Vitamin B, and Biting Insects

Any regular reader of this blog will know that I often post about the fact that I get badly bitten by insects. Midges, mosquitoes, horsefiles, in fact anything that will bite a human to suck blood. I have spent my life trying to minimize this annual misery by taking tablets, covering my exposed skin in creams and repellent sprays, and wearing wristbands containing chemicals that they are not supposed to like.

Some years, all of that helps to keep the bites to a minimum, but it can often make no difference whatsoever.

Once the insects started to hatch out in May, I soon began to get bites while out walking with Ollie, even though the weather was wet and not very warm. Out came the sprays, and on went the wristbands, but I still had some large bites on my head and legs.

Just over a week ago, my wife was talking to one of her friends on the phone. She is a lady who has survived invasive cancer treatment, and as a result has to take a lot of medication, and vitamin supplements. They were having a conversation about me recently buying an ‘electric insect-killer’ device, a blue lamp surrounded by small electrical wires that attracts insects, and then electrocutes them.

The friend stated casually that since she had been required to take a daily dose of Vitamin B Complex, she no longer got bitten by insects. She recommended I try that, and I ordered a year’s supply from Amazon immediately, for the reasonable price of £7.99. I suspected this might be something unique to our friend, but had nothing to lose by trying.

One week later, and I have had just one insect bite. That was on the first day I took a tablet, so I knew it would take some time to get into my system. In the very hot weather earlier this week, despite seeing clouds of insects by the river, I didn’t get bitten again. Not once.

So I looked it up, wondering if it had any scientific basis. And apparently, it does.

‘Many dermatologists now recommend that the skin can be made much less attractive to biting insects by taking Vitamin B supplements whilst at risk. So, we recommend that Vitamin B complex, 2 tablets twice a day, or Vitamin B-1, 100 mg daily, is a good way of helping to reduce the risk of being bitten. 28 Sept 2017’

‘Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is backed by numerous studies to help prevent insect bites
Some people seem to be more more prone to insect bites than others, we do not fully understand why, but numerous studies indicate that taking vitamin B1 is a proven alternative to sprays and wipes to make you less prone to insect bites.’

‘A common problem people have to contend with on holiday in locations all over the globe is mosquito bites. But Dr Andrew Thornber, chief medical officer at Now Patient, says taking vitamin B12 before you travel can help prevent them. Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA. Dr Thornber said this is worth taking a few weeks before you travel overseas’.

Just three of the many quotes I found from online articles. Only the second one is from a vitamin company website, the others are from medical sources.

If you are someone who suffers the misery of insect bites, it has to be worth a try, don’t you think?

61 thoughts on “Vitamin B, and Biting Insects

  1. Thanks for the good tip, Pete! I will pass it on in a moment. I have no problems here myself. As a smoker I am for anything biting and stinging like poison. 😉 I had also read once, that insects pass on their experiences, to the whole group. So people who are not so easy to tap should have peace of mind from other insects in the area. 😉 Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This made me think, I don’t get bitten often at all and maybe it’s because I take B12 in the form of an oral spray daily to supplement my whole-food, plant-based diet

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve also always been a favourite with mosquitoes (if I try to hide from them, they bite me anywhere, even in the fingers!), so I definitely must give this a try. Thanks for the tip, Pete!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. (1) Sign posted in Beetley for insects to read: “Don’t Miss The Johnson House Blue Light Special!”
    (2) Insects who have witnessed the slaughter have come to know you as Pete the Executioner.
    (3) Insect bites are not a problem in Las Vegas unless you go to Clark County Wetlands Park. Insects have posted a sign there: “Feed the Hungry! Donate Blood Today!”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have been taking vitamin B12 for years and never knew this side benefit. And, come to think of it, I do not get bitten very often and I do a lot of walking by the edge of waters and am constantly surrounded by clouds of bugs in the spring through the fall. Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I hope it does work Pete. I was just saying I can comment on your posts on my old iPad! Every time I read your posts I want to comment, but my newer ones won’t let me. It’s a bugger lol, just like those insects. Xx

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I didn’t know you had that issue, or would have told you. It’s not B-complex, but rather specific vitamins. B-6 has long been used by those working in the Maine woods or in outdoor rafting programs who have to deal with mosquitos and black flies. One takes B-6 supplement from January through May, and then is protected for the entire summer season. (You can keep taking it, if you wish, but it’s not necessary.) B-6 generates a smell not detectable by humans that wards off the bugs. My wife back in the day was a bus driver for one of the rafting companies, and learned this from the old timers.
    I also take B-12 for energy and focus.

    Liked by 3 people

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