Just over a week ago I remember thinking, 'Summer in Canmore sure is amazing (and it is!) and I just LOVE how we're pretty much mosquito free here.' Well ... then they hatched. It's not like other places I have been but by the end of my morning meditation I had numerous patches of blood - my own - on my hands, my thighs, my ankles, my forehead - and I felt anything but relaxed ... I was leaning towards crazy!!!
Here are some strategies that have helped me in the past that I'm now implementing ...(-:
1. Changing my scent - you know how some people just don't get bitten and we all have our own scent? No one has figured it all out yet but there are certain things that can change that scent from the inside out and it makes sense to me that this is part of the puzzle - just think about how your sweat smells after you have had a lot of curry or garlic or if you are a woman, how your scent smells around hormonal changes and PMS. In the past B vitamins and garlic are two of the things I increased internally to change my scent when I was travelling in countries where malaria was present and it seemed to work well for me so I'm getting back on that.
2. Physical protection - mosquito nets, jackets, long sleeves and long, light pants, all of that - of course doing what you can to protect yourself - especially at night is super helpful. I know too much about pesticides and DEET to want to put any of the standard repellants on me or my kids and have been very happy with a spray called 'Summer Survivor' that is made of essential oils mainly catnip oil. It smells great and works well and I'm crossing my fingers that my local health food store has some. Rocky Mountain Soap Co. has come out with a "Hydrating Outdoor Spray" that has some great insect repellant type ingredients in there too including catnip oil so that's another great option as well that a fellow mama brought for the fairy camp crew that we all thought was helpful.
FYI - There are studies talking about how the warmer you are the more mosquitoes are attracted to you and the more carbon dioxide you breathe out the more they are lovin' you as well and right after a can of beer ... lovin' you! ... and how white clothing and not moving makes you less attractive and .... really, at the end of the day no one has figured it completely out yet and so do what makes sense enough to you and now what to do about the bites?!
3. Treating the bites to decrease itch and scarring ...
My favourites have been R30 ointment from Bio Lonreco, Lavender Essential Oil, to lemon juice on the bite, (or the old standby I used as a kid of making an x on the bite with my nails!) and a couple days ago I have been turned onto a product called Therapik (from MEC)- it is a battery operated handheld little device that you put on the bite and I have to tell you it worked like a charm to take away the swelling and itch - this may be my new favourite!
For you oil lovers, here is a simple, healthy after-bite essential oil option from Lea Harris that would be easy to find the ingredients for. I like the idea of the roller especially for my daughter to use easily at camp but putting a drop of each - Lavender and Tea Tree - directly on (applying it "neat") is how I would do this for myself at home.
1/2 teaspoon Tea Tree essential oil
1/2 teaspoon Lavender essential oil
1 teaspoon carrier oil (almond, jojoba)
Add the essential oils to a 10ml roller bottle (it will be half full), then top with the carrier oil.
Shake a bit to mix. Use as needed.
Hope this helps you and your family enjoy everything Summertime brings that much more! xo
Dr. Monika Herwig ND is a Naturopathic Doctor, mother of 2, Calm Mom Mentor and a Trailblazer with Happy Healthy Women in Canmore, Alberta. She practices Mind-Body Medicine especially around Adrenal, Gut and Mental Health in her clinic and leads Wellness Workshops and Retreats locally and internationally. Dr. Monika supports heart centered women shine their light and share their gifts with the world without burning out. She is especially passionate about supporting moms and creative women and runs yearly Fairy Nature Camps for her clients’ children (and herself!).
To connect with Dr. Monika to see if she can support you naturally with health concerns you or your family have or in creating a connected, calm, joy filled home life you can set up a clarity call through calling her office at (403) 609-8385 or texting her at (403) 678-7901.