read that it's not so much that these pests are especially attracted to me, but that I lack that je se sais quoi aroma carried by certain individuals in the human population that naturally repels them. Apparently, attaining that special B.O. detectable only by mosquitos is not as simple a matter as eating lots of garlic while refraining from eating bananas, so it may be some time before it's reduced to a formula that can be distributed. Meanwhile, I'm willing to try anything (forget Citronella, though, mosquitos laugh at it) to avoid being a shut-in all summer.
Those cell phones and watches that emit sound waves that can't be detected by humans but which supposedly repel mosquitos have been around for awhile, but I haven't heard any reports that they really work. I downloaded this freeware from PalmGear.com, Mosquito V1.0 (which dates from 2001) onto my Treo. If it works, even a little bit, I'll be truly amazed.
Sunbeam makes this Personal Mosquito Repeller that you can clip onto a bag or belt loop. It's worth a try, as it sells for only $9.95 at MasterGardening.com. It emits "powerful ultrasonic signals that effectively repel mosquitos," and operates on a single AA battery.
My backup plan is to spray this organic brew of garlic and black pepper everywhere I go. Since it becomes odorless within minutess of spraying, I wonder if I can spray it on myself. Clean Air Gardening sells it for $18.95 (for 32 ounces).