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January 17, 2014 / diannegray

Mozzie Magnet

I have a very intense and volatile relationship with mosquitoes. I HATE them and they LOVE me.

Some people are known as chick magnets, guy magnets, money magnets or fame magnets – why is it that I am one of the top 10% of the world’s population who are mosquito magnets?

YAY – I feel so special 😦

The upside of this is that people invite me to a loads of parties, particularly when the fun takes place outdoors. I can hear them planning:

“Honey, we MUST invite Dianne Gray. She can sit in that corner over there to keep the mosquitoes away from the kids.”

Living in the tropics is wonderful. The weather, outdoorsy life, clear air and a never-ending supply of sunshine is the perfect lifestyle. But with this comes hordes of these creatures who I’m sure would be verging on the brink of extinction if it weren’t for me.

Below is the enemy – aedes aegypti. You can tell it carries all sorts of nasties like Dengue Fever and Yellow Fever because it wears those stupid striped football socks.


Photo courtesy Wikipedia

I have two solutions for my ongoing war with this little critter:

My rusty tin can containing a mosquito coil (dried, pressed pyrethrum)

Mosquito 001

No. 1 fashion accessory

A pink spray container (the local shop had run out of every other colour – I can’t imagine why) containing tea tree oil, lavender and water. I decided to add tea tree oil because it’s the only thing that keeps the ants out of my kitchen (so small critters obviously hate the smell of it = small critters will hate the smell of me) and it’s great for the skin (= win win situation).

Mosquito 002

No.2 fashion accessory

I’m not against off-the-shelf mosquito repellents, I’m just not keen to lather myself in chemicals (such as diethyl-meta-toluamide) for the rest of my life.

I’ve had people assure me that eating bananas will keep the mosquitoes at bay and I stuffed myself with them until my skin turned yellow. No luck – I woke up one morning with a bite on my eyelid (and for those of you who have ever had a mosquito bite on the eyelid you’ll understand how incredibly attractive I looked for a few days).

Garlic is supposed to keep them away (after all, mosquitoes are vampires). I eat plenty of garlic and it’s great for keeping everyone else away as well.

I know you’re supposed to empty anything that collects water to stop them from breeding, but I live on a sugar cane farm and walking through hundreds of acres of fields draining every puddle isn’t my idea of a fun day.

Wish me luck with my new fashion accessories and if you have a better idea please feel free to fling it in my direction.


Leave a Comment
  1. Theo Fenraven / Jan 17 2014 8:09 am

    A friend and I used to enjoy hiking in the woods. He got bit a lot, I didn’t. I think it’s because he subsisted almost entirely on meat, and I rarely touched it. *shrug* That’s my theory, whether you like it or not. 🙂

    When I first saw your subject line, I thought, “Oh, is this going to be about Mozzie from White Collar?” I love that character.


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 8:14 am

      Lovely to hear from you, Theo! Yes – I eat meat so that may have something to do with it. I don’t eat a lot of it though, but I’m willing to try anything at this point 😉

      I hope your writing is going well – I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus and I’ll be catching up with your posts today 😀


  2. Carrie Rubin / Jan 17 2014 8:11 am

    I grew up in North Dakota where mosquitoes are frequent, so I feel your pain. It does seem though that some people attract them more. My husband is much like you–they seem to love him. Here’s hoping you stay bite-free with your new tricks!


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 8:22 am

      They seem to be working (so far – fingers crossed). It got really bad when the monsoon trough moved through and I’m hoping we’re over the worst of it now 😀

      Apparently people with O blood type are more susceptible and also those whose bodies process cholesterol effectively. But I don’t have your medical mind so I may have just made a twit of myself for speculating on that LOL 😀


  3. rundmach / Jan 17 2014 8:12 am

    Please tell me how the tea tree oil, lavender, and water concoction works out! I have the same problem. Not only do mosquitos love me, I have major reactions to each bite! They swell up to about 3-4 inch welts each time… sometimes it looks like I have a 3rd knee or an extra arm.


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 8:24 am

      Oh – I feel your pain! I come out in welts as well and they’re SO itchy! YIKES 😦

      I’m using the mozzie coils and spray concoction together, so I’ll douse the coils and let you know how I go with the spray alone.


  4. Don't Quote Lily / Jan 17 2014 8:13 am

    Oh boy! That’s what I hate about Puerto Rico. I am definitely a mosquito magnet too. I’m surprised I haven’t caught dengue yet. (Well obviously, I hope to never get that.) Yikes! Good luck to you.


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 8:27 am

      I take my temp every day and worry about every ache and pain thinking ‘this is it – I’ve got it!’ LOL My girlfriend got dengue last year and it was not pleasant at all. The other thing is – if you get it, no one wants to be around you because they’re worried they’ll get bitten after a mozzie bites you and get it as well.

      Are you in Puerto Rica again this year?


      • Don't Quote Lily / Jan 17 2014 11:45 pm

        Aw no that’s no fun! Yeah, I can imagine how unpleasant it is. 😦

        I’m not in Puerto Rico yet but going soon. Not for enough time since I’m working now…but I gotta take what I can get! The two months last year was awesome. 😉


  5. T. W. Dittmer / Jan 17 2014 8:15 am

    I know they’re nature’s creatures, but can’t bring myself to allow mosquitoes to live off my blood.


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 8:29 am

      They must exist for a reason – I just don’t know what that reason is. But I wish they’d leave me well alone 😉


  6. The Bumble Files / Jan 17 2014 8:18 am

    A bite on your eyelid. Ow, Dianne, that’s sounds painful. They seem to like me, too, but my kids even more. When ever they get bit, the bites swell up pretty bad. Mosquitoes are just nasty creatures.


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 8:34 am

      The eyelid bite was a cracker. I woke up and couldn’t open my right eye! I looked like I’d gone a round with Mike Tyson 😦 I spent two days putting ice packs on my face.

      It’s hard with the kids because we don’t like lathering them with chemicals, but the diseases mozzies carry can be deadly so it’s a matter of weighing up the ‘bad’ or the ‘worse’.


  7. Al / Jan 17 2014 8:25 am

    I think, if I remember correctly, eating garlic keeps them away. It may be something else like chilli powder or peppers.


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 8:35 am

      I’m willing to try anything at this point, Al. I actually love chilli so I might give that a try 😀


      • Al / Jan 17 2014 9:30 am



  8. robincoyle / Jan 17 2014 8:26 am

    Head to toe mosquito netting. You will start a fashion trend and be on the cover of Elle magazine in no time.


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 8:38 am

      Haaaa! What a brilliant idea, Robin. I can make all my clothes out of netting (that would keep me cool as well and hubby would love it!) 😀


      • robincoyle / Jan 17 2014 8:42 am

        Sexy mama scented in citronella.


      • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 8:47 am

        Oh dear – I’m laughing so much there are tears! I’ll light some citronella candles tonight and surprise hubby in my new outfit – he’ll probably scream and run a mile 😀


      • robincoyle / Jan 17 2014 8:48 am

        And so will the mosquitos!


      • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 8:50 am

        HAAAAAA – oh dear. I think it’s time for me to get that shoe and a bottle of wine 😀


      • robincoyle / Jan 17 2014 8:53 am

        While you are at it, pour me a glass.


      • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 2:22 pm

        😀 Will do!


  9. nrhatch / Jan 17 2014 8:27 am

    Mosquitoes are evil little buggers! I hope that you find find the right mix of home remedies to send them packing.

    I wonder if you could make yourself a “body suit” out of mosquito netting to keep them at bay?


    • Betty / Jan 17 2014 8:41 am

      I’m a magnet too. I’ve tried everything, both natural as well as chemical, anything to defeat them. Other then the dead of winter, the only time I’ve not been bothered during mosquito season was visiting Whitefish MT in July. Apparently mosquitoes don’t exist at the elevation I was staying. Moving there would be nice. Except for the snow that begins in October and can last until June.


      • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 8:49 am

        I like the fact they don’t exist in the high elevation parts of the world, Betty – maybe that’s where I should live.

        It’s not nearly as bad in winter here, but they still get me (the determined ones who aren’t in hibernation).


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 8:41 am

      I was just discussing that with Robin Coyle – hubby thinks clothes made of mosquito netting is a brilliant idea – LOL 😉

      I’ll keep on with the home remedies until I find the perfect mix and then I’ll broadcast it to the world 😀


  10. IntrovertedSarah / Jan 17 2014 8:27 am

    If I can’t pronounce it I won’t put it on my skin so good idea going natural. Citronella works well for me. Perhaps you can squirt lemons all over yourself.


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 8:44 am

      I absolutely LOVE lemons and we have a few lemon trees on the farm that are full of the things. Brilliant idea – I’ll squeeze some lemon juice into my mix. Thanks so much, Sarah 😀

      We also have lemongrass so I’m trying that as well 😉


      • IntrovertedSarah / Jan 17 2014 8:51 am

        Brilliant. And you’ll make a lovely garnish 🙂
        I do sympathise. I’m a magnet as well.


  11. Kozo Hattori / Jan 17 2014 9:07 am

    “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”~Dalai Lama

    I hear you, Dianne. Mosquitoes love me, so I’m trying to love them right back. I had an experience in Sri Lanka where a mosquito came in the meditation hall. Of course, it came straight to me. I made peace with it and thought we are both one, so go ahead and take my blood since it is already yours. It didn’t bite me! Or it did, but I did not get a bite, if that makes any sense. Not sure if I would try this in the bush, though. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 2:26 pm

      I absolutely love that Dalai Lama quote, Kozo – it’s so very true! I can always count on you to bring some positives to replace the negatives 😀

      Look out mozzies – here comes the love of Dianne! 😀

      {{{hugs}}} to you my friend xxx


  12. DaydreamsInWonderland / Jan 17 2014 9:09 am

    I’m in your 10%. They love me too. We must have cinnamon-flavored blood or something.


  13. ramblingsfromamum / Jan 17 2014 9:18 am

    Ok maybe you should come down here – or I go up there – then the little buggas would argue about who to bite first! Nope no answers (shakes head) I wear Parfume De Areoguard – that’s my choice for summer, light easy though a tad pungent! 🙂 Ya poor lovey. xx


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 2:31 pm

      I have to wear Parfume De Areoguard when I go to the inlet because otherwise I get carried off and I just hate heights 😀

      Is your weather still appalling – or has the cool change come through?


      • ramblingsfromamum / Jan 17 2014 2:34 pm

        lol – image of you being carried off – sorry but it was funny 🙂
        No still bleedin hot – 😦


  14. artfulanxiety / Jan 17 2014 9:46 am

    I was that way too with all my friends. I used to go skating with them at night, and I was always attacked while they only got a few bites. I heard something about bananas – if you eat one a couple of hours before going out it makes you less attractive to them? Yeah, not sure. The only thing I could think of at the time was I had an autoimmune disease and no one else did…


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 2:34 pm

      The bananas didn’t work for me 😦 I’ve always been the favorite of the mosquitoes so there must be something about my blood or the smell of my skin that attracts them. Once I find out what it is I’ll be jumping for joy! 😀


  15. Ruth Rainwater / Jan 17 2014 9:53 am

    I can empathize with you as I used to be a mosquito magnet, too. But then I met my partner, and the little buggers like him better than they like me! I think I’ll keep him! 🙂


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 2:35 pm

      LOL – what a classic. He’s definitely a keeper! 😀


  16. Jill Weatherholt / Jan 17 2014 10:10 am

    I feel your pain, Dianne. I am the original mosquito magnet. I can be at a cookout, everyone is having a great time, eating and drinking and I’m the only person being eaten alive by mosquitos. To add insult to injury, I live in the South and we have a lake in our backyard…a breeding ground. I’ve tried everything, but in my 48 years, I continue to be dinner for these pesky insects.


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 2:37 pm

      Mosquitoes love a lake and now they have you as well. It must be like some kind of mosquito resort 😉

      I guess it’s just something we have to live with and keep our fingers crossed that they don’t give us any nasty illnesses xxx


  17. dearanonymousfriend / Jan 17 2014 10:56 am

    One of my daughter’s boyfriends who was a navy seal told me to put a dryer sheet in my pocket and that keeps them away… well, I rubbed my whole body and all the clothes I was wearing with that sheet and then put it in my pocket and it didn’t work… I hate them and they love me. So relate to this post, I am sorry. Here is one of the many posts I have written about those creatures from hell. I truly feel your pain. If you find something that works, please let me know. I love winter and no flying vampires.


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 2:41 pm

      Oh dear – I wish the dryer sheet had worked! That would have been a coup for all of us 😉

      I’m heading your way now to check out your post 😀


  18. jmgoyder / Jan 17 2014 11:38 am

    I have the same problem with flies!


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 2:48 pm

      Hey Julie – great to see you here. I’ve been on a bit of a blogging vacation and will catch up with your posts this weekend 😀


  19. Hazy Shades of Me / Jan 17 2014 12:13 pm

    You have some competition with my middle son. They loooove him….nearly to bits! Poor guy. Other than walking around perpetually netted, I have no suggestions! :-/


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 2:50 pm

      It’s so odd that some people attract them and others don’t. My two sons are in the clear, but my daughter must have inherited my mozzie magnetism – poor dear 😉


  20. Darla Welchel / Jan 17 2014 12:42 pm

    Dianne, I too am a Mozzie Magnet! I must really taste good, because they will pass up a blood bank to sink their little sharp tooth into me! I too use the Tea Tree Oil and Lavender repellent, but I mix mine with coconut oil and apply it by hand. 🙂 The coconut oil may be able to go through a sprayer in the summer as it solidifies below 68 F. Good luck. (I’ve never had any luck with garlic either).


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 2:51 pm

      Thanks, Darla – I’m going to try the coconut oil. Great idea! 😀


      • Darla Welchel / Jan 27 2014 12:22 pm

        Its a nice medium to spread the tea tree oil. Its too strong on its own.


  21. allensrepositoryofstuff / Jan 17 2014 2:27 pm

    I too am a Mozzie Magnet. I have O+ blood and the little bastards eat me alive. When I lived in the South and briefly in Alaska, I was bitten so often that I became anemic several times. While living in Alaska I learned an anti-Mozzie remedy from several Athabaskan and native white Alaskans. Overdose on vitamin C tablets. I used to take 500 mg of water soluble vitamin C tablets twice a day and drink lots of water. B1 is supposed to work but did not for me. It depends on the person I have discovered. Vitamin C worked for me, while B1 did not. Try it and see if it might help.


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 2:56 pm

      Allen, this is great news. If vitamin C (or B1) can go anywhere near keeping the little buggers at bay I’ll be ecstatic.

      I think you have beaten me for the Mozzie Magnet of the Year Award. They bit you so often you became anemic – good grief!!! That’s a lot of blood-sucking going on. YIKES


      • allensrepositoryofstuff / Jan 18 2014 1:49 am

        The ability of either vitamin C or B1 to dissuade the little bastards seems to depend on the person. It does not hurt to try.

        One of the few things I appreciated about Nome and Adak was both are relatively mosquito free most of the year. Fairbanks, Alaska is horrid. Some of my fellow soldiers developed allergic reactions from all of the mosquito spit in their system according to the medics.

        We do not yet have the Asian Tiger Mosquito with his fancy socks up here yet. The South Eastern US and some of the Florida Keys have reported the presence of Asian Tiger Mosquitoes.

        Supposedly, thanks to global warming, the range of the Asian Tiger Mosquito has increased with several parts of the contiguous US soon to be included.

        The Asian Tiger Mosquito was mentioned in my Ruth zombie apocalypse stories. If the Asian Tiger Mosquito manages to get into the greater D.C. area, it will be horrid. Virginia is a damp swamp perfect for mosquitoes.

        In Rodman, Panama and the Bahamas the Army used large propane powered mosquito traps. Amazon and the Home Depot carry a few models.


      • diannegray / Jan 18 2014 10:16 am

        That trap looks pretty good, Allen. Thanks for sharing here – I’m going to have a look at the local suppliers and see if I can get something like this.


      • allensrepositoryofstuff / Jan 18 2014 12:57 pm

        The traps work by burning propane releasing CO2 which attracts the mozzies. The ones burn suprising little CO2 and run for a long time. We needed large catch bags to collect all of the dead mozzies. Good luck in the war.


  22. Maddie Cochere / Jan 17 2014 2:56 pm

    I don’t have any advice for you, Dianne, but my husband feels your pain. He draws mosquitoes at any time of the night or day. I might get one bite a year. … I wonder if it’s because of the curcumin I take? Some things build up in your body and insects simply aren’t interested.


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 3:04 pm

      Hi my darling! Lovely to see you here. I just googled curcumin to find it’s derived from turmeric. I’d actually never heard of it before. I could spray turmeric on myself but it might turn me a little orange 😉 I’m going to start adding it to my diet to see if it works xxxx


      • Maddie Cochere / Jan 17 2014 3:52 pm

        Yes, you would look like an Oompa Loompa if you used turmeric as a rub. I’ve just started using it in cooking so the menfolk can get some of its benefits, too.


      • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 3:57 pm

        What would they do without you. They’re very lucky to be so well looked after 😉


  23. JackieP / Jan 17 2014 3:49 pm

    Dianne, it’s so nice to see you around again! Mosquitoes don’t like me much, I very rarely get bitten. But I take garlic pills, two a day and that seems to do the trick for me. I think different things work for different people, so experiment! I also heard for some vitamin c works, so who knows.


    • diannegray / Jan 17 2014 3:53 pm

      I’ve got a lot of good tips here today, Jackie. I’m going to go through them all and try them for a few weeks at a time. I like the idea of garlic tablets. They’re very good for you, so if they can keep the mozzies at bay as well that would be a great bonus! 😀


  24. Zen A. / Jan 17 2014 5:43 pm

    Yay, good to see your posts again! And I completely sympathize with you, being a mozzie magnet myself. I’m also slightly allergic, so the bites swell and occasionally bleed. 😦 About the bananas, I’ve actually heard the opposite! Eating bananas will attract mosquitoes to you rather than keep them away!


    • diannegray / Jan 18 2014 6:22 am

      It’s so lovely to see you here, Zen! 😀

      As far as the mozzies go it’s hard to know what to do and I think trial and error is the only way to go until we find something that is just right for us. You’re a mozzie magnet as well – it’s all that sweet blood running through your veins 😀



  25. 4amWriter / Jan 17 2014 8:24 pm

    Ugh, I have a volatile relationship with mosquitoes, too. They love me, and I’m allergic as is my son. Our bites swell up up to the size of golf balls. I had never heard of your solutions, but I am happy to try anything other than Off! (mosquito repellant). Right now, we’re mosquito free because it’s winter time, but come May, they’re out and about and I’m usually running for cover. Good luck with your remedies!


    • diannegray / Jan 18 2014 6:26 am

      If I find a remedy before May I’ll let you know 😀

      There have been some very good suggestions here that I’m going to try. It’s bad enough being bitten, but having a reaction is so yucky! They swell and itch like nothing on earth 😦


  26. harulawordsthatserve / Jan 17 2014 10:30 pm

    Oh Dianne, they love me too – perhaps the one thing we share that I commiserate rather than celebrate. I slept under a mosquito net when I lived in Rwanda and would rarely have the electric lights on at night, as they love light of course. Tea tree does work well in my experience, though I must admit I did occasionally resort to chemical repellants as I didn’t want to take anti-malarial medicines so I had to make sure they didn’t bite me. In Scotland it’s the dreaded midgies we have to avoid, though thankfully they don’t carry diseases but they take over in the summer and some places are totally no go because of the little blighters! Good luck! Blessings, Harula xxx


    • diannegray / Jan 18 2014 6:29 am

      The strong chemical repellents are a must in places where malaria is prevalent – it’s such a debilitating disease 😦

      I’ve never heard of midgies – do they bite?


  27. Dawn Whitehand / Jan 17 2014 10:42 pm

    Mozzies don’t find me attractive (still working out f that is a compliment or not) but I have heard eat carrots and/or drink carrot juice??


    • diannegray / Jan 18 2014 6:31 am

      Well done for keeping those little blighters away from you, Dawn. If I ever need a blood transfusion I’ll be heading your way 😉

      Now you come to mention the carrots I’ve realised my hubby loves them and he never gets bitten. Hmmm – there could be something in that and I’m going to give it a try. Thank you! 😀


  28. pommepal / Jan 17 2014 10:57 pm

    You’ve opened a torrent of comments from all us poor mossie attractors Dianne. I’m up there in your 10%, it’s starting to look more like 80% from the comments. I am going to buy a big bottle of vitamin C tomorrow. B didn’t work for me when I tried it in Kakadu a few years ago. I resort, reluctantly, to the chemicals at the moment.


    • diannegray / Jan 18 2014 9:30 am

      Unfortunately we’re all a slave to those chemicals because the little blighters can carry such nasty diseases 😦

      I’m going to try the vitamin C as well – anything is worth experimenting with at the moment. We’ve just had the monsoon trough go through and the little ratbags are everywhere! 😉


      • pommepal / Jan 18 2014 9:40 am

        I have lots of bromeliads in my garden and some times wonder if they breed in those… 😦


      • diannegray / Jan 19 2014 6:57 am

        They may – those plants hod a lot of water, but they’re very pretty 🙂


      • pommepal / Jan 19 2014 7:20 am

        Good morning Dianne, another beautiful day in QLD !!!
        Yes beautiful and so easy to care for, especially when I am not home much…


      • diannegray / Jan 19 2014 7:32 am

        The weather here is sensational now that the monsoon has moved away! Beautiful one day, perfect the next as they say 😀


      • pommepal / Jan 19 2014 7:36 am

        Big swells here and happy surfers… 🙂


  29. anotherday2paradise / Jan 17 2014 11:29 pm

    I’m a fellow sufferer, and am also ‘O’ blood group, so I think there’s something in that theory. Where we are in Florida doesn’t seem to be too bad for mozzies, but when I’m home in South Africa, it’s an entirely different story. Hope your concoctions work. The pink bottle is very ‘Barbie’. 😀


    • diannegray / Jan 18 2014 9:40 am

      LOL – it’s is very ‘Barbie’ indeed! I’ll have to get another bottle the next time I head into ‘town’ (or the city – because we only have small shops in this little country town I live in). I’m also looking for a more attractive mozzie coil holder, the old metal one is getting very rusty 😦

      I could imagine the mosquitoes in SA being very prolific and as big as birds 😀


      • anotherday2paradise / Jan 18 2014 12:59 pm

        Maybe if you paint the coil holder with gold paint, you could carry it as an evening purse when you go out to barbecues. 🙂


      • diannegray / Jan 19 2014 7:02 am

        YES! and I’ll stick some beads and rhinestones to it as well LOL! 😀


      • anotherday2paradise / Jan 19 2014 1:05 pm

        Great idea. 😀


  30. Photos With Finesse / Jan 18 2014 1:10 am

    When we moved back to Canada from the UK, it was my hubby’s first exposure to the beasts. He came up in liquid filled welts that looked hideously scary. Having grown up with them I get a small bump that itches for a bit, but can generally be forgotten – unless it’s on a knuckle. Calgary’s climate is such that we tend to get them in June/July, then they’re gone. DEET filled products are the best – but totally understand the ‘chemical drench’ dislike. Haven’t found a natural one anywhere near as effective so I tend to just shower off after a day out.

    I’ve always wondered why, with all the capabilities of science, we haven’t eradicated them completely. (We seem to have great success at making ‘useful/harmless’ species extinct.) Mosquitoes are the most deadly animal in the world, killing over a million people a year. I once heard someone say that if you got rid of the mosquitoes, you’d lose wasps too. I really didn’t see a problem with that. It appears that science doesn’t see too many issues with destroying the species. – I think we need a worldwide campaign encouraging them to go for it!


    • diannegray / Jan 18 2014 9:59 am

      Thanks for sharing that article, Suzan – it’s very interesting indeed! It seems that if we do eradicate them it will have to be without chemicals because I’ve done some studies (in another life when I worked for the government) on the effects of DDT. Because of the atmospheric circulation of the earth, a lot of the DDT that is sprayed around the tropics in underdeveloped countries ends up settling in the far north. Really high concentrations of DDT are found in polar bears, penguins and the Inuit people. I was also involved in a study regarding the amount of DDT in whale blubber (good grief – this brings back memories. I’m so glad I stopped working and decided to spend my time writing instead) 😀

      Your hubby must have had a huge shock to the system when the mozzies found him. I can just see them heading for him thinking ‘YAY – fresh meat!’ Poor thing 😦


  31. char / Jan 18 2014 1:51 am

    You poor girl. My 2nd daughter is the mosquito magnet in our family. It’s so strange how that works. We might get 1-3 bites while camping; she’ll come home with 20 -50 bites. Ick. Hope the tea tree oil works.


    • diannegray / Jan 18 2014 10:18 am

      If it does work I’ll let you know, Char, and maybe it might work for your daughter as well. Poor dear – I know how she feels 😉


  32. tchistorygal / Jan 18 2014 2:15 am

    Poor baby! I was never the mosquito magnet that you and Allen are, but they stopped liking me after my hysterectomy. My blood was full of sugar and probably low on vitamin B, even with the vitamins. Now, most of the time, I try to avoid sugars, and take powerful vitamins. The last time I visited the East coast, where the mosquitos swarm, I was not bothered. They used to spray this agricultural area of Central CA with DDT, and that did it. No mosquitos, no bites! Who knows what it did for those of us bigger creatures that breathed the same air. Nonetheless, since they don’t do that anymore we now have to be very careful with stagnant water because of West Nile Virus. Basically my husband adds chlorine to any standing water, but you can’t do that when you are feeding plants of any kind. I hope this helped. I feel itchy for you. 🙂


    • diannegray / Jan 18 2014 10:21 am

      Oh thanks, Marsha – I feel like I’ve been virtually hugged by you 😀

      It’s just occurred to me that I have a lot of sugar in my diet (three spoons in my tea naughty me!) Maybe the mozzies like the sweetness of the sugar. I don’t know if I can give up sugar, but I’m certainly going to take some vitamins now 😉


      • tchistorygal / Jan 22 2014 8:20 am

        I’m not making guarantees, but it can’t hurt to experiment. 🙂


  33. Janna G. Noelle / Jan 18 2014 2:55 am

    I feel your pain, Dianne – I’m a “squito” magnet too. And when I get bitten, the bites turn purple and swollen and really ache. My solution for avoiding the bites is generally to wear more clothing, regardless of temperature. I also have a bug net cowl that I wear over my head.

    The only time I ever resorted chemicals was one particular time in Northern Ontario (renowned for mosquitos and black flies) when I was still working for the park service. I was swathed in long pants and long sleeves in spite of the heat, sweating like crazy through my bug net, and carrying a heavy pack. Because my pack was heavy, it was pulling my sleeves tight enough against my arms that the bugs were biting me through the shirt. As well, I had no protection for my hands.

    In my desperation, I had a colleague spray my shirt and my hands for me. This was heavy-duty 95% DEET stuff as well – the kind that burns a little on contact, just so you know it’s working. It did work, but it was so hot, I kept sweating it off my hands and had to reapply every hour or so.

    Now, I have matching bug net gloves to go with my bug net cowl, and am definitely the most fashionable girl in the forest! 🙂


    • diannegray / Jan 19 2014 6:56 am

      Those little blighters are certainly prolific in those parks and I’ve also been bitten through my clothing. What a nightmare it must have been for you. I’d love to see the bug net cowl and gloves – what wonderful fashion accessories!

      I gave some other spray a test this morning when I took the dogs out the back of the shed for a run (mozzie city). I sprayed my feet with a concoction of eucalyptus, lavender and tea tree (so thick it is sticky) and it worked – not one bite on my feet only a couple on my hands and arms where I didn’t spray. Now all I have to do is test this at the inlet where the mozzies and sand flies are so thick that I need to cover my mouth so I don’t inhale them! 😀


  34. jmmcdowell / Jan 18 2014 10:57 am

    I was an absolute magnet when I was younger, but it seems to have eased up as I’ve gotten older. Or maybe it’s because they love my husband more than they do me…. I can remember one camping night where I was bit constantly. I counted over 100 bites the next day. That was one of the most miserable feelings in the world. I hope some of these remedies will give you some relief!


    • diannegray / Jan 19 2014 7:00 am

      I’m having a bit of luck with eucalyptus, lavender and tea tree spray, but it’s too early yet to see if it’s just a coincidence or placebo 😉

      Over 100 bites – yikes, what a nightmare and ‘miserable’ is the exact word for it! 😦


  35. Peter / Jan 18 2014 2:08 pm

    Oh Dear…. last summer we were doing battle with skeeters and we had all sorts of suggestions to make them go away. Absorbine Jr., and peppermint oil, I forget what all we tried…. Good luck.

    My own attraction problem was in the days when I used to have to do business meetings I was always in the path of cigarette smoke. I’m not sure which is worse — skeeters or tobacco smoke.

    A retired photographer looks at life from behind an RV steering wheel.
    Life Unscripted


    • diannegray / Jan 19 2014 7:07 am

      Hi Peter – great to see you here 😀

      My experiments seem to be going well with the war against these horrible little creatures.

      My daughter is very much like you and hates being in the path of anyone’s tobacco smoke. She is renowned for her super sensitive sense of smell 😀


  36. the eternal traveller / Jan 18 2014 5:26 pm

    The good news here is that if you spray your anti-mozzie concoction in your hair you won’t get head lice either as they abhor tea tree oil. I’ll interested to hear if the concoction really does repel those nasty flying bloodsuckers because I have a friend who is like you and reacts badly to bites.


    • diannegray / Jan 19 2014 7:16 am

      I sprayed a very heavy dose of eucalyptus, lavender and tea tree oil on my feet this morning when I took the dogs for a walk through ‘mozzie city’ and it seemed to work. Further trials are needed in case it was just a coincidence 😉

      It’s interesting that tea tree oil keeps the head lice away. For years I’ve been washing my dogs in eucalyptus wool wash (the cheap brand from the supermarket) because it keeps them ‘flea free’. I discovered it years ago when we had a flea plague on the farm and I ran out of dog shampoo. It was the first thing I picked up near the washing machine when I was washing them and when I poured it over them it was like a million tiny sailors abandoning ship. I was astounded at how imuch they hated it! 😀


      • the eternal traveller / Jan 19 2014 7:19 am

        There’s nothing like a natural product for repelling nasties. I will be following your trials with interest. There is a tea tree oil spray you can buy especially for hair, and not only does it keep your hair lice free, it makes it nice and shiny too. I have found this to be very useful when working with children.


  37. tw / Jan 18 2014 8:24 pm

    I know your pain Dianne. I too am a mozzie magnet and when they bite me I am assured of a mass of goose egg sized lumps that soon begin to weep plasma and require regular care to stop infection. On a holiday to the Italian lakes some years ago I could easily have passed as the elephant woman. Tea tree does deter them but they’re relentless in their pursuit of my blood. In England the problem isn’t so acute but I keep citronella to hand for summer evenings in the garden (and there are bats who help feast on these annoying germy pests!)


    • diannegray / Jan 19 2014 7:22 am

      It sounds like you’re far more allergic to them than I am – I only get those weepy lumps when I get sand-fly bites. The pain is unbearable so I really feel for you 😦

      I’ve done a bit of googling about citronella since I wrote this post and it’s apparently derived from lemongrass. I used to grow lemongrass on the farm (it spreads like wildfire) so I’ve decided to grow it again and see if I can pulp it (or something) to add to my concoction!

      I used to be scared of bats – but no more now that know they feast on mosquitoes 😀


  38. Britt Skrabanek / Jan 19 2014 1:14 am

    You are not alone! Mosquitos love my ass. Literally, I’ve had plenty of bites there…ow!

    I saw somebody mentioned the dryer sheets, which I tried whilst camping once. Yes, you’ll smell fresh instead of garlicy, but they didn’t work for me. There are a bunch of formulas for making your own bug spray with essential oils. I plan to experiment this summer and we’ll get back to you if something actually works.


    • diannegray / Jan 19 2014 7:27 am

      Fantastic – please let me know how you go. My concoction seems to be working, but I need to do further experiments with it (which means walking barefoot directly into a war zone like Arnie in Predator) LOL!


  39. starproms / Jan 19 2014 2:21 am

    Me too Dianne, I hate them. I am very allergic to their bites so I suffer and always end up at the doctor’s for anti-biotics. The bites always get infected. I am covered in white scars from the bites. I love to be in the garden and everywhere else that they like. Why do they like me so much? and both my partners never suffer with them? I don’t know either. I drink an awful lot of milk and no garlic. They don’t like garlic. My husband drinks a lot of milk and he doesn’t get the bites. If he does get bitten, he just gets a slight itching for a day or so and then nothing.. I dread the summer and am much at home in the colder climate here in England.I would love a remedy for the allergy to them. I even went to an allergist when I lived in America, but they couldn’t offer me any solutions. Good luck with your oil can!


    • diannegray / Jan 19 2014 7:30 am

      I seem to be having some success with a mixture of eucalyptus, lavender and tea tree oils – but it’s very thick at the moment and probably needs to be thinned down a bit. I’ll give it some more trials and let you know how it goes.

      It’s amazing that the professionals are also stumped with this problem and can’t come up with solutions. There must be something – we just have to find it 😉


  40. agjorgenson / Jan 19 2014 9:27 am

    I don’t have a lot of trouble with these little pests, and I contribute it to two important factors in my life: first I take a B 12 complex vitamin every day. My wife doesn’t and they eat her more than me. The second factor is that I have O negative blood. If you don’t have that blood type, you might consider switching. Just a thought…. Good luck all the same!


    • diannegray / Jan 19 2014 4:27 pm

      You’ve got ‘special’ blood, Allen. I think your blood is compatible with all other blood types in a transfusion (please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong). I’ve considered switching but no one wants to swap with me 😀

      Vitamins seem to come into this conversation a lot so there must be something in it 😉


  41. jannatwrites / Jan 19 2014 9:58 am

    The mosquitoes love me, too! Toward the end of summer, I bought some lavender bug repellant. I don’t know if was really successful with the mosquitoes, but bees liked it!

    I might have to try your combination…I hope you’ll keep us posted 🙂


    • diannegray / Jan 19 2014 4:29 pm

      Yikes – I don’t know if attracting bees would be good, Janna. Although I have noticed the native bees around here are paying a lot more attention to me (they’re cute little things and luckily they don’t sting) 😉

      I’ll let you know how I go after my tried and tested trials are complete 😀


  42. bluebee / Jan 19 2014 10:54 am

    Infuriating, pesky things. Can’t stand the noise they make, too. We’ve been in the Victorian Alps – didn’t come across any mozzies, but the bush flies were unbearable – can’t win. Move to Iceland, maybe…


    • diannegray / Jan 19 2014 4:31 pm

      Those flies you talk about are insane. I was down at Kosciusko in summer a few years back and they were so think in the air it was hard to breathe 😦

      Hmmm – Iceland may be the go if things down’t pan out in the tropics 😀


  43. WordsFallFromMyEyes / Jan 19 2014 1:15 pm

    This is interesting, Dianne – and all the comments too. I am exactly like you in that mozzies LOVE me. I’ve never heard the banana eating trick though?? Not surprised it didn’t work!


    • diannegray / Jan 19 2014 4:33 pm

      There’s a thousand old wives tales out there on how to keep mozzies away but the banana one is on the top of the list 😉

      You must have sweet blood too 😀


  44. cocoaupnorth / Jan 19 2014 8:45 pm

    I feel your pain and can relate with being a magnet. But with all the equipment you got going there, I’m sure you’ll have the last laugh:-)


    • diannegray / Jan 21 2014 9:32 am

      It’s like a chemist shop here at the moment (LOL) So many concoctions to try and get rid of such a tiny beast! 😀


  45. bodhisattvaintraining / Jan 19 2014 9:30 pm

    Let me know how the spray works Dianne, as my daughter and I could easily cover two other corners at a party with you…


  46. Lynda / Jan 19 2014 11:39 pm

    Dianne, here is the ultimate Mozzie repellant… 😉

    It is reported to repel biting creatures as small as the “Noseeums” we have here in the eastern US. Wicked little creatures that are in the gnat family and nearly microscopic in size. 😯 I have actually considered buying these for Bob and I after our “Gallinipper” incident last summer:

    Gallinipper: a mosquito that is 1/2 inch in size! Yes, really!


    • diannegray / Jan 21 2014 9:38 am

      LOL! I LOVE the bug jacket. I could wear that to parties 😀

      I remember the post about Bob and the Gallinipper mozzies – amazingly painful!

      I realised when you commented here that for some reason I wasn’t getting emails when you put up new posts so I went in and re-followed you 😀

      Lovely to see you again, Lynda 😉


      • Lynda / Jan 22 2014 12:34 am

        I thought you were just busy with your writing, but glad to know you are getting me again! ALSO, glad you are back. I had been missing you while you were away. 🙂


  47. 1girl4adamwest / Jan 20 2014 8:11 am

    oooooh I feel ya, my friend! those pesky biters!


  48. Letizia / Jan 21 2014 4:17 am

    On the eyelid- ouch! I used to be the one bitten at parties but, for some reason, they’ve stopped “bugging” me now. I have no idea why or what I’ve done to lead them away. I did once read that perfume can attract them. You’re just too sweet to resist, Dianne!


    • diannegray / Jan 21 2014 9:41 am

      Awww – thank you, Letizia. I like to think I’m sweet! 😀

      Now I’m wondering what has changed so that they don’t attack you anymore. I wish that was me 😉


  49. bulldog / Jan 21 2014 3:19 pm

    We have a product in the RSA called “Coopex” it is a pyrethrum powder that you mix with water and spray in all the places that Mozzies hide rubbing their hands together before attacking you… I know what it is like being a mozzie magnet myself, to the extent that they gang up on me. Some lift the bed sheet and hold it aloft while the others feed and take turns holding the sheet up…. This product has changed my life… I spray it on the curtains, around the windows, on the walls and any other place I can think of where they might sit. We no longer have a fly in the house or a mozzie…. I even tried it on the skirting boards and now we have no ants, those pests that join me on my plate whilst eating supper…
    It is the only product approved for use in hospital kitchens and is so safe you can drink it (don’t drink it, don’t want to lose you)… farmers I’ve spoken to use it in the dairy’s and get up to 3 months of no flys etc. it is a Coopers product and damned expensive, but I no longer scratch myself till I bleed….
    It is available at our farmers Co-ops so I’m sure you must be abler to get it there… it is also packeted by bayers under another name, but just look for the powder with an active ingrediant of Pyrethrum… promise it works…
    Now if I can only find a powder like that to attract women… at my age a little attention from some of these beauties walking around would do my sole good…. lol


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 4:44 am

      LOL! You are AMAZING! I loved this comment and am still laughing at “Some lift the bed sheet and hold it aloft while the others feed and take turns holding the sheet up” haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! Love it 😀 If you ever write a memoir I’m first in line to purchase it (I’m sure I’ve told you that before).

      I’m definitely looking for the Coopers now 😀

      As far as the beauties go – you’ve still got it, Bulldog 😉


  50. donnajeanmcdunn / Jan 24 2014 1:51 pm

    Everyone should be someone special to someone, it’s just to bad we don’t get to choose. I’m lucky, mosquitoes hate me.


  51. susipet / Feb 1 2014 4:26 pm

    Ah yes I have a friend who is as attractive to them as you by the sounds if it. Many sympathies!


    • diannegray / Feb 2 2014 5:58 am

      My ‘mad scientist’ experiments to keep them away seem to be working 😉


      • susipet / Feb 2 2014 5:59 am

        Good for you! There will be lots grateful to you if you discover the secret!


  52. Daphne Shadows / Feb 5 2014 3:07 pm

    Two responses to this. 1 – ugh. And 2 – does it work?!



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