Important news about a Bug Buster that can deal with an unwelcome and irritating plague

Sunday 26th Aug 2012

I have a very strange image of the Good Life Letter readers in my head as a result of this week’s mailbox. 

If you don’t have any of our organic bug buster then I picture you in a blur of flailing limbs with a soundtrack of profanities and a rapidly growing collection of angry red lumps forming over you.

Haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about then I guess you haven’t been one of those afflicted by a plague.

Don’t worry, we aren’t about to step back into the Middle Ages or even biblical times.

No, this is a very real and very significant plague affecting us as a result of our peculiar weather of late.

As reported in the Daily Telegraph on Monday, the UK is in the grips of an onslaught of biting, irritating and annoying mosquitoes.

And the Good Life Letter readers are very much in the firing line it seems!

It was always the case that those of us in the south of the country would shudder with fear at the thought of the dreaded midges in Scotland and the Borders at this time of the year.

But now we are true kindred spirits with our Celtic cousins as we too experience the high pitched drone of these unwelcome monsters.

I have received lots of e-mails from readers all across the UK who are being driven demented by the sheer number of mosquitoes and midges roaming around like hooded teenagers this week.

Paul Pearce-Kelly, senior curator of invertebrates at the Zoological Society of London, said: "This year's summer, with its combination of wet weather and a warm climate, has created an ideal environment for mosquitoes to thrive in. These insects need stagnant water to breed and this has been provided by the recent rains, leading to a dramatic increase in numbers."

Oh goody... but it is about to get worse according to the Met Office who predicted more warm and wet weather in the weeks ahead.

They’ve also said an Indian summer was unlikely which means mild, damp and still conditions which will encourage the pests to breed, and then swarm to feed – and they are big fans of human prey.

They detect us by the heat our bodies give off, the vibrations of our movement and, most importantly, the chemicals present in our skin secretions and sweat.

Basically, there is nowhere to hide.

The mechanics of mossie bites

But why should the bite of such a little insect affect us so badly?

In the UK the mosquitoes don’t act as agents for the serious tropical diseases present in the African and Asian subcontinents, so we needn’t be over fearful – but it doesn’t stop the blighters causing itchy rashes on us.

These irritations are caused by the saliva they inject into the bite in order to stop the blood congealing and allowing them to feed.

Each of us reacts differently to this mix of chemicals which helps to explain why some folk get a much more significant reaction to a bite than others.

But why do some lucky beggars seem to be immune to getting bitten at all?

I can only assume that I am the mosquito equivalent of a late night curry, as I am being eaten alive at night yet the peacefully slumbering Lara escapes scot free even though she is right next to me!

Well it seems the reason is that I smell...

...or more accurately that the chemicals in my skin act as an attractant to insect pests.

Scientific research has shown that if you are frequently bitten by mosquitoes, it is because of the smell you give off. Mosquitoes are attracted to particular odours that certain people have.

If a person is rarely bitten, then his or her body gives off a smell that masks the scent that attracts mosquitoes.

The body's masking odours act like a natural repellent to mosquitoes.

People who are bitten less frequently, or not at all, emit chemicals that repel mosquitoes. Mosquitoes recognize these smells as something they would not like to feast on and fly to someone else.

Which is the basis of repellent chemicals.

The problem is that virtually all of these products also act as a repellent to everyone else around you – which isn’t so good, but often is a small price to pay for a decent nights sleep, and a day free from scratching.

Help is at hand

Here at the Good Life Letter we know that the natural approach is often the best, especially if you know the right people to ask – like the good folk at Napiers in Edinburgh.

Earlier this week I was on the phone to them, pleading for anything they could do to help me.

They directed me to their ‘Scottish Midge Strength’ repellent which means it has been thoroughly tested on some of the angriest insects anywhere in these Isles.

I bought some straight away, and have delighted in its protection since, finally able to get a good sleep and avoid a bath in calamine lotion in the morning!

Perhaps more surprising is the fact that it smells rather delightful too, so to any literate six-legged fiends out there you will find that Eau de Ray is no longer the attractant it once was.

If you fancy finding out how the Napiers range could help you deal with nasty critters or just deal with the day-to-day horrors we inflict on our skin, have a look at a collection I have put together here:

The Napiers Skin Care Range – Click here for more information

Well, with a colder, wetter and windier Bank Holiday to look forward to, I wish you all a peaceful and happy few days.

Yours, as always




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