Q. I read your column on killing mosquitoes with isopropyl alcohol spray. I have a remedy that works better and is fireproof, unlike alcohol.

Try Listerine. It kills them DEAD. I also put it in a spray bottle and spray it around the picnic tables and chairs to keep mosquitoes and bugs away.

A. Thanks for the tip. Another reader also had success with Listerine as a repellent.

We heard about an even more unorthodox method of killing bugs: “A better way to kill insects is ordinary hair spray. Most households already have it, and the spray is sticky. It makes the wings of flying insects unusable and seals the breathing orifices to suffocate the insects.

“It is water-soluble so it can be easily wiped up with a damp cloth and leaves no stain on curtains or wallpaper. I’ve used it on wasps, ants, roaches, etc. I chase flying insects to a window and spray them on the glass pane, then clean up with a wet paper towel.”

Keep in mind that hairspray is flammable and should never be used around an open flame.

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  1. Hd100
    Reply

    Hi 100mg each day. Start taking a few weeks before you think you will be subjected to insects. I have found this dosage level is only available at good herbalists. You need the high dosage so that when you sweat the excess B1 is secreted.

  2. nw
    Reply

    I have used hairspray with great results on wasps. The hair spray stiffens their wings and they drop to the ground usually immediately of getting sprayed. It doesn’t kill them but immobilizes them so you can then get the fly swatter. But make sure you get a good hairspray in an Aerosol can. The kind that just lightly mists them and does not shoot far does not work as well.

  3. RS
    Reply

    As far as wasps. wasp nests, spiders and such, I have used just a spray-bottle of ordinary soap-water solution, and when they fall to the ground due to wet wings, just step on them! (or on a window-sill, squash them with a fly-swatter or paper towel). =D There’s a sense of satisfaction when you have a whole nest of them floundering on the ground to step on, and no chemical spray residuals bad for you to worry about! =D

  4. John H
    Reply

    We put Listerine in a spray bottle and it is an effective insect deterrent. 100%? Of course not – nothing is. But about as good as DEET, cheaper and I’d bet fewer side effects.

  5. elaine g.
    Reply

    I would love to try Vitamin B1 but do not know correct dosage. I have sick little Bichon with Cushings and hate to use any more chemicals than necessary.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: WITH YOUR DOG’S SERIOUS MEDICAL CONDITION, YOU SHOULD CONSULT THE VET BEFORE GIVING HER ANYTHING.

  6. M
    Reply

    Interesting stuff. The other day I used Raid to kill a wasp in my house. I suppose hairspray is a lot healthier for our lungs. But would hairspray, alcohol, 409, etc. be strong enough to make it so the wasp would not fly around a bit and sting you? Does anyone have experience to know it quickly disables them?

  7. hg
    Reply

    You may also be interested in the fact that vitamin B1 given to animals like cats and dogs repels fleas so one doesn’t have to use toxic chemicals to keep them flea free. I’ve read some reviews that it does not work, but most reviews and my own experience say that it does. You can get it in the form of little tablets or “treats” that they eat right up or you can crush them and sprinkle it on their food. I was skeptical, but it works for my animals.

  8. EK
    Reply

    Alcohol and Listerine damage paint on walls and furniture. Another way to deal with mosquitos is 409 or some other cleaner designed for paint but kills all bugs.

  9. RMD
    Reply

    I like the Listerine approach much better than the Hair Spray. Any one who has used Hair Spray, knows it will leave a definite residue on all surfaces, especially marble and tile. In addition, having come from a family of Hair Dressers, the ultra fine mist of Hairspray can get into your lungs and over time cause problems. I suppose airborne sprays like, Listerine and Alcohol can cause problems also if inhaled, but the extremely fine particles that aerosol hairspray generates along with the it’s “sticky” nature pose an added health threat, particularly to asthmatics as well as others with lung problems.

  10. abigail
    Reply

    The alcohol we usually have around the house is only 70%. The 91% strength is available at most drug stores and is more effective against insects.

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