My wife and I have been here 3 days and so far combined we have about 75 bites. One day we did go to beach to watch sunset but put on bug spray. Maybe someone can give us some advise. Are they mosquitos or "sea lice" or something else? We see some little bugs running across us every now and then and not sure what it is. Right now itch spray and benadryl cream are our best friends. We have visited multiple times and never been hit like this.
If you were bitten on your legs (up to your knees) while on the beach watching the sunset and didn't properly apply Deet-containg repellent to your lower extremities, those were sand flea bites. The sand fleas emerge as the sun goes down and the sand cools off; they can jump to just about knee-high.
As OT described, sand fleas could be one of the culprits...I know where I live (on STX), the no-see-ums come out every afternoon, like clockwork, around 4/4:30 and are wicked for about 45 minutes, then they disappear (until the next day)! Mosquitos are around and bite (at least ME!) all day long. DEET works, of course, but I have recently discovered a homemade recipe of witch hazel, coconut oil, Lemon Eucalyptus oil, and vanilla extract that also works for mosquitos (not so much for the no-see-ums and not sure about sand fleas)...you just have to apply it more often than a DEET repellant. I was told when I first moved to STT 10 years ago that the reason the mosquitos went after me was because I was new on island, and that after a period of time I wouldn't have as much trouble with them as I was having - WRONG! Which, of course, I politely told everyone would be the case. No matter where I have lived or for how long, I am a mosquito magnet!! Try the homemade repellant and see if it works for you...otherwise, DEET may have to be your best friend here!!
"Natural" repellents are what many would prefer but, as Pilatesgirl says, they have to be reapplied FREQUENTLY and I wouldn't recommend a visitor trying them out, particularly with our hungry mossies stalking and with some carrying unpleasant viruses. Stick to the Deet!
Eucalyptus oil is easily found online from many different suppliers. Catnip and lemon grass essential oils (amongst several others) also repel mosquitoes but when I'm doing something strenuous or otherwise sweating I'm not about to be reapplying every 15 minutes!
I was told when I first moved to STT 10 years ago that the reason the mosquitos went after me was because I was new on island, and that after a period of time I wouldn't have as much trouble with them as I was having - WRONG! Which, of course, I politely told everyone would be the case. No matter where I have lived or for how long, I am a mosquito magnet!! Try the homemade repellant and see if it works for you...otherwise, DEET may have to be your best friend here!!
I'm a fellow magnet and was told the same thing. Still a magnet, but I've noticed the itching goes away faster. Some used to itch for days. Now, an hour max. I'm an Eau D'Off Avec DEET fan. The natural stuff seems to work for me only with mosquitoes, and I'm lazy about re-applying. Might give the coconut oil a try for the noseeyums. Might be fun watching them get stranded.
If bugs are getting stuck to coconut oil on your skin then you must be using not very good coconut oil or applying way too much so that your skin is pretty gooey! Pure non fractionated coconut oil is quickly absorbed by the skin leaving only a silky non-sticky sheen. Just sayin'!
I hear Tarts made with Crisco have the longest shelf life. 😀
Were my mother still alive I would ask her if Crisco had anything to do with my production. However, her shelf life was 97 years, her mother's was over 100, my family on my father's side all had/have a shelf life of 90-101 so I may gather dust for a while.
Bombi, I get Eucalyptus Lemon oil (sorry, reversed the order in the name before!) from Organic Infusions online. OT, it is a blend of these two oils, rather than using each separately - I have heard catnip, lemongrass, and, of course, citronella oils can be used, but I haven't had any success with these personally. The recipe I use, if anyone is interested is as follows:
About 30 drops Eucalyptus Lemon oil
1 tsp. REAL vanilla extract
2 oz. of witch hazel (you can use rubbing alcohol, too...I just think it is too harsh on the skin)
2 oz. of coconut oil (I do use cold pressed, unrefined, organic coconut oil - haven't tried refined or fractionated coconut oil for this so can't comment)
Put all of that in a spray bottle and spray away!! You can also experiment with the amount of witch hazel/oil...if you want less oily, use 3-4 oz. of witch hazel and only 1 oz. of oil (or none!) - I don't think the lower or no oil works as well.
I am really good about reapplying because I HATE using DEET but have to use something! watruw8ing4, unfortunately, all of my mosquito bites still swell and itch for days after...same as always! In fact, mine are worse the next day or two before they get better! Oh well...I have gotten used to it over the years. At least I found something natural that works for me!!
scottaggie: Simple and inexpensive mosquito coils work well on the deck too. PIC™ now has citronella-imbued coils (I happened upon them at Plaza Extra on STT) which burn with a much nicer smell than the regular ones.
Alana: I mentioned that coconut oil has an average SPF of 4 while Crisco has zero, only because you lumped them together as being "burn and peel" recipes. Obviously most people need more than an SPF4 here and particularly those coming on vacation who aren't used to our intense rays. Many don't know that natural oils contain SPFs but those who opt for natural sunscreens, sans the parabens and other potentially harmful additives which go into commercial products, add zinc oxide to their homemade products to increase the SPF.
I love the ITIBA (sp) stuff from the shop in Frederiksted. It's sold at other stores too. The green bottle. Has all the ingredients that Pilates girl mentioned and smells super good but I love the smell of citronella. I do apply often when I use it which is rarely anymore, but will need it I'm assuming after all this rain. That thunder yesterday was amazing.