What really helps against mosquitos

The humid weather has led to a plague of mosquitoes in Austria. Remedies are sought after – but what does actually work?

The consumer protection department of the Chamber of Labour believes gels, lotions and lattice in front of the window work best. Scratching should be avoided at all costs.

The best products to protect the skin are diethyltoluamide (DEET) and icaridin. Products with essential oil are less effective, as they can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.

Hands and feet should be properly covered with lotion, as these are where the insects will concentrate. The consumer protection department also recommended wearing wide, bright cloths as insects prefer dark, tight items of clothing.

The Chamber of Labour has also warned of the ineffectiveness of some products and possible side effects. Anti-mosquito plugs let the insect repellent run free in the room which then irritates the eyes and skin.

UV-traps do kill the insects with an electric shock, but also attract beneficial organisms. Ultrasound devices that are supposed to acoustically get rid of the insects have been proven inefficient in several tests.

The fact that taking B1 vitamins, garlic and alcohol protects the skin is also a myth. The consumer protectors are also warning against smartphone apps create high frequency tones.

If bites occur despite all these methods, the advice is to avoid scratching and going to the chemist to get products that will stop the urge to itch.