Summer and the Swede goes hand in hand, we come to life in the summer and we really cherish the lighter warmer months. Ask any Swede for their favourite memories and I bet you my top dollar that at least one of them involves summer and very likely their childhood summers. This may be because Swedish kids get 10 weeks summer holidays, yep, that’s right folks 10 weeks of freedom. Ahhh the memories!
The downside of Swedish summers… The frickin mosquitos, knats and all other biting things with wings. Swedish mozzies are BAD! So make sure you pack some mosquito repellant!
So what can you use to repell the mozzies. Here’s what I know; they don’t like cigarettes, so you could just light a cigarett or 10 and wave them around (unless you’re already a smoker, then you’re ok). They don’t like garlic, my mum used to make up a concoction of fresh squeezed garlic boiled in water, mixed with tea tree oil and rosemary and god knows what else she put in there. We used to stroke it on to my horse to make flies and mosquitos stay away and it worked very well– but by god did it stink, my horse used to run as far as he could when he saw mum come with her bucket and sponge. So I think this alternative is out the window as well, unless you want to smell real bad. The other option, which you can’t really do anything about, it’s more about luck, is that you may have a blood type they don’t like as much as other, although it’s more an unlucky game of having a blood type they prefer. If you’re lucky to be hanging out with people who has the blood the mozzies love, you’re less likely to be bitten, my suggestion is to hang around my dad and my brother, the mozzies love them and when I’m around them I tend to get bitten less. However, this method isn’t very efficient and it won’t save you from being bitten. Here’s what I’ve read; Listerine is supposed to repell the little blood suckers, so perhaps trying to stroke a bit of listerine on your clothes might work – I haven’t tested this so don’t blame me if it doesn’t work. Worth a try though, the worst thing that can happen is that you smell minty fresh. I also read somewhere that the anti static paper you can put in your tumble dryer can be put in your pocket and that this will repell mosquitoes, I really don’t understand or know why or how it works, nor have I tested it. Maybe worth a try sometime. What works; Jungle Oil is by far the most effective mosquito repellent I have ever tried, unfortunately this was made illegal in Sweden quite some time ago now and no longer available to buy. So all you can do is try your best, buy whatever is available. The best one to buy in Sweden is MyggA (available from Apoteket, there is one at Arlanda Airport, so might be worth to pick one up there).
I got my first mosquito bite last Saturday in my friend Pamela’s garden and I have already had a few since I got back home on Friday afternoon, didn’t take long before I was bitten, but it wouldn’t be summer without itchy mozzie bites, no matter how annoying they are. So I think we just have to embrace the fact that we’re gonna be bitten by the little mini vampires and that it’s all a part of summer and the reason for their existence is to feed the birds, like the Astrid Lindgren’s song tells us, and maybe also to keep us Swedes a bit grounded, so that we can’t boast too much about our amazing summers…