Fed up with no-see-ums? Can't find anything that works against them? Try making your own repellent -- and fight mosquitoes, fleas, ticks and other bugs, too!

No-See-Um Repellant

No-see-ums and other insects can quickly ruin a beach BBQ or quiet evening in the cockpit.  But what can you do?  Most bug sprays are formulated for mosquitoes and not effective against the little invisible sets of teeth.  The likely choices are to retreat into the boat and close all the hatches (very hot) or retreat into the boat and put up the no-see-um screens, which have very,very fine mesh to keep the tiny little critters out (almost as hot).

Kim, formerly on Evenstar, just sent me a better alternative:  make your own insect repellent that really works and doesn’t have any nasty chemicals.

Fed up with no-see-ums? Can't find anything that works against them? Try making your own repellent -- and fight mosquitoes, fleas, ticks and other bugs, too!

I don’t have no-see-ums where I am, so can’t test this myself (although I can say that her formulas for mosquito and tick repellent works well).  Kim swears that the no-see-um formula works:  “We cruisers are always looking for the latest, greatest ‘no see-um’ oil as we tend to get eaten alive in the Caribbean (and all the bug spray in the world does not seem to keep those nasty things off of us). The following recipe works great and is easy to make!”

If you are in an area plagued by only one insect, you can just use one of the essential oils that’s listed as effective against that one.  The good news is that you can combine two or more of the oils to create a more comprehensive blend suited to whatever may be bothering you.

Depending on where you are located, it can be hard to find the essential oils.  In the small town (20,000) where I now live, I could only find citronella — and that was at a specialty pharmacy.  So I’ve provided a link to Amazon for each oil — they are all relatively inexpensive and very easy to slip into your luggage even if your boat is in the Caribbean.

And yes, you can buy some of these oils as pre-made insect repellents, which works well if your boat is in the US.  But if you’re elsewhere, it’s easiest to just take the one hard-to-find ingredient back to the boat with you since it only makes up a small portion of the total volume.  Then you can get the other ingredients locally rather than using up precious luggage space!

Make Your Own Insect Repellent

Store the mix in a dark plastic bottle so it won’t degrade.  If you can’t find a dark bottle, just cover a clear one with duct tape.   I found that using an old (well-rinsed out) shampoo bottle worked well as it had a small opening for pouring the repellent out. I also tried putting it in an old window cleaner bottle with a spray nozzle so that we could spray it on. However,  pouring a bit out from the shampoo bottle and then rubbing it on seemed to work better for us, probably because we used more of the mix, so I wouldn’t worry about trying to find a spray bottle.

Now, on to the formula.  The mixture should be 5 to 10% essential oil(s) and the rest the “carrier” oil or alcohol.  So, to make a reasonable quantity:

1 fluid ounce essential oil(s) — total of all oils (this is 2 tablespoons, or 30 ml)

9 to 19 fluid ounces carrier oil or alcohol (1-1/8 cup to 2-3/8 cups)

For no-see-ums, which are notoriously hard to discourage, use the smallest amount of carrier oil or alcohol.

Fed up with no-see-ums? Can't find anything that works against them? Try making your own repellent -- and fight mosquitoes, fleas, ticks and other bugs, too!What essential oil(s) to use?  It depends on what you need protection against:

IMPORTANT:  With all of these,  you need the highly concentrated “essential” oil.  For example, you can get “citronella oil” for Tiki lights in lots of places.  But that’s not what you need — it’s already been diluted (and with things you probably don’t want to rub on your skin).

Carrier oil or alcohol (choose one or a combination):

  • olive oil, sunflower oil or any other cooking oil
  • witch hazel
  • vodka
Just pour the essential oil and the carrier into the dark bottle you’ll store it in, cap it and shake to mix.  If you prefer a “gel” consistency, you can mix in some aloe vera gel — but be aware that you’re cutting the concentration of the essential oil.

You can either rub it on or spray it on.  Apply about once an hour or more often if you’re swimming or sweating a lot.

And one final related note:  If you need to replace — or make — a no-see-um screen, it can be hard to find the material.  Try bridal veil material, which you can find in most moderate-sized towns.

Fed up with no-see-ums?  Can't find anything that works against them?  Try making your own repellent -- and fight other bugs, too!

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  • Laurie Ehlke
    Posted at 30 September 2011 Reply

    Hi Carolyn 🙂

    Do you think Neutrogena Sesame oil would work as a carrier? It has a lovely smell already & would mix quite nicely with some of the essential oil scents-it also comes in unscented, and is available on Amazon…

    Thanks for all the great tips!

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 30 September 2011 Reply

      I don’t really know — I’ve never used the Neutrogena Sesame Lotion (link is to it on Amazon if you’re wondering what it is). I think the only question would be whether it had anything it in that would “cancel out” or neutralize the essential oil. I’d say try it with a small amount if you want — and let the rest of us know the results!

  • Candy Ann Williams on Facebook
    Posted at 18 February 2012 Reply

    Great Info…I’ll share with my friends. Thanks.

  • Linda Hollan Kacy Sitton on Facebook
    Posted at 18 February 2012 Reply

    I am highly allergic to no-seeums. My reaction to them this year was the worst. They made me a prisoner in our boat. I have tried everything and deet works but you can’t miss a spot and you have to apply every couple of hours. Does this work the same way or can you put it on you in several places and reapply that way every hour. Reapplying everywhere your exposed even every 2 hours is not practical in reality for me.

  • The Boat Galley on Facebook
    Posted at 18 February 2012 Reply

    I’m not REAL sensitive to them — I’ve been able to get by with putting sort of “generally” on and rubbing it around, and use it probably every 3 hours or so just sitting in the cockpit. I’ve only used it for a week where there were no-see-ums so don’t have a lot of long-term experience there. I’ve used it a LOT on mosquitos (nasty ones on the river) and applying it once would work all evening. Considering how sensitive you are, I’d hate to make a guess how it would work.

  • Linda Hollan Kacy Sitton on Facebook
    Posted at 18 February 2012 Reply

    It is worth trying. Brunswick, Ga was the worst. Their bite whelps up like a wasp sting except they are worse….the itching doesn’t stop for over a week. I never know I am biten until a day or two later so you don’t know they are there until it is too late. I was still getting new bites in Jacksonville and we finally figured out we had trapped some in the boat. Rusty sprayed bug spray like crazy and we haven’t had trouble since. I still close everything up at sunset until well after dark. But in Georgia I don’t think the dusk and dawn applied. They were around all the time I think.

  • The Boat Galley on Facebook
    Posted at 18 February 2012 Reply

    I should have added that I have to use it more often if I’m sweating. It’s not nearly as harsh on the skin as DEET and it doesn’t seem to melt plastic like DEET does (admittedly, I haven’t deliberately sprayed it on my watch or anything — I’m pretty careful after ruining both a GPS display and my watch display in about 30 seconds . . . )

  • Linda Hollan Kacy Sitton on Facebook
    Posted at 18 February 2012 Reply

    I really appreciate your posting. No seeums could be a deal breaker for me….it was that bad this year.

  • Michelle
    Posted at 18 February 2012 Reply

    Cant wait to try this.. ALL insects love to chew me up!!

  • Sharlyn Harley on Facebook
    Posted at 18 February 2012 Reply

    If you make a batch that’s about 11 ounces and you apply it every hour or so, about how long would one batch last?

  • The Boat Galley on Facebook
    Posted at 19 February 2012 Reply

    Depends on a lot of things like wearing shorts versus long pants, do you spray it on or pour a little out and rub it on, etc. — but I’d say that it makes about 50 applications, less if you use it really heavily. 11 ounces would be 66 teaspoons and I’m guesstimating that I use a little over 1 teaspoon each time I apply it.

  • Julie Anderson on Facebook
    Posted at 30 July 2012 Reply

    I use baby oil to battle Noseeums. it works great. Another one I have heard but have not tried yet is, Coconut Oil.

    • Melissa M Firlein
      Posted at 06 April 2016 Reply

      Hi Julie i just moved here to florida last year and the area i am in i have never experienced bites nor this Noseeum bite and i guess i am highly allergic i have bites and they are the size of a freakin baseball. You say coconut oil works how much do you use to get rid of these things from biting you or the baby oil how much so i know or do i just drench myself in it ?
      Please respond via email @ melissafirlein@gmail.com please i am in dyer need, and thank you for the insight to keeping these bugs away

      • Glenn Land
        Posted at 19 April 2016 Reply

        Melissa, I too have this problem with noseeum bites. Please let me know if you find a solution. Email me gofish21@windstream.net
        Thanks, Glenn Land

    • 4Bonbon
      Posted at 01 June 2016 Reply

      I have tried baby oil and also vinegar with no success. Noseems are the DEVIL. I got them in my house via a houseplant I put outside and then brought in. They even went dormant over the Winter and now are biting me again. I am SOOO desperate. I just ordered the citronella oil on Amazon and will make your recipe. I sure hope it works. Thank you.

  • Kelley
    Posted at 01 January 2013 Reply

    Does anyone have any experience with which carrier oil works best in the Caribbean? Is an oil to greasy for the hot temps? Would vodka work best?

    • Janet Lee Knizner-Enders
      Posted at 30 September 2014 Reply

      OH! NO! Not the vodka! just kidding!

    • Jacquie Sudek-exton
      Posted at 19 July 2016 Reply

      The best carrier alcohol is cheap gin. It already has essences that insects hate and was used as repellent on its own in the old days. The best carrier oil is Avon skin so soft, again it’s used on its own as mozzy repellent. As to which is better, oil based lasts longer but is messy, I find its best when sprayed on bare skin. Alcohol based is lighter and works best if spraying on clothing. I make both kinds in small spray bottles, they work well on my dog as well.

    • Pat
      Posted at 20 May 2017 Reply

      In Brasil they are not selling the alcool for diluting oils anymore so I researched on line and also the owner of the store told me you can dilute all this stuff YES using Vodka, it’s true and not harmfull as it has just 40% alcoold, you can use half vodka and half distiled water, it’s pure than any carrier. Also you have to add some kind of oil as coconut, baby, olive oil, grape seed, any oil will work to act as “glue” in your skin. Hope this help. or if get’s really bad just drink th e vodka and go to sleep to forget about this creatures!

  • John Ahern on Facebook
    Posted at 30 March 2013 Reply

    I will try this..Thanks

  • Ellen Baird on Facebook
    Posted at 30 March 2013 Reply


  • Richard Edwards on Facebook
    Posted at 30 March 2013 Reply

    Just a correction, Kim is no longer on EVENSTAR. She jumped ship over a year ago.

  • The Boat Galley on Facebook
    Posted at 30 March 2013 Reply

    Oops! Old info from when she sent me the instructions!

  • Richard Edwards on Facebook
    Posted at 30 March 2013 Reply

    No problem.

  • Sherry Day on Facebook
    Posted at 31 March 2013 Reply

    I will try this! The No-See-Ums eat me alive in the Caribbean. I wake up clawing my legs as they attack me while sleeping! Screens to keep them out. Thanks.

  • Harmony (SV Serenity)
    Posted at 02 April 2013 Reply

    Thanks for this! Have you or anyone you know tried neem oil? I’ve used it for mosquitos, but I’m new to no-see-um territory. They are out in FULL FORCE! I might give it a try and let you know. It’s impossible to find screen small enough to keep the no-see-ums out – thanks for the tip re: veil material.

  • Susan Parker
    Posted at 11 May 2013 Reply

    I made a batch and tried it out last night. Sorry to say that it’s no match for the no-see-ums in Little Shark River, Everglades, FL!

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 11 May 2013 Reply

      Bummer Susan! This is Jan & we were hoping this stuff would work on those wicked no-see-ums! Thx for letting me know! FYI, when we were in Bocas Del Toro, Panama there was some kind of soap in a little black box called Pic-X or some such thing. The no-see-em population in Bocas is every bit as wicked as in Little Shark. I’m in contact with my cruising friends there & asked them to bring me some. If it works, I’ll let you know! Cheers! Jan

      • Michael
        Posted at 30 January 2014 Reply

        Hi Carolyn, did you ever figure out what the soap was in the little black box?

        • Carolyn Shearlock
          Posted at 31 January 2014 Reply

          Hi Michael — Actually, that was from Jan, my cookbook co-author. I’ll ask her if she did!

  • Sheryl Fricke
    Posted at 25 May 2013 Reply

    I haven’t tried the oils yet, but I am in no see-um territory and just looking to see what other people are recommending for a repellent. I was new to them just last year and our country store stocks Avon Skin So Soft spray just for the nosee-ums. So far they have stopped biting me since I bought a bottle. Not only does it repeal them but my skin is so soft..

  • Ken Smith
    Posted at 23 July 2013 Reply

    Old School Listerine works well to replell small insects and mosquitos here in Colorado! We like many others had been searching for a safe alternative to DEET, I came across a home remedy page that listed Listerine to repell mosquitos. My 8 yr old daughter and I have tested it. It works Great!!! We were shore fishing with a swarm of mosquitos flying above us and not one landed!!!!

  • Peggy P.
    Posted at 22 December 2013 Reply

    Just came across all your comments and will be trying the recipe and bringing Skin so Soft with me too. We are going to Turks & Caicos in March. I have had 2 REALLY bad experiences with noseeums. Once in Palm City FL and the other on the island of St. John. I had hundreds of bites which lasted for several months, even with prescriptions.
    If anyone has any other recipes or things to try since the last posting, I would love to hear.

  • Ron
    Posted at 30 December 2013 Reply

    I am one more victim of no-seeums. All that has been described by others has been my same experience. The bugs are awful; I itch constantly. I tried the combination of citronella oil with witch hazel. Terrible combination for me. That smell was so bad, no one would get near me at a picnic. I did not like the way I smelled either on Saturday night. By Sunday afternoon I was already itching. The smell may have kept my friends away, but the no-seeums seemed to love it. I have 6 new bites today. I’m going today to find a product with high concentration of deet.

  • Silas
    Posted at 04 January 2014 Reply

    Peggy, my wife used to work in Turks for 2 years (she left there in Oct. 2010) and when we were dating I flew down there (I live in Lubbock, Tx.) 20 times during that time (yes…she was worth it! lol). I never had problems with noseeums…just mosquitos. We (moreso me…..those suckers LOVE me!) just used regular Off! and had no problems. Hope that helps. I found out that also wearing a hat with a bandana hanging out from it to cover my neck helped a lot too.

  • Christine
    Posted at 21 January 2014 Reply

    I have to say read this and took your advise we are here now in Roatan and so far what I did was 10 fl oz of witch hazel .5 citronella and .5 lemon grass eucalyptus, 3 days was bitten the first day on the back shoulder in 2 places I couldn’t reach. From that point on I made sure I was covered, not another bite!!! not even after walking along the beach or being out at dusk, we just made sure if we felt the buggers around us we sprayed again!! no see ums !!! haven’t felt them so far Crossing our fingers this recipe holds true!!!!

  • Zowie Meissner
    Posted at 14 March 2014 Reply

    Zero to Cruising was just talking about these pest last week. I hope they read this.

  • Michael Cain
    Posted at 14 March 2014 Reply


  • V Page Escallier
    Posted at 15 March 2014 Reply

    I was just going to ask if anyone had a solution for these pesky problem! Perfect timing! Suds N Scents has great value for pure essential oils. They are based in Vancouver, BC, but I ordered all the time when I lived in California and worked as a Massage Therapist. The price is the best I have found anywhere!!

  • Claire Hodson
    Posted at 15 March 2014 Reply

    Avon Skin So Soft works for us.It is a dry oil with citronella in it. I got it from Amazon UK we hadn’t heard of no-see-ums until we arrived in the Caribbean, pesky blighters aren’t they.

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 15 March 2014 Reply

      It seems that some things work for some people and other things for others. Maybe how it reacts with their skin chemistry? I think it’s a case of trying different things until you find what works for you. I know that some people have great luck with SSS, I’m not one of them (it doesn’t even keep mosquitoes off me).

  • Anders Yuran
    Posted at 02 May 2014 Reply

    I have done a mix of Basil, Clove, Citronella and Eucalyptus. Plus the most important, 2% Neem oil. I use coconut oil as base and all the essential oils is 10% of the mix. Keeps all bugs away from my wife, that was eaten alive by noseeums and mozzies before

  • Trudy
    Posted at 09 May 2014 Reply

    I have lived in FL since 1998, never have I seen or heard about ‘No See Ums”. I did in Mexico, near San Blas, MX, camped in my VW Camper, they were so bad we had to wake up and drive inland to get away from them and be able to sleep! Awful!
    Now, I have moved to the Coast, my 13th Florida move. I have been bit on the toes, feet, ankles, calves, thighs, butt, arms, hands, neck, and face! I had no idea they were here!
    I believe it is because I have been very sick in December, 2013 and later in March 2014 both times on Antibiotics. I think there is a connection. I believe my immune system was compromised, and sends out an odor that attracts these little beasts! I wrote down all the ideas, I have used pure Ammonia with a cotton pad directly on them, and that has worked best. I have an herbal ointment sample I am trying, so far it is working a little. I think they are in my Home, my feet feel like they have fresh bites. Tomorrow I will get what ever I can find from the list of ideas. Thank you everyone for your thoughtful contributions. I think vacuuming the air is next to suck them up! They are from Hell! Nothing worse than their bite, except for ‘White Sox’ in Alaska. They bite, leave, and minutes later you are in extreme pain! My left foot still hurts, feels like fresh bites near my big toe. Maddening creatures ruin your vacation, outdoor experience, and take center stage!
    Happy healing, DON’T Scratch that makes it start to hurt more & more, it opens the skin to infection, and spreads the venom. They are in season now, I see why people burn a fire outdoors at night it keeps them down.

  • Tim
    Posted at 25 May 2014 Reply

    Wal Mart sells a handheld or lantern device called a thermacell. Ive found it to be effective. It has a range of 15 foot diameter, less if its windy. I have two for my boat. It takes about ten minutes for maximum effect. A butane fire source heats up a pad, releasing its smell into the air. No chemicals on skin. Each pad lasts 4 hours and each butane bottle lasts 12. Awesome for mosquitos, good for no see ums.

  • Donna Koning
    Posted at 26 May 2014 Reply

    My sister and brother in law travel to the Bahamas and have found out from other travelers that taking Zyrtec keeps the no see ems away.

  • Barbara Lowell
    Posted at 19 June 2014 Reply

    so glad I found this, I just posted a request for this info on today’s “ants” post … I live in NC FL and am persecuted by insects … they love to bite me … wonder if it has to do with being a vegan and eating lots of fruit … i read that it has to do with your breathing out some chemicals and also the ph of your skin … dunno i just know it is like being in hell to get these bites that last for a week of itching … i am going to try all these suggestions until i find one that works for me. thanx everyone for so many great ideas.

  • marianne
    Posted at 28 June 2014 Reply

    Hi Carolyn,

    We live in South Carolina and the noseeums are eatting my 4 dogs alive. I let them out only to take a potty break. Do you know if anyone has tried these mixes on their dogs ? I have two dogs that love to stay outside but within minutes they are chewing at themselves because of the noseeums. Just like the human bug repellants nothing works against the se nasty little bugs. We have a woded back yard and of course their are swampy lands nearby. Any help you can give me? or anyone else? Thanks

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 28 June 2014 Reply

      I haven’t had to try them on Paz, so I don’t know the answer. Maybe check with your vet to see if there’s a problem with any of the ingredients, or maybe they know of something that helps. One you might ask the vet about is Advantix — it says it works against sand flies (which a lot of people call no-see-ums) but for sand fly protection, you have to apply it every two weeks. Then again, while Advantix worked well against fleas when we were in Mexico, it was just about useless when we were in Florida, so insects in some areas may be becoming resistant. Good luck!

    • Trudy McCann
      Posted at 28 June 2014 Reply

      If you have a health food store or contact via google get the following: Basil Oil, Clove, Cintronella, Eucalyptus, mix with 2% Neem Oil, and use Coconut oil for your base. Mix in a spray bottle and spray your dogs.
      Or buy from WALMART – ‘REPEL’ it has Lemon, Eucalyptus and no DEET. then go to the Sporting Goods section look for a spray called ‘Swamp Gator’ DEET Free, natural Insect repellent – with all natural ingredients. I bought both.
      Also you can buy at Wal-Mart the item called a ‘Thermacell’ – it is Butane powered and casts a 15′ diameter range for repelling for bugs. No I am not a spokes person for Wal-Mart they just happen to have items that are made to combat these blood thirsty suckers.- skeeters, no see ums, etc.!
      Hope this helps.

      • SueSue
        Posted at 18 June 2015 Reply

        Trudy, when you say to use 2% Neem Oil how much is that? Also doesn’t Coconut Oil solidify? As far as the EO’s, how much of each?
        Could you possibly give a recipe with the exact amounts for this dummy?

        • SueSue
          Posted at 18 June 2015 Reply

          PS…Do you also mean NO alcohol or Witch Hazel?

  • Dr. Bob
    Posted at 01 March 2015 Reply

    My wife and I are going to Jamaica in a month. It sounds like we need to dose up on Zyrtec, and cover ourselves with 100% deet and Citronella oil mixed into Skin So Soft and drink plenty of vodka. We should have a fun trip.

  • JLee
    Posted at 17 March 2015 Reply

    OH! NO! Not our vodka!!!

  • Warren
    Posted at 23 March 2015 Reply

    Dab Peppermint oil on bites. Instant relief! for noseeums mosquitos and fire ants.
    NOW company has a good product.

  • Colleen
    Posted at 13 May 2015 Reply

    Found that Preparation-H (Cooling Gel) helps diminish the itch of no-see-ums and other bug bites (saw it on-line). I’ll try the peppermint oil (suggested above) too!

  • Lynda
    Posted at 20 June 2015 Reply

    For three years I have been bitten by something under my clothes from the waist down (even wearing long sleeves and long pants). I went to my dermatologist and he tried everything he knew on me. He even did a biopsy on one of the bites and sent it off to a lab in Texas – no answer. I work out in my flower garden and was beginning to think that I was allergic to some of my plants, but now I think I have the answer – NO-SEE-UMS!!!!!! I will try some of the suggested formulas. Thanks to all of you who have had good luck with some of these and have shared. I want to work out in my garden again!

    • Barbara Lowell
      Posted at 21 June 2015 Reply

      I have the same problem. I get these tiny bites, lots of them in the same place, like the waist and sometimes underarm area and butt cheeks. I think they can be fleas (4 cats) in Florida there is no way to avoid indoor and outdoor fleas completely. They also might be chiggers which are supposedly little red orange critters that hang out in spanish moss or no see-ums. I do a lot of yard cleaning and gardening. Mosquitoes are horrible here and also yellow fly will bite so fierce it bleeds, itches and hurts for 2 weeks. Just horrible. \With frequent thundershowers there is no way to get rid of standing water in just leaves and weeds they can easily breed. I haven’t found herbals to be all that great of a match for the extreme insects here and I refuse to use strong chemicals. I dress in white or light colored clothing head to toe and its the only thing that helps but it has to be dense fabric and its so hot. Then they will try to attack my hands and face.If I run out to pick something from my garden it takes about 10 seconds to get bitten somewhere. I share your pain as you can see.

    • Jaci
      Posted at 01 May 2016 Reply

      Sounds like you are getting bit up by chiggers. To stop the itch take a warm shower and Benadryl.

  • colgate
    Posted at 31 August 2015 Reply

    When your noseeum bite come to a head squeeze the bite to get the liquid out and it will cut down the pain considerably. You may have to do it again later if you didn’t get all the “juice” out.

    • Barbara Lowell
      Posted at 01 September 2015 Reply

      How do you distinguish this bite from others, lets say a mosquito or flea bite? Are there any particular characteristics?

  • Rick McNeil
    Posted at 20 September 2015 Reply


    My wife and our young family lived aboard our yacht for almost three years sailing in Panama, The Caribbean, Bahamas and then to US East Coastal waters. Not bothered much by no-see-ums or mosquitoes until we hit Grenada and, even then, only a little bit. This all changed when we got to the T&C’s and the Bahamas……..no-see-ums were about us like a plague of locusts (literally turning our shades darker with their sheer numbers as they landed to feast at sundown) on some of the smaller islands like Rum Cay, Crooked Island and Mayaguana. So we sought a child friendly repellent and after trying out two or three different ones we settled on the Solid Bar Company’s as a long term solution. They seem to know what they are doing as they were boaters for a while too and they also have a ‘green’ ethic, so boat friendly and bio-degradable etc. Try them out, recommended: http://thesolidbarcompany.com/collections/lotion-bars/products/awesome-bug-repellent

    Best wishes fair winds and calm seas to all, Rick

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 20 September 2015 Reply


    • ricardo nicolas emmanuel sucarolin-vega
      Posted at 03 January 2016 Reply

      Hi Carolyn, meant to let you know that we sail back and forth in Canaries and in Caribbean as a semi-pro sailor and skipper/crew and have problems with many flying bugs. Found your blog/site(?) here a while back and bought these bars online from The Solid Bar Company last September after reading this article. Been a ‘life-saver’ for many of us and our customers/clients on both sides of the Atlantic. The oceans are our life so we respect the biodegradable chemical free aspect too…..thought we would just mention. Estas barras funcionan muy bien así que gracias!

    • Danny
      Posted at 22 January 2017 Reply

      I just ordered one as a result of your post. They should send you a free one for helping spread the word. My mom is visiting us in Florida and she’s been eaten alive. I feel awful for her and can’t wait to get my order. if it works I’ll be a regular customer! In the meantime, there was a post above that said peppermint oil alleviates the pain so we will give that a shot!

  • Cindy Power
    Posted at 09 January 2016 Reply

    Has anyone had luck with rubbing lye soap on skin as a deterrent? Or adding the lye soap to the other blends recommended. We’ve used it in Oklahoma against chiggers with some success. We’re in the Keys now and the no see ums are bad. I’m getting ready to make some concoction and just remembered this.

  • John Kristensen
    Posted at 04 March 2016 Reply

    Can you tell me what the shelf life is on the repellants? Does alcohol have a longer shelf life than say vegetable oils? I’m assuming using a dark colored spray bottle. Thanks

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 04 March 2016 Reply

      I don’t honestly know. I’ve kept it as long as a month, but it’s usually used up long before then (usually in a week). It was still fine after a month. I’ve used both alcohol and oil and they seem to be similar.

  • Katie Bonomini
    Posted at 19 April 2016 Reply

    Ok, I am so excited I found this page, I have a million thoughts and un answered questions. This NEVER happened to me until three years ago. First off, I live in Cincinnati Ohio.Which seems so strange, as all the other posters on this topic seem to be more in Fl or Texas or even tropical areas .

    Secondly, no one else in my immediate family or even close friends etc that live in Cinci are not being effected the way that I suddenly have been. In fact they are all so sick and tired of me talking about this that they have now started to ignore me and kinda blow off the topic, as they are not experiencing the same thing, which in return frustrates me that much more.

    I have been told it could be….

    my blood type
    my hormones
    my pheromones
    my heavy breathing?

    * I have worked in greenhouses and nursery’s and in turn in my own garden and window boxes, etc for years. I truly believe it is my passion,not anymore. I cant stand being bit the entire time I am trying to plant and configure things. These things make me so ANGRY….Im in Ohio for the love of God!!!

    I have been prescribed to Adderall for over ten years, I have been told it can sometimes be pharmaceutical drugs…. again, I didnt experience this until three years ago, I had been on adderall for seven years and never had this….so cant be adderall.

    I have been told I dont drink enough water,
    I honestly do not give a flying poop WHAT it is or what is causing this I just want it to go away!!!

    not only is this obviously EXTREMELY uncomfortable and frustrating but it angers me even more because when I look at my arms and legs, they are all welted and or scabbed from itching them till they bleed IN MY SLEEP… so you can only imagine how beautiful my legs look in the summer…grrrrrrrrrrrr If ANYONE has any suggestions or anything at all to say regarding my now miserable living conditions I welcome any, I dont know what to do. Dermatologist, eat 56 benadryl a day, hold my breath when outside, remove my uterus and ovaries, I will do about anything to make this stop! I honestly used to just LOVE summer, and of coarse my perennials, watering them every morning and when the sun goes down… Love the sun being outside, running, and its all over and I just cant except that without some sort of explanation. Thank you to everyone that just read this, if you could actually listen to my non stop complaining over and over and round anround abot the same topic, Im just exasperated and depressed this has suddenly been such a drastic change… HELP !!! Thank you so so much and God Bless

  • Allen
    Posted at 03 May 2016 Reply

    What would be safe carrier to use say sweet orange essential oil on pets, for fleas.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 03 May 2016 Reply

      I would think that any of the cooking oils would be safe but would also attract dirt . . . double-check by asking your vet. Witch hazel and vodka I don’t think would be too good . . . witch hazel isn’t actually toxic to dogs according to my research but does cause vomiting and diarrhea. Since dogs will lick anything on their fur (or at least mine does), I don’t use anything on her that she shouldn’t eat.

    • Melissa Firlein
      Posted at 03 May 2016 Reply

      For fleas i put a tsp of apple cider vinegar in his water every time i get him fresh water and after a bath i put lavender oil on him fleas hate lavender i have no fleas on my dog good luck

  • Cindy
    Posted at 13 May 2016 Reply

    Was told by a doctor that the best prevention of mosquito bites is to take (swallow) a B1 half an hour before you go out. This is a mosquito bite repellent only, but sure does work. My sons used to run down the road ahead of us when we would take our evening walks, and we could see a cloud of mosquitoes around only one son. They loved him! B1 solved the problem completely.

  • Corey Harrington
    Posted at 19 July 2016 Reply

    Hey guys, this is Corey from Sillyknotto over on Instagram. Any chance you would be covering the zika topic in one of your blog entries sometime? Just curious as to what the cruising community is saying or doing down in the Caribbean. Love your stuff. Unbelievable resource. Thank you.

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 19 July 2016 Reply

      I haven’t written anything. Probably the best place for info is the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/zika/ As I understand it, the real concern is for pregnant women or women who are trying to get pregnant (and their men); I do know of some cruisers who have decided to put off having kids until they are out of high risk areas.

    • Corey Harrington
      Posted at 19 July 2016 Reply

      thank you for response.

  • Troy Etarip
    Posted at 19 July 2016 Reply

    Hempz lotion works the best (must be original scented). However won’t work on black biting flies. Use flame thrower for those

  • Kathy Pease
    Posted at 19 July 2016 Reply

    I’ve tried the citronella oil repellent – doesn’t work very well. Tried adding clove oil to it, worked marginally better. Then we found something called Swamp Gator Natural Repellent. That worked VERY well against almost everything. Available in the US in a lot of places, including Walmart.

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 19 July 2016 Reply

      OOh, I’ll have to get some of that when we’re back in the US this fall. We’ve had a couple of anchorages that were just terrible with bugs, although most don’t have any.

  • Bridget McGraw
    Posted at 19 July 2016 Reply

    Tea tree oil also works great on no-see-ums.

  • Paul Hoffman
    Posted at 19 July 2016 Reply

    Skin so soft, cut 50-50 with water was our go to at Kings Bay Sub base back in the day – it was great at night seeing the ‘halo’ of bugs around the topside watches.

  • Anna Keller
    Posted at 03 March 2017 Reply

    We had a terrible time with noseeum’s in Belize November 2015. This was the first time we’ve had a problem. Mosquito’s are always there, but Off usually worked pretty good for those. I’ve got my mixture of citronella, eucalyptus, & cinnamon oils in a carrier of grapeseed oil & vodka. Also, taking Skin so Soft down with me to make more if needed. Heading down to Belize again & I’m hoping for the best. Maybe I’ll even wash my hair in cheap gin!

  • Joanne Deyoung
    Posted at 04 May 2017 Reply

    If you get bit,use a septic stick on bites. Dries them up quickly.

  • Rachel M
    Posted at 21 August 2017 Reply

    We’ve been using a solid bar repellent in the BVI’s, which says it has 12 active ingredients and does seem to work well against repelling both mosquitoes and the no seeums we seem to get around here in the marina. Do have to re-apply every few hours but would rather that than DEET and you have to make sure it covers all exposed areas or you’ll get bit. I am told they are in various stores throughout the Caribbean apparently and also ship to US Virgin Islands, mainland US. Smells awesome too. It was from a company called The Solid Bar Co https://thesolidbarcompany.com/

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