How to repel mosquitoes (& wear a woolly jumper in Angola)

There are three things in life from which there is no escape. The Outnet sales emails (it wasn’t my fault, that handbag was made to be in my life), the folk behind the latest superfad at Wholefoods (‘really, this foul tasting powder only costs £30? I’ll take five bags!) and mosquitoes.

The damn buggers follow me wherever I go. From a chic retreat on the southern French coast to a no frills adventure safari in Tanzania, they always get me. It’s like they call to their mates, ‘Hey fellas! There’s a nice, ripe, juicy one over here! Come on, don’t be shy! You get the ankles, I’ll get cracking on the private parts’. 

mosquito photo

One report reckons that people with O type blood or who exercise, are pregnant or drink are more likely to be nibbled. OK, so I enjoy the occasional Mojito but this still doesn’t explain why I end up looking like Mr Blobby faster than you can say ‘fly swat!’

We all know about nets, covering up and full on DEET, but what else? I asked my Expater friends for their top tips in keeping them at bay.

  1. Skin So Soft spray. Apparently a big favourite among army types. Who knew that Avon was such a popular choice among the UK military?
  2. Garlic. It had to be a Frenchie friend of mine that recommended garlic as a mosquito repellant. But don’t get the wrong idea. A garlic pill a day keeps the mozzies at bay. Chewing on an actual clove just keeps everyone at bay.garlic photoPhoto by David Guyler
  3. Johnsons baby oil. Locals in Key West recommended using so much oil that the mosquitoes literally slid off. Just go easy on the soles of your feet. Whoooops… and wipe out!
  4. Marmite (or Vegemite to the Aussies out there) Rumour has it that the blighters don’t take to the high levels of vitamin B.marmite photoPhoto by cliffjamester
  5. Air conditioning. The coldest places I have lived include southern Germany, the Himalayas and… Angola. Expats in Luanda and further afield kept the air con maxed out as it was one sure way to avoid getting bitten (and enjoy a novelty Christmas jumper in sub saharan Africa)
  6. Apivita and Incognito repellant sprays. Infused with pure citronella, clove, eucalyptus, basil & geranium oils these two brands are top choices among Expater moms and DEET haters alike. citronella photoPhoto by cristina.sanvito
  7. Gin and tonic. Quinine is a key repellant found in the tonic. And the gin? Because it tastes good, silly! Alas modern day tonic water contains insufficient levels to ward the devils off but it’s a good excuse to enjoy a tipple, right?gin tonic vintage photoFor medicinal purposes. Photo by hildgrim


  1. Denise | ChroniclesinWonderland
    October 5, 2017 / 6:35 pm

    Gin Tonic! That's what I wanted to hear! HA!

    • theexpater
      October 8, 2017 / 9:54 am

      Yes, a good excuse anyway!

Comment on this post

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Connect on Instagram
%d bloggers like this: