If Jurassic Parks 1 through whatever have taught mankind anything, it's that mosquitoes are the devil's butterflies.
No matter where I go -- the back woods of Georgia, the summer cement of DC or an island near Puerto Rico -- the little mofos hone in on my meatiest parts and have a go.
Three years ago, when I couch surfed at my mom's house in Stone Mountain, Georgia for an entire summer, I went nowhere without a bottle of Off!. Spritzing the air even, in hopes that it'd create some DEET cloaking device around my body. No lie, I still have a bite on my elbow from then. It lies dormant from Labor Day to Memorial Day and then flares red like a homing device.
"They can smell new blood," my mom would say by explanation. Also she NEVER gets bitten. Not ever.
According to the Mayo Clinic, men, folks with Type O blood coursing through their veins and the "overweight" are all possibly more susceptible to mosquitoes who choose their unlucky victims by smelling them out. I am none of the above. And yet after just five days in Puerto Rico my body is like a novel written in Braille. The first page of which reads, "Help me!"
The Mayo clinic also claims that "Adults may become less sensitized to mosquito bites if bitten many times throughout life. This means adults are less likely to have strong reactions to mosquito bites." Boooooo. Not true for yours truly. Starting from Camp Osito Rancho in 1987 and onwards, my very saliva should be the antidote to skeeter kisses. It isn't.
Because reliable natural cures are hard to come by, every season or vacation I just surrender to the pain. I've heard everything from lemon juice, baking soda, plain ole ice and even pee, which is just no. Lemon grass, lavender, rosemary and citronella are great repellants to plant around the yard I don't own.
Avon's Skin So Soft line, which is an off-label mosquito super hero, stopped working for me a few years back. The tiny buggers caught on somehow and just found new and interesting places to torture me. Have you ever tried to scratch your big toe in public? The top of your left boob? Don't start now.
So as always I'm turning to curated advice from you, the trusted women of the xoJane online commune. What do you do to keep the Devil's butterflies at bay?