Mul­ti­ple meth­ods for fight­ing mos­qui­toes


QUES­TION: I tried your Lis­ter­ine-based mos­quito re­pel­lent and felt it was not strong enough, so I tripled the Lis­ter­ine in­volved, as none of the in­gre­di­ents should re­ally cause any side-ef­fects. It was bet­ter, yet still not as good as a DEET-based spray. My dog had 50-plus skeeters on him, and I had maybe eight, which is eight too many. Is it OK to add more juice, so to speak? Any ideas on how to make it more po­tent? Love your in­for­ma­tion, keep it up! Ge­orge (Lorette, MB)

AN­SWER: Ex­cel­lent ques­tions, Ge­orge. Isn’t it funny how two people can sit out­side, and one is bit mul­ti­ple times while the other per­son doesn’t re­ceive one bite? That’s be­cause our bod­ies give off dif­fer­ent scents, which is why some prod­ucts work great for one per­son and are use­less to an­other.

DEET is the most com­mon rem­edy used to de­ter mos­qui­toes, but not ev­ery­one chooses to use such a strong chemical on their skin. Units emit­ting DEET are now avail­able to wear on the out­side of cloth­ing.

You can make your own mos­quito re­pel­lent by com­bin­ing the fol­low­ing into a spray bot­tle: Four litres of wa­ter, 60 ml of lemon dish soap and 30 ml of orig­i­nal Lis­ter­ine mouth­wash. Spray lib­er­ally (it’s safe for small chil­dren). If that isn’t strong enough, ap­ply Lis­ter­ine di­rectly.

For the yard, in­stead of spray­ing poi­sons, use gar­lic and wa­ter. Canada ex­ports gar­lic to other coun­tries for this pur­pose.

Build a pur­ple martin or bat-house, and if pos­si­ble, at­tract barn swal­lows to your yard.

For per­sonal use, com­bine three gar­lic cloves and 500 ml of wa­ter in a spray bot­tle, and let it steep for three days. Spray onto skin.

Com­bine laven­der or cat­nip oil with wa­ter and ap­ply to skin. You can also bathe with laven­der oil. First, com­bine a few drops with 60 ml of milk be­fore adding it to bath­wa­ter so the oil is evenly dis­persed.

Use Ca­ress soap if pos­si­ble (it’s be­com­ing in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to find), and avoid wear­ing per­fume. Wear light-coloured cloth­ing. Eat an or­ange or gar­lic be­fore go­ing out­side (mos­qui­toes do not like the smell of cit­rus).

Rub lemon soap, real Mex­i­can vanilla or soy­bean oil or Skin-So-Soft by Avon on any ex­posed skin.

For pets, dip a rope in eu­ca­lyp­tus oil, wrap it in a ban­dana, and tie it around your pet’s neck.

Plants in the gar­den: Mos­qui­toes do not like the smell of rose­mary, marigolds and gera­ni­ums.

If you are sit­ting out­side, arm yourself with one or more fans. Mos­qui­toes are light and can’t get to you if the wind blows them away.

Re­mem­ber each hu­man has their own scent. What works on one per­son may not work on some­one else, so ex­per­i­ment with a few op­tions.

A prod­uct that is be­com­ing very pop­u­lar is a vi­ta­min B1 patch. You ap­ply the patch to your clothes, and the smell helps re­pel mos­qui­toes. Check with your doc­tor be­cause what­ever you ap­ply onto your skin is ab­sorbed into your body.

AN­SWER: Make a paste of bak­ing soda and wa­ter. It should be the con­sis­tency of tooth­paste. Ap­ply to stains and leave for one hour. Scrub with an abra­sive pad. If the stain re­mains, use a prod­uct called Bar Keep­ers Friend.

QUES­TION: My prob­lem is a large bake sheet on my coun­ter­top got wa­ter un­der­neath it, leav­ing a huge rust stain be­hind. I have tried bleach, which only faded the mark... help, please. I live in a rental, will be mov­ing soon and would like to keep most of my dam­age de­posit. Thanks, from Rusty, Win­nipeg I en­joy your ques­tions and tips; keep them com­ing. Missed a col­umn? Can’t re­mem­ber a so­lu­tion? Need a speaker for an

up­com­ing event? Check out my web­site at

Place gar­lic on the counter (or a cut­ting board). us­ing the bot­tom of a metal bowl, push down to smash cloves. Put the cloves into a lid­ded bucket or bowl. Shake vig­or­ously. The peel will sep­a­rate from the cloves.

Cut wa­ter­melon into cubes. Freeze sev­eral cubes. Llend four cups of wa­ter­melon with 15 ml of lemon juice. Put frozen wa­ter­melon cubes into drink­ing glasses, and pour 120 ml of puréed wa­ter­melon in each glass. Fill the glasses with cham­pagne or sparkling grape juice. En­joy.

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