dryer sheets and mosquitos

gardningscomplicated(southeast michigan - 5b or 6?)May 6, 2010

Does anyone know what's in dryer sheets that repels mosquitos? I went outside today to check on my garden, and got swarmed by mosquitos. So I put one dryer sheet--bounce unscented, from a box that's been sitting open for probably a couple years--in my shirt pocket, and one in my belt loop, and nothing seemed to bother me after that. It was like holy water scaring off vampires. Maybe it was just a coincidence, but I've heard other people say it works. I always worry that stuff like this is toxic, but if this works I think a couple dryer sheets could last all season. And I won't dread going out there with all those bugs.

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lolear(5b - Chicago)

Wow! I've got to try that!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 5:11PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

The soldiers in the military use them for the same thing, except they rub a sheet all over their arms and face.

EG

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 5:12PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Something else I forgot....Mosquitos are attracted to carbon dioxide - which is the by-product of a person breathing in oxygen. Repellants only confuse the mosquito, as does the fabric softener sheet scent.....

EG

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 5:14PM
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nc_crn

You shouldn't rub the stuff all over you (especially if you don't know if it will make you break out in a rash), but it is the interaction with skin chemicals that supposedly helps the mode of interaction.

There's chloroform and camphor and ethyl acetate and all kinds of other "baddies" in them.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 5:22PM
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athenainwi

Last year I used the new clip-on Off and it worked pretty well. The scent doesn't follow you so it doesn't work well if you're moving, but it is great for gardening. It's probably more expensive than the dryer sheets but the fan probably makes it work better.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 5:29PM
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ally99

The dryer sheets do not work in Montego Bay, Jamaica! lol! My hubby and I tried it on a trip, and nope, those Goliaths ate us alive! I'll have to try it here in the states. :)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 8:00PM
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gardningscomplicated(southeast michigan - 5b or 6?)

I'm not about to rub one on my face. I won't even use them on my clothes anymore. But if they keep working, I'll use them when I'm outside. I also heard they work for mice, but I haven't tried it yet.

ally - Do you remember if you used bounce in Jamaica? Or another brand? Maybe different sheets have different chemicals. Or maybe the Jamaican mosquitos aren't as easily confused as the ones we have here.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 10:55PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Sure wish they would work on chiggers!! I look like I've got chicken pox from the knees down and the old knees ain't pretty on the best of days.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 11:08PM
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lnewport

I heard about using dryer sheets but never tried them. Now I'll definitely have to give it a shot. I bought the Off fan the other day but haven't opened it, if the dryer sheet works I'll take the Off on back for sure.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 12:52PM
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gardningscomplicated(southeast michigan - 5b or 6?)

dave - I don't know what a chigger looks like, but so far nothing seems to bother me when I'm using the sheets. At least not enough to be really annoying. So maybe it would work for those too? An occasional bug seems to bump into me by mistake, but it must do something to screw up their carbon dioxide sensing, since they don't seem to notice I'm there.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 8:03PM
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gardningscomplicated(southeast michigan - 5b or 6?)

In case anyone's interested... So far it's still working. Each time I went outside and got swarmed by mosquitos, I came back inside for my bounce sheets. Then I went back to the same spot, and they ignored me. I'm really loving this. I hope I don't get sick from the toxic chemicals.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 9:43PM
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gardningscomplicated(southeast michigan - 5b or 6?)

FYI, it doesn't seem to be working too well anymore. My latest attempt at dealing with the bloodsucking vampires is a bug jacket. I found a good deal on a "bug tamer" on ebay, and should have it in the next day or two.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 9:56PM
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ruthz

I've tried putting them in my pocket, or sticking out from under my wrist cuff and they don't seem to help.
Avon original Skin So Soft oil works for a short period of time for me.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 9:44AM
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tomtuxman(6bNY)

Shoving a couple dryer sheets under the dashboard of my car was recommended to me by a mechanic as a means of keeping field mice from nesting.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 9:48AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

I've used them in my shed and deck boxes to keep out the mice. They seem to be working so far. Just try to buy the smelliest ones. haha
I might try taking one in the garden with me. They are absolutely horrible in the garden....especially in the beans.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 12:18PM
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murkey(6)

Someone told me to pour some ammonia on a dryer sheets and stick them in the chipmunk holes . I hope it works, last year I sprayed with castor oil, and they are right back, killing the roots on my plants. As for chemicals on dryer sheets, they can't be any worse for you than the spray repellants.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 1:08PM
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gardningscomplicated(southeast michigan - 5b or 6?)

The sheets did seem to work for a while, but that was early in the season. I'm not sure what changed. And my old neighbor said they worked to keep mice out of his house, so I'll try that in the fall when the mice start moving in from outside. But I got my bug jacket in the mail today, so I'll be giving that a try. I think it'll work, and it doesn't require any chemicals.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 3:38PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

A bug jacket?? What's that?
Man, I hate mosquitoes. They've ruined any enjoyment outside this summer.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 5:20PM
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gardningscomplicated(southeast michigan - 5b or 6?)

catherinet - A bug jacket is a jacket designed to keep bugs out. I added a link to the company that makes one of the better ones. I just got a good deal on one of their older models from a guy on ebay. I tried it out today, and so far I like it.

Here is a link that might be useful: bug jacket company

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 9:45PM
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