A Simple & Chemical-Free Tip to Avoid Bites

The climate in Nagpur is pretty mild at the moment so people are wearing jumpers and coats. In England, if it was 25°C people would be wearing their hot pants and tank tops but here in Nagpur, where summer temperatures reach 48°C, this temperature could be considered quite chilly. The temperature is perfect for me, I love it but I still sit under the whirling ceiling fans day and night, at night the temperature can drop to 15°C and accompanied with the ceiling fan I can wake up shivering, but still we keep the ceiling fan on.

So, here is my chemical-free tip to avoid bites: no matter how cold you are, keep your ceiling fan on, it stops the mosquitoes biting you!

I learnt how important fans are and that they are not only for cooling you down when it is hot, the hard way. A couple of nights ago I was finding it really difficult to sleep, I didn’t want to wake my husband so I took the laptop into the living room and sat reading for a couple of hours. I soon started to become sleeping so I stood up to go back to bed, as I stood I saw two mosquitoes fly away from my legs. I sat back down and counted 15 bites all over my legs and feet and then the itching began. I had forgotten to turn the ceiling fan on in the living room, allowing those little buggers to have a feast!! I felt quite silly and suffered the rest of the night, I could not stop itching!

There are three reasons why fans can prevent mosquito bites. The first is kinda obvious, the fans blow the mosquitoes away. Studies show that wind prevents mosquitoes from landing on you, just like a windstorm can stop a plane from making its descent. The second reason is quite interesting, fans dilute and disperse the carbon dioxide we exhale and carbon dioxide is one of the major chemicals that attract mosquitoes! The third reason is more relevant when the weather starts getting warmer, fans cool you down and so reduce sweat and body heat which also attracts those pesky mosquitoes.

ceiling fan to prevent mosquito bites

I have a supply of DEET (a chemical repellent) but I really dislike using it because it smells horrid and is so toxic. This chemical free method of simply turning on the ceiling fan works just as well! I have never been bitten whilst sitting under the fan and I was savaged by mosquitoes when I neglected to turn the fan on. If you are suffering at the tiny hands of those little critters why not give it a go?

 “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito”

-The Dalai Lama

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34 thoughts on “A Simple & Chemical-Free Tip to Avoid Bites

  1. Oh dear.. I am not a friend with mosquitoes either! Now it makes sense why when we were booking Goa accommodation they were saying: ceiling fans available 🙂 I bought some DEET but I also don’t like the idea of using it.. I hope they have some anti itch creams you can use for the bites. Are you starting to go out by yourself more now?
    x M

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  2. Wow that is such a such a cool and interesting piece of information. And I’m sitting thinking now how obvious it actually is but it never has occurred to me!

    You are moving into your cooler months now in India??

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    • It only occurred to me after my husband told me!

      It has been cool for quite sometime now, it will start getting hotter soon, the hottest time here in Nagpur is May/June 48oC (argh!). The coolest months in India are December and January… it is hot in Australia now though right? In England it is close to snowing haha.

      I hope you and your husband are well!

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      • I have no idea what it is… I am yet to experience it… someone compared it to putting yourself in an oven. Nagpur is notorious for being really hot, people warn me about summer all the time.

        We have a beautiful AC in our room, thankfully!!! I have been told I cannot go outside during the day when it gets that hot… something to look forward to!

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      • Incredible… We experienced close to 45 degrees dry heat in Dubai and it’s not as bad as I pictured. I think when humidity is attached, I find it unbearable!
        Thank goodness for AC, huh? 🙂
        It’s been a bit over a month now for you in India, right? Hope you are settled in, it sounds like you are. Will you be getting to go on trips with your husband?
        Must be so wonderful to be together again 🙂

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      • I am really hoping it is not going to be humid as well, but I bet it will be!!

        It is soooo wonderful to be back together again!! Well, on Sunday night we start our 10 hour road trip to attend my husbands friends wedding! My first time as a guest at an Indian wedding! I am excited, we are staying for 2 days… I am slightly nervous about being faced with an Eastern toilet though- it had to happen sooner or later haha x

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  3. Antihistamines will counter the itching. Mosquitos spit into the wound when they bite because their saliva contains an anticoagulant. The itching is a response to the saliva, and the antihistamines counter the allergic reaction to the saliva. Also, bathing with cool rather than warm water helps keep bites from being itchy, but of course in the winter time that’s not comfortable. Helpful hints I learned in the Peace Corps.

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    • Thank you Marie, yes antihistamines can also be taken orally to help with the itching. I take chlorphenamine when I have bad bites because it also helps me to sleep (a drowsy antihistamine). I didn’t have either a cream or tablets at the time but my husband suggest coconut oil to soothe them, as it was the middle of the night, and that worked quite well!

      Thank you so much for your comment, I hope you are well and wow… Peace Corps 😀

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  4. I didn’t know that coconut oil worked for that. I’ll add that to my arsenal of information. Thanks! Yes, I lived in a West African village for two years, a great experience.

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  5. Dabur makes “Odomos” a mosquito relent cream that smells quite pleasant & has no harmful chemicals-
    http://www.dabur.com/odomos/product.aspx
    I’ve used it & it worked for us.
    You will have HUMID heat in Nagpur. The miserable Monsoon heat & humidity in August is HORRID. But then again I’m a bit spoiled for gorgeous weather being from California. 😉

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    • I used that during my visit in the summer and boy does it smell good, we will have to get some more. Thank you for the reminder, Beatrix!!

      Oh gosh, humidity is something to look forward too… how envious I will be of your Californian weather during those days… In general, the weather here is more to my liking than the Great British weather though. Rain rain and more rain 😛

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  6. Mosquito coils make great repellents and fan is not needed in this cold weather, also creams repel them well. Fan is a poor substitute and a very ineffective method indeed. The creams and sprays are used even in the States.Toxicity wasnt reported at all.

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    • Hi Surya,

      Well it honestly works for us! DEET has recently been found to be neurotoxic to humans, I know there are creams as well but I only like to use them when I leave the house, I don’t want to be wearing cream all the time. I wouldn’t consider it a poor substitute when I have never been bitten whilst under a fan, even when I see mosquitoes in the room.

      I hope you are well, Surya

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  7. Coconut Oil for the Win! Haha!
    I use to work collecting mosquitos from resting boxes for our state surveillance program, so I’ve gotten more then a few bites in my time.
    Two suggestions for prevention:
    Avoid bananas like the plague (the potassium makes your sweat even sweeter to them), and apply eucalyptus oil it works as a great repellent and doesn’t smell terrible.
    As for the bites themselves; Take a metal teaspoon heat it under warm tap water (warm enough that you feel it but it won’t burn), apply that with a good amount of pressure to the center of the bite for a few minutes. The heat will denature the proteins that are causing the itchiness.

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  8. I have learned that hydrogen peroxide and apple cider vinegar are good repellants. An apple cider vinegar / water mixture on skin is not only good for you, but it keeps those buzzers away. 😀 It also makes your hair super shiny and strong.
    It’s good that coconut oil is a cure all, as I absolutely love using coconut oil.
    And I had no idea about the fans, but it makes sense. Thanks for the info. Now I’ll have a few tricks up my sleeve before I even arrive. 😀

    Have a good day! 🙂

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  9. We keep the fan on at night for the exact same reason, but only at night in the winter, it is “cold” enough to wear long pants and socks and even a long sleeve t-shirt most evenings so we are mosquito free until bedtime. I don’t like using odomos all the time, doesn’t strike me as healthy or safe to do so.

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      • Oh, I just love your blog!! It is not only interesting but one learns so many wonderful health and beauty secrets. I am so enjoying using the unfiltered coconut oil on my hair– my husband even noticed the difference. And so many helpful hints about mosquitos. Wonderful!

        On Sat, Feb 1, 2014 at 5:15 AM, English Wife, Indian Life wrote:

        > Lauren (English Wife, Indian Life) commented: “My itching has stopped > now, thank God. I am sure there will be a day when my beloved fan fails me > but it has done a great job so far… a super strong mosquito will find its > way into my bedroom haha! ” >

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  10. Interesting experience there! Welcome to India, the land of the cultural diversity, extreme temperatures and loads of mosquitoes!

    I am from Bangalore, and lately the situation here isn’t that different! Unfortunately DEET is not good for us humans is what the research has proven. So does the below article say in brief and thankfully has given natural ways to keep mosquitoes away.

    http://www.naturallivingideas.com/13-natural-ways-to-keep-mosquitoes-away/

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  11. I have read some of the stories in your blog, and its an amazing change that you have chosen for your life. Interesting. All the best. !!

    And for the mosquitoes, In fact Its not Eucalyptus oil you should go for. Citronella (which falls in the family of eucalyptus i suppose) oil is what you should go for. Smear a few drops on your clothing or your bed, and good to go. It is an essential oil, and the tree is grown in hill stations like Ootty (in Tamilnadu) and munnar (in kerala). I dunno whether you can find it in Nagpur, but just try out.

    I dont know where you have gone for your honeymoon, But no matter how many honeymoons you might have already done, suggest one more in munnar and alleppey.

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  12. Hi lauren. Great reading your blog.you can buy lactocalamine lotion .it will help you with itching from mosquito bites .make sure you close all your doors and windows during evening time around from 5 pm.this will prevent mosquito from coming inside and you can even buy mosquito repellent plug-ins, but some of it has a very strong odor.
    Good luck to you girl. .all the best for your future..

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