It is our first summer in our house

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06/29/2019 - 23:46

It is our first summer in our house nears Ferrara. Our property is adjacent to a canal so we have a lot of mosquitoes in the evening. Is anyone aware of an effective repellant that does not contain a signify amount of deet? I have read that the best repellants contain 30% deet but am aldo aware that there are potential risks of long term usage of deet. We would need to use a repellant every evening. Many thanks. 

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Well, everyone is different and some repellents that work for some do not for others. I’ve heard a number of doctors say better the deet than some of the things you can get via mozzies or ticks. But have a look at this treehugger page regards picaridin and you decide. Autan tropical (spray pump, not gas spray which just breaks) used to contain picaridin (not too sure it does now) and worked for the OH. It was rare I was bitten or I just don’t react to them… A couple of other things to note; you need to know what you are up against i.e. there are ordinary mosquito’s and tiger in Italy. The latter are out 24/7 and to my mind much more of a pest for the OH. Another is that mozzies are poor at flying, so sitting in an area with a breeze higher up will help or something like a little battery fan to blow them away. Lastly, and this is harder as they breed in a tiny amount of water, pots with a base is a breeding ground as is any other water. In their life time they only live in a 100-200m area, so not too far around to check out winkYou can buy Autan in supermarkets around us or on Amazon.it, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.de . The latter is probably the cheapest, but delivery may be too much. It's not cheap, so perhaps a single bottle to start with to see if it works. We used to get it in packs of 5-6 from amazon.co.uk, but it has shot up in price there.

Watch out for these cute little "flies" that bite, as well!  You'll be scratching for a month.  Here's a link I finally found with an article in Italian, and an actual picture of the little rats!  These are the pappataci here in Tuscany.  Most on-line photos are of different types, but these are the ones I have seen.  (Also called sand flies) They are pretty small - less than 1/4" or about 1/2 cm across, kind of squarish, and harmless looking (since they just sit around, seemingly not paying any attention to you).  Now that I have finally figured out that they have a nasty bite, I kill on site!https://www.statoquotidiano.it/14/08/2014/foggia-sto-prurito-pappataci-in-agguato/236406/

Ah that’s really interesting. I was with a friend on the beach last week and she was bitten badly on her legs. It must have been these little blighters. The bites didn’t seem to respond to Fenistil which is a remedy we buy from the pharmacy and  find very effective for mosquito bites. Thanks for this info. 

Admittedly, this suggestion is from the far left field of “alternative herbal” remedies, and I don’t know if it can be found in Italy, but catnip oil spray is as effective as DEET. We have been using it with excellent success for years. It needs to be applied hourly, but it is scentless and non greasy. We find it in pet supply stores. Also, the Avon product SkinSoSoft DOES work, but its iconic scent is a bit much for some people. We are considering purchasing a property adjacent to a fosso /canal too, so this topic is of interest as I’m allergic to mosquito bites.