The People's Guide To Mexico

Protection from No-see-ums?
Crocodile: Herbal Bug Discouragant
Staying Healthy

Staying Healthy (homepage)

Bounce Away the Bugs

Protection from the biters

by Joann Kobus

Published Jan. 15, 2001

“Bounce” Strips are those sheets you put in a clothes dryer for softening clothes and preventing static cling. I have found that they strips work quite well for keeping away mosquitos and, maybe, even no-see-ums. You can put one in your pocket, pants cuff or pin it on your shirt if necessary. I usually tie a Bounce strip around my sandal and put another one my chest somewhere. That's all it takes; you need nothing on your skin.

I've tested them quite often with mosquitos and I'm quite sure they work, but I haven't been in many areas with no-see-ums so I'm not positive they work on no-see-ums.

We were in Cozumel on Thanksgiving and many of us enjoyed wine on the beach at sunset. Everyone was bitten quite badly except me. WE thought they were mosquito bites, but later we realized they were probably no-see-ums.

Maybe you can share this with your readers and have them check them out. Bounce packs easily in Ziplock bags and leavesno chemicals on your skin.

Carl Replies:

What an interesting tip... Yes, we'll definitely pass this one along. But, I can't help wonder: how in the heck did you ever come up with "Bounce" strips for bug protection?


I wish I could take credit for discovering the fact that mosquitos hate "Bounce" strips, but I cannot. I happened to hear this little tidbit on a radio talk show in Los Angeles given by a Rabbi. After I tried Bounce the first time, I wrote him a thank-you email and asked if he knew if it also worked on no-see-ums. The Rabbi replied that he had no idea. He ask where in the world I traveled where such things were because he wanted to be sure NOT to go there.

Apparently, he had heard about "Bounce" strips for bugs, but didn't know if they actually worked or no,t as he'd never been anywhere to test them. It was just something he had heard somewhere.

Mosquitos love me. If I am around no one else needs insect repellant, because the bugs always choose me over anyone else. I hate putting smelly sticky chemicals on my skin so I figured why not give Bounce a try. My first experiment was in Playa Del Carmen in 1999. A few of us were on the beach at sunset having a drink. I had sprayed my arms and legs with DEET but mosquitos were still landing on me.

I had brought Bounce strips along, not really believing something so simple could work. I pulled one out of the Ziplock bag and tied it around the strap of my top. I didn't have any pockets so that's the only thing I could think of to do. This simple strip drove the mosquitos loco. They came within a foot or so of me and then began buzzing around like crazy. I could hear them buzzing, but they only came about 12 to 18 inches from me and then they got disoriented. It's like they couldn't fly right. It made them nuts. But they never got any closer to me than that. I finally had my revenge! I wasn't bitten once then or anytime since and we have been in Maui, Kauai, Papua New Guinea, Cairns and Cozumel.

It's the most amazing thing. I have no idea why they work, but I am living proof that they do. I haven't used DEET since.

We really want to go to Roatan on a scuba diving trip, but I hear the no-see-ums are terrible there. I've heard they are so bad, that sometimes people have to leave because they can't stand it. I've been afraid to go because of that. Maybe now I can. I'm just not positively certain they work the same with no-see-ums. When I get bitten, I never hear or see anything so I'm never sure what bites me. I can only go by what people say are there.

I read that no-see-ums are a big problem at the southern resorts in Cozumel and that's where we were this past Thanksgiving. Like I mentioned, I didn't get bitten once but everyone else did. The bites seemed a little different than mosquito bites, but most likely there were both bugs around.

So if you give Bounce a try, please let me know your findings. If you’re certain that no-see-ums are around, then we will finally know for sure if they work on no-see-ums as well. It would be most appreciated. Best of luck and I hope this tips help other people as much as it has helped me. I also smell much better on our travels now.

Lorena Adds:

When you go to no-see-um country, take a small (1 oz) bottle of pennyroyal oil along. (See Protection from No-see-ums?) I've put about 20 drops of pennyroyal oil in my regular organic repellent (I like Green Ban from Australia and Crocodile) and it keeps the no-see-ums away from me. But maybe it will be enough to just put a few drops of pennyroyal oil on the bounce paper.

I also carry a small bottle of StingEze (from a pharmacy or camping store) and put it on any bites I get, immediately. It has an antihistamine, to reduce swelling, and Benzocaine to deaden the itching, so you don’t scratch and make it worse.

To our website readers: If you try Bounce strips, please let us know how they work for you.

Protection from No-see-ums?
Crocodile Herbal Bug Discouragent

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