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 Post subject: How to make mosquitos less irritating
PostPosted: July 23rd, 2011, 5:51 pm 

Joined: June 10th, 2010, 10:22 am
Posts: 120
So I am living In Yosemite NP this summer working with the Sierra Nevada Research institute doing some scientific illustration and going out to help on a few Yosemite toad surveys.

Been seeing lots of herps. Especially Rattlers around the creek behind my cabin... I'll make a big pic post on the main forum once the summer has progressed a bit further.

ANYWAY. One occupational hazard is the large number of mosquitos that swarm you whenever you stand still for more than a second....

While I have not found a solution to keeping them from biting or buzzing obnoxiously in your ears, I seem to have found a way to keep the bites from itching at all.

I take Claritin or Zertec or whatever in order to handle my crippling pollen allergies, a side effect of which is that the mosquito bites do not ever itch. I will get small swellings around the bite that last a day but they don't bother me ever.

My observations are somewhat unscientific really, I would need a larger study group to get accurate data on the subject.... anybody else have input on this?

I wonder if the drug companies know about this useful side effect of their medications?


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 Post subject: Re: How to make mosquitos less irritating
PostPosted: July 23rd, 2011, 7:33 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:43 pm
Posts: 469
Location: Australia
It may well be your medication, but you'd have to remove the move to Yosemite out of the equation to have some semblance of a control. If you were living in the same area, being bitten by the same species of mosquito, but noticed that bites stopped being itchy since you have been taking the medication you may have something there. However, if you used to get itchy from mosquito bites at home but moved a fair distance to Yosemite at around the same time you started taking medication (perhaps because the pollen in Yosemite was worse than at home), then it could simply be your body reacting to a different species of mosquito in a different way. Mine certainly does.


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 Post subject: Re: How to make mosquitos less irritating
PostPosted: July 23rd, 2011, 9:47 pm 
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Joined: July 8th, 2011, 1:04 pm
Posts: 644
Location: King County, WA
Several thoughts...

1... The reason the meds can help with mosquito bites is that they help reduce histamine reactions, which are a large part of both seasonal allergies and the allergic reactions caused by the saliva of mosquitoes in some people.


2... The best repellent I have found for myself is pure tea tree oil. Just put a drop on each wrist, back of neck and other exposed area. Lemon-eucalyptus can also work well for me. Try those and see if they help. I am sure you can find one at a natural store.


3.... Definitely agree that different species can cause different amounts of swelling. I do not react dramatically to most species, but my wife can have very dramatic responses to some, giving her huge welts. Different for each person.


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 Post subject: Re: How to make mosquitos less irritating
PostPosted: July 24th, 2011, 10:21 pm 

Joined: June 10th, 2010, 10:22 am
Posts: 120
No... I am pretty much always on the allergy meds from about Feb through July...

I have noticed that on days I don't take the meds, the bites get to me and start to itch.

I agree that it is the antihistamine that is doing it, I just never thought of using them for this application before... but I will from now on.

Yeah, DEET works well up here but I HAVE been using Tee-tree oil. I know that heavy aromatic oils disrupt invertebrates' systems. I have used lavender and eucalyptus before.


And I'm not talking a couple of irritating mosquitos, I'm talking stand still for a second and your khaki pants turn black from the unstoppable hordes landing on them. I have been utilizing a face net on such occasions....


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 Post subject: Re: How to make mosquitos less irritating
PostPosted: July 25th, 2011, 8:48 am 
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Joined: July 8th, 2011, 1:04 pm
Posts: 644
Location: King County, WA
Quote:
And I'm not talking a couple of irritating mosquitos, I'm talking stand still for a second and your khaki pants turn black from the unstoppable hordes landing on them. I have been utilizing a face net on such occasions....

That is way worse than it ever gets around here. I have had to use a head net once on a trip to Idaho. The parts I frequent in the PNW just don't have the swarms the way other parts of the country do.


Quote:
Yeah, DEET works well up here but I HAVE been using Tee-tree oil. I know that heavy aromatic oils disrupt invertebrates' systems. I have used lavender and eucalyptus before.

Good that you know about it, many folks do not.


Quote:
I have noticed that on days I don't take the meds, the bites get to me and start to itch.

I agree that it is the antihistamine that is doing it, I just never thought of using them for this application before... but I will from now on.

I actually have dealt with seasonal allergies to, and work hard to stay off of meds. Its a personal challenge/choice I don't recommend for everyone and I am not suggesting it for you. I have, however, found that making infusions with ox-eye daisy leaves and dried stinging nettle leaves is a good aid in lessening histamine response. This is especially effective if used before, during and after time of likely flare ups.

I have been off and on meds for a significant part of my life, and have become tired of the side effects of extended use. Stress level is a huge factor in allergy flare ups as well. Anyway, this is a tangent that might not be relevant to most folks on these forums so perhaps I should stop. ;)

Quote:
No... I am pretty much always on the allergy meds from about Feb through July...

So I take it that pollen is a major source of your allergies? That stretch (Feb-July) is pretty much the season of all the major pollens.

Anyway, I am glad you have found additional benefits to your allergy treatment. That's great! :thumb:


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