Q. Years ago my father heard that large doses of B vitamins (sorry, I don’t remember which ones) would repel mosquitoes. Apparently it changed the smell of his skin because my mother commented that he smelled so bad that she wouldn’t bite him either!
A. Taking large doses of vitamin B1 (thiamin) has long been recommended as a way to repel mosquitoes. The scientific evidence to support this practice is sparse.
We heard from one European-trained physician, however, who learned this approach in medical school. He prescribed it for many patients in the tropics, all of whom found it helpful. He noted that it makes perspiration smell a bit like yeast, but that the smell drives the mosquitoes away.
We only wish that scientific studies supported this approach. Sadly, they don’t. That might be because some people really get benefit because of their unique body chemistry while others do not. The negative studies may not take this peculiarity of human biology into account.
Here is one Q&A worth reading:
Q. I read about people getting bit by mosquitoes and I want to tell you my experience. For the last 20 or 30 years I have been taking (along with other vitamins) a half tablespoon of brewers yeast. Since I started taking this every morning I have never been visited by any mosquitoes.
My wife gets bites during the warmest part of the summer, but mosquitoes leave me alone. Maybe it is my Swedish blood they don’t like. They must love my Sicilian wife!
A. Yeast is rich in B vitamins, especially thiamine. Anecdotal reports and some antiquated research suggest that this nutrient may repel mosquitoes. But not everyone benefits. We suspect that body chemistry might have something to do with the effectiveness of this approach.
If you want to kill mosquitoes in your vicinity, we have an amazing remedy to try.
When all else fails and you have been bitten and are itching like crazy here is a hot water remedy to the rescue.