Friday, July 24, 2009

Better Bug Control

While we were on vacation last week in the woods, we knew we were going to need some good bug prevention to keep from being an all-you-can-eat buffet for these little buggers.

When we went camping over Father's Day we had bought some Repel with 33% DEET. The stuff kept the insects away, that's for sure. However, I noticed that it had eaten the picture off of Little Britches' favorite mug when we got home. I thought, "Surely, this can't be good to put on your skin if it will eat the picture off of a mug." Then, Mr. Wonderful read the back of the container. It had some kind of warning about being extremely hazardous and that it shouldn't be used on certain people or some blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada that I can't remember right now. I just know it was bad. Really bad. Like, "Who the heck in their right mind would use this stuff?", bad. So, we were at a catch 22. DEET is bad for you. But, then again, so is West Nile Virus. So, what were our options?

Well, we could all go around looking like this. That would make us sure to turn a few heads, wouldn't it?

Or, we could find an alternative. I can thank my dear MIL for this one - who can, in turn, thank the nice cashier at K Mart for sharing this little tip with her while she was in line buying more poison with DEET in it.

Enter, Listerine. Not the new fancy, schmancy, miracle working Listerine. The original, old fashioned, yellow, stinky kind.

The cashier at K Mart told my MIL that if you put original Listerine in a spray bottle and apply it as a bug spray, that it would work as well as any other repellent.

When we went to Brown County State Park to walk the trails, we tried it. We also brought the Repel just in case. Amazingly, none of us got a single bite!

I figure if it is made to be swished around inside of your mouth, then, it has to be safer than the stuff that can eat paint off of ceramic. Incidentally, after the coffee mug episode, I remembered that we had another experience with it once in FL where it got on my cell phone charger and completely deformed and ate away at the plastic.

Now, I've only tried Listerine as a bug spray once, so I can't vouch for it 100%. But, I can tell you, that after walking the wooded trails and not getting a bite, I will definitely be trying this again.

Hope you found this helpful.

Have a great weekend!


I'm linking this post to Works For Me Wednesday.



  1. We use the Backwoods Cutter right now, but I notice that it eats away my toenail polish, leaving white pits, even when barely misted over my feet. Because of that, I refuse to put it on my boys and I only use it every once in a while. If you've had luck with Listerine, I'm definitely going to have to try it. It's worth a shot and I don't even have to go out to get some!

  2. Hi Pam...this sounds like a great tip thanks...the last time I went camping, which was a loooong time ago we used a product by Avon...Skin So worked great to....

  3. hi pam - thanks for the listerine tip. i can't stand using deet & i bet the listerine is just fine for little kids, too.

    the cabin you rented sounds like a great place to just relax. i love going to nashville, too. how did you find the cabin? could you give me the info or website info?

    thanks -

    oh, i almost forgot. you mentioned you used to live in central ohio. well, i used to live in indiana! i lived just north of muncie when i was in junior high. then my daughter went to anderson univ. 30 yrs. later.

    blessings -


  4. Avon's Skin So Soft has always worked well for us (and a company called BeautiControl has a similar spray stuff that smells even better)'s worst fault is leaving oily residue on camping chairs and such...but the Listerine sounds perfect!

    I hear bounce dryer sheets work, too, but again...too many chemicals! Yeah, corrosive chemicals...NO GO! I can't believe that stuff is allowed to be on the market. I thought they outlawed DEET a few years ago.

    Thanks for the Tip!

  5. Hey there! great tip! Just so you know, I worked as a camp counselor for a couple of years and have a couple of natural tips. My favorite is orange oil. Bugs hate the smell of citrus, so orange oil works well. NOTE: not orange blossom, but legit orange smell. Also, tea tree oil shampoo helps keep the ticks off.


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