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Which potion would you rather smear all over your body?
A few years ago I loaned my body to People's Guide research in order to test Lorena's recommendation of Pennyroyal Oil in concert with a conventional mosquito repellent to thwart the fabled flesh-eating no-see-ums of San Blas. http://www.peoplesguide.com/mexico/health/bugs/pennyroyal-oil-no-see-um.shtml
That test was a rousing success, but I was still left with a feeling of doubt about whether or not I actually needed to have a commercial repellent with DEET. DEET is a potent chemical and human skin is no foolproof barrier against solvents and chemicals.
After seeing a reference on the People's Guide to Mexico website about an herbal based mosquito repellent, I contacted the manufacturer, Dancing Roots at http://www.dancingroots.com and obtained a 2 fluid oz. bottle of "Crocodile Herbal Bug Discouragent".
Not long after that, I had occasion to travel to some remote beaches in Baja. Summertime in Baja is infamous for mosquitoes, fleas and no-see-ums. I took along the bottle of Crocodile, but I was in a hurry and neglected to obtain my usual bug protections of Pennyroyal Oil or a DEET repellent before I departed.
Sure enough... just at sundown, precisely when the breeze died, no-see-ums started chewing on my ankles. I wiped some Crocodile up to my knees and the biting ceased.
The mosquitoes showed up an hour later and after swatting off half-a dozen of the pesky blood suckers, I finished applying the herbal remedy to all of my exposed skin. Caramba! It worked! The little critters landed for a moment and, after they experienced a whiff of the herbal ingredients, they fled.
I still think I would feel more comfortable if I had an "emergency supply" of DEET "just in case". And I have great confidence in Pennyroyal oil, so I will include a tiny vial of that next time as well. I would rather carry these repellents and never use them. In the malaria prone areas of Chiapas and Yucatan (summer time only), I definitely would take extreme measures to avoid being bitten: Mosquito netting, long sleeve pants, and shirt. But for everywhere else I'll count on Crocodile Herbal Discouragemen to take the bite out of the bugs.
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