Aughh! I just realized my bug icon fell victim to snopes lottery.
Dryer sheets, That's new on on me. But I found a zillion recommendations for them while trying to look up some stuff. Mosquitoes are generally attracted to people by the CO2 given off by skin and a few other things. Repellents generally work by confusing the little beasts abilty to sense the CO2. People differ greatly in their attractiveness to mosquitoes, a mechinism that is still only partly understood.
DEET is the standard for judging repellancy. So far, nothing has been found that is more effective or longer lasting. But this efficacy & longevity may not be as important for someone wanting to be unbitten during a two hour garden party, as opposed to someone out in the jungle all day in an area known to have serious malaria problems.
Oil of citronella works. That's what Avon puts in their Skin So Soft repellant. (Unconfirmed word is that there always was a bit of citronella in there, hence the word-of-mouth report that SSS worked. Avon now deliberately adds citronella and has registered the stuff as a pesticide inteh US, as required by law). It's entirely possible that some dryer sheet brand uses citronella for a scent. I tried to see if I could find ingredients, but had no luck.
Naturally, no one has done a real test on the dryer sheets--in the US, anyway, the manufcturers don't want the problem of having to register as a pesticide. Well, you know my sig. I could rub fabric sheets all over my body and claim that they worked--I was not bitten. However, that would prove nothing. I could also wander out in the yard stark naked with no repellant of any kind on my skin and also not get bitten; mosquitoes are rarely attracted to me.
Another alternative goes by the euphonious name of ETHYL BUTYLACETYLAMINOPROPIONATE (EBA). There is also dimethylphthalate (Bayrepel). Both of these are marketed under a number of trade names. Neem has also been shown ot have repellent properties. The caveat is, none of these are as effective or as long lasting as DEET.
Forget taking Vitamin B-1--that has been demonstrated to be ineffective.
[edit. Oops! Forgot! The electronic bug zappers have been demonstrated to attract more mosquitoes and to kill a lot of beneficial insects. I haven't posted references hee, but can if you want.]
Kathy "bug off" B.
The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."