Hilary Moon Murphy writes again to ask how to best repel mosquitoes. Now, my pal Socrates would leap right onto that question, but he wouldn’t answer it. Oh, no, that’s too easy. Instead he would ask another question, to wit: Are we sure that’s the question you really want answered? Is it necessary to repel mosquitoes, or is it enough to simply fail to attract them? Or, better yet, is what you really want for them to quit biting you? Socrates was a real smart-ass, and it’s no wonder he was put to death. That thing about corrupting the youth of Athens was just an excuse.
However, in this case he has a point. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I don’t mind if they land on me so long as they don’t bite.
Hilary, assuming you are a natural woman who prefers not to use DEET, there are a few strategies you might consider.
First, know that mosquitoes are pure evil. Anyone who doubts the existence of evil, point to this. So it’s not sufficient for a mosquito to suck your blood; their bred-in-the-bone malice won’t let them enjoy biting you unless it also annoys you. Cultivate an attitude of detachment and calm, taking away their fun.
Of course, it’s not easy to achieve serenity in the face of a dive-bomb assault of hundreds of savage insects. If you don’t have time for years of practice to perfect your zen mind, take advantage of the variable tastiness factor: not everyone smells equally delicious. Try to find someone the mosquitoes like better than they like you, and hang around with them whenever you go outdoors. It’s the opposite of the strategy of dragging your ugly friend to bars. Find someone extra tasty, and marry them or something.
If you’re one of those unlucky few who are super scrumptious, however, this won’t work for you. What else can you try?
Science has proven that mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide. If you can train yourself to stop exhaling this gas, you should be okay.
It’s also been suggested that because of their vampire-like nature, mosquitoes might be deterred from biting if you eat lots of garlic. But I’m a big garlic fan, and unfortunately, I’ve found this doesn’t work. I think they just regard it as seasoning.