There’s plenty of commercial insect repellants and sprays that can help make you unappealing to pesky mosquitoes, but if you’re caught unprepared and don’t have any on hand, here’s an equally effective method using Vicks VapoRub. Not all commercial insect repellents are safe to use.

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How to use it: Just rub a little on your skin and clothes. You don’t have to rub it all over so just focus on dabbing it on your ankles, wrists, neck, and inner elbows.

Why it works: Vicks VapoRub contains cedar leaf oil, which is a natural insect repellant.

If it’s too late to prevent mosquito bites, rubbing VapoRub on the bumps will also relieve your itching.

Why? The itching is caused by an anti-blood clotting agent from the mosquito’s stinger (this keeps your blood flowing instead of clumping up so the mosquito can drink). The menthol and camphor in the VapoRub will boost blood circulation and help break up this blood clotting agent, thereby relieving you of the annoying itch.

Note: If you don’t have VapoRub on hand, other menthol/camphor rubs and ointments like Tiger Balm, Watkins Menthol Camphor Ointment etc will work just as well. Just check the ingredient labels for menthol and/or camphor.

Several other household items are also supposed to be repellents, including banana peels and Vicks VapoRub. But repeated studies have shown that DEET is the only one that is consistently effective in blocking mosquito bites over extended periods of time. While picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus also been shown to repel mosquitoes, neither provides the same level of protection as DEET.

Citrosa hybrid plants, sold as “mosquito plants,” have been engineered to add citronella oil to regular geraniums. Citronella oil does have some mosquito-repelling qualities, but just the aroma coming from the plant is not enough. The leaves have to be crushed to release the oil, and even then it must be rubbed on skin to do any good.

There seems to be lot of methods to prevent yourself from mosquito bites and itchings. But the most effective method is to obstruct the entry points of mosquitoes in your home; typically through doors and windows. Fixing highly durable mosquito net for doors and windows will give you year long peace in your home without fear of mosquito bites and related diseases.

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