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View Full Version : Fighting Mosquitoes! What works for you?



sailingsoul
2008-08-08, 10:28
We all hate mosquitoes. What works for you? (If anything) I just got an email with a lot of household tips, this was one. " No More Mosquitoes. Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away." Well! I thought that I'd check and see if anyone here knows if this works from trying it or if it is used by any one? I'm skeptical because, why would just wearing closes that have been dried with then keep mosquitoes away?? If it does why is it not well known? Maybe we can get a few reports on tests, leaving no stone unturned. I've never found anything that works great and/or very long, including DEET. SS :captain:

GGS
2008-08-08, 12:53
You mean other than physical barriers like long sleeved clothing and headnets?

When the skeeters are really bad nothing out of a can or bottle has worked for me. If it's cool enough that I don't sweat then I have some success with deet based products. But if it's THAT cool the skeeters aren't out anyway. Once I start sweating then forget it. The spray washes off in 10 minutes or less, and the sweat brings 'em in like hungry humans to a barbecue.

auburnbreeze
2008-08-08, 16:51
I know some folks who swear by long term B12 pills. They take it year round and say that they have fewer bites than before. Good thing is B12 is good for you too.

Frolicking Dino
2008-08-08, 17:04
Protective clothing and DEET.

MRH
2008-08-08, 19:41
The only thing I found to work is 100% Deet sprayed on clothing.

Rosaleen
2008-08-08, 19:49
Hi, Sailingsoul-

I think that mosquitoes are like roaches: They were here before us and will be here when we are gone... As the others are saying, protective clothing, if you can stand the extra layers, treat clothing with permethrin, and apply DEET liberally to exposed skin. Try to avoid stopping in swampy areas, taking breaks on high ground when possible.

The dryer sheet idea was supposed to help with those tiny black flies that come out in the spring. I have not heard them associated with mosquito protection.

Rosaleen

sailingsoul
2008-08-09, 09:46
Hello Rosaleen, Sgt and to all,
I don't get to stop by often but it is nice to visit when I got a question or something to add. Anyway! When I was driving through the Florida keys years ago, there was a roadside stand selling a battery/electric skeeter beater. While one was dining on my arm, I held the device one inch away and it did nothing. So that's something else that doesn't work and it seems strips of fabric softner about my hat brim won't be replacing my pieces of smoldering string while humming "smoke gets in your eyes" . Cheers SS :captain:

Bearpaw
2008-08-09, 12:08
I treat my clothes with permethrine (http://www.rei.com/product/768970), good for 6 washings. It's the same substance found in flea and tick collars and on Ex Officio's BUZZOFF line of clothes. It WORKS.

As necessary, add a headnet and use a chemical repellent such as picaridin (http://www.rei.com/product/771806). I've used it in different concentrations. 7% was sufficient to keep off bugs, but this required fairly regular re-application. 15% kept off ticks in an area that is always a tick factory in the summer (Longhunter State Park in TN). I actually did an experiment where I hiked there in shorts and treated one leg with 98% DEET and the other with 15% picaridin. I hiked the trail the previous year and got over 20 ticks. On this day, I got none on either leg.

Sawyer is now making a 20% picaridin, which should be sufficient to keep off the cooties. My only concern with DEET is the way it melts certain plastics and nylons. I have used it when I couldn't get picaridin and used sparingly it is fine. I've also heard that 100% DEET can actually be better for you than 30% because much of the other 70% is alcohol which can open your pores and actually let the DEET in, leading to skin irritation. You certainly need to apply 100% less often, since it simply lasts longer.

CaSteve
2008-08-09, 20:57
I prefer 100% Deet.

BTW, I tried Cutter Advanced Sport Insect Repellent last weekend & it didn't work well for me. Still got bit.

warraghiyagey
2008-08-09, 22:43
DEET and only DEET. Works always. 98 or 100% solution. Bugs won't touch you. Maybe re-apply during the day in heavy bug areas. DEET is a bug-bite cure. Period.

sailingsoul
2008-08-10, 23:55
DEET and only DEET. Works always. 98 or 100% solution. Bugs won't touch you. Maybe re-apply during the day in heavy bug areas. DEET is a bug-bite cure. Period.
I have used 100% and less DEET. I found it lasts maybe 30 minutes and have to reapply. When you say it works for you "warrag-" are the skeaters gone or just not bitting? For me when there flying about my head, I'm bothered even if there not bitting. SS :captain:

KLeth
2008-08-11, 02:44
I use Jungleoil on hat and clothes, it works well enough. If it is bad I also use a headnet. The Sami uses a tar extract (http://www.raymears.com/Bushcraft_Product/284-Insect-Repellent-Nordic-Summer).
DEMIDEX and IXNIX are newer and safer products than DEET, but apparently very hard to get hold of.

Jim Henderson
2008-08-12, 16:08
I have used various spray and roll on repellants over the years. 100% DEET seems to work best for me, but it does not eliminate the problem, just decreases the number of attackers.

Since I sweat a lot, I have to reapply DEET several times a day.

REI sells 100% DEET in a bottle fairly cheap, something like 2-3 ounces for $3, last tiem I bought some. These bottles last a long time. Called Bug Juice.

Haven't noticed any problems with plastic, but I am careful not to get it on too many things other than myself.

Thoses electronic torpedo shaped things don't seem to work for me. I have read that these make a noise that repells male mosquitoes, but it is the female that bites, so no relief here.

I have used Citronella candles, coils and smoke sticks around camp. Their negative is that even a light breeze wipes out the shield. The smoke sticks work best ro me since they put out a lot of smoke. Look like big bottle rockets. The candles are probably more for ambiance than protection. The coils seems to work OK in no wind and small camp sites.


With West Nile Virus becoming more common, we have to protect ourselves more and more, especially at home. Seems like the infection rate is higher in cites etc since there are more breeding grounds for the bugs and more humans to dine on.

Just my experience.

Jim Henderson

mclmm
2008-08-16, 22:05
I have just come from a posting in the tropics and with the ever-present threat of Ross River Virus and Dengue Fever, up there I always use a DEET-based product called Bushman (http://www.bushman-repellent.com/frequent-questions.htm). I like it because it's got a sunscreen built in which is great for daytime use. It's 80% DEET and appears to work well enough that I don't even notice the mozzies if they ARE biting me. Don't get it on nylon or plastic - learned the hard way. It's as nasty on plastics as army bug juice.

One natural repellent I have tried which seems to work in a more temperate climate is garlic. I was taking loads of odourless garlic capsules for high-altitude work and one of the blokes mentioned that it was a natural mozzie repellent. Sure enough, I had no problems with mosquitoes while I was taking the garlic capsules. Obviously, your mileage, etc... But it worked for me.

Wise Old Owl
2008-08-16, 23:01
NAAPALM! in the morning.

sailingsoul
2008-08-17, 10:05
Could it be that all mosquitoes are not the same, about regions? Seems so. Hence the variety of methods and strategies. Seems that the holy grail for mosquito abatement, if it exists, is still to be found. That is what I was wondering. It is clear that it is a widely experienced annoyance. In a strange way it's not unlike germs and antibiotics, different prescriptions are effective for different bugs. Great input, all. SS :captain:

Wise Old Owl
2008-09-05, 22:19
Ok I have posted this before, I got a rare opportunity in Canada to try several repelents, if it is all natural or AVON forget it,

Deep Woods OFF is a clear winner with 25% Deet. It really works. They can't find you. Bright White Long sleeve clothing also works when coupled with head gear & hat. This weighs next to nothing. You can always add more deet - unfortunatly it is absorbed into the skin. I have tested this in Maine & NH.

Jager
2008-09-07, 01:20
Deet is pretty much the winner, although while it deters them from landing, existing in a cloud of mosquitos is still annoying...

Regards,
J.

SleepsWithSkunks
2008-09-26, 06:27
I actually did an experiment where I hiked there in shorts and treated one leg with 98% DEET and the other with 15% picaridin. I hiked the trail the previous year and got over 20 ticks. On this day, I got none on either leg.


I was also tick bait for this experiment with bearpaw. They both worked the same, but I found the DEET didn't absorb into my skin as nice as the picaridin and I had bug corpses stuck to my leg with the deet on it.

I also like the picaridin because it's non-toxic. So you can pray it directly on kids, pets, yourself and not have that gad awful taste in your mouth if you lick your fingers when you eat . Your eyes don't sting if it gets in them when you sweat either. Picaridin is a nice alternative for light to moderate protection. If the skeeters or ticks are walking off with your pack or your other large objects....DEET all the way!

sofaking
2008-09-26, 08:24
winter has always worked pretty well for me...everything else is just wasting money.

ki0eh
2008-09-30, 16:50
The 3M Ultrathon cream (a time-release DEET formula high-rated in Consumer Reports years ago when Amway sold it) seems to work fairly well for me on hot hikes. This year I've used more of the Cutter Advanced (picaridin) spray.

For some reason this year hasn't been as bad for skeeters as usual in PA.
________
Dodge 500 specifications (http://www.dodge-wiki.com/wiki/Dodge_500)

MalTheElder
2008-10-01, 13:46
winter has always worked pretty well for me...

Hmm, not in Florida, are you? :aetsch: Seriously, it's been miserable with the bloody hot, wet weather this summer---and 10 days of Faye didn't improve matters. Hopefully the temp will drop below 80F by the end of October, and we'll get some relief down here.

Finding a good breeze always helps (if there is any), and getting up in the trees above the little buggers. Barring that, I just get it good and smoky under the tarp :biggrin: And when all else fails, of course, there's DEET and such. Next year, I'm contemplating getting a flamethrower.

Ook ook,
Mal

Amigi
2008-10-11, 09:36
Our skeeters can carry away small children. DEET at 25% works for me, but hate the smell. I've been using Skintastic for awhile and it seems to work, but at dusk, you need a fire, DEET, and keep covered up because the skeeters seems like those darkseekers in I Am Legend.

kayak karl
2008-10-11, 10:26
i use 100% deet, but right , if you sweat you need to reapply. most people in S Jersey are immune to them or we just gave up :ahhhhh:http://images.cafepress.com/jitcrunch.aspx?bG9hZD1ibGFuayxibGFuazo1MF9GX28xLmp wZ3xsb2FkPUwwLGh0dHA6Ly9pbWFnZXMuY2FmZXByZXNzLmNvb S9pbWFnZS8yMjQ5MDQ5XzQwMHg0MDAuanBnfHxzY2FsZT1MMCw zODIsMjQwLFdoaXRlfGNvbXBvc2U9YmxhbmssTDAsQWRkLDUwL DEyMXxsb2FkPW1hc2ssYmxhbms6NTBfRl9tYXNrX28xLmpwZ3x jb21wb3NlPWJsYW5rLG1hc2ssTWFzaywwLDB8Y3A9cmVzdWx0L GJsYW5rfHNjYWxlPXJlc3VsdCwwLDQ4MCxXaGl0ZXxjb21wcmV zc2lvbj05NXw=

MalTheElder
2008-10-11, 21:36
Karl, that looks like one of the new hatchlings we've got down here. It's when they get big that they're troublesome.

Ook ook!
Mal

Amigi
2008-10-13, 00:24
i use 100% deet, but right , if you sweat you need to reapply. most people in S Jersey are immune to them or we just gave up :ahhhhh:http://images.cafepress.com/jitcrunch.aspx?bG9hZD1ibGFuayxibGFuazo1MF9GX28xLmp wZ3xsb2FkPUwwLGh0dHA6Ly9pbWFnZXMuY2FmZXByZXNzLmNvb S9pbWFnZS8yMjQ5MDQ5XzQwMHg0MDAuanBnfHxzY2FsZT1MMCw zODIsMjQwLFdoaXRlfGNvbXBvc2U9YmxhbmssTDAsQWRkLDUwL DEyMXxsb2FkPW1hc2ssYmxhbms6NTBfRl9tYXNrX28xLmpwZ3x jb21wb3NlPWJsYW5rLG1hc2ssTWFzaywwLDB8Y3A9cmVzdWx0L GJsYW5rfHNjYWxlPXJlc3VsdCwwLDQ4MCxXaGl0ZXxjb21wcmV zc2lvbj05NXw=

Is that a newborn?

Wise Old Owl
2008-11-10, 00:53
Use this photo for easy identification.

http://i250.photobucket.com/albums/gg275/MarkSwarbrick/Florida1.jpg

JAK
2008-11-10, 03:28
I carry deet but I don't use it unless things get really crazy.

Superman
2008-11-10, 09:10
NAAPALM! in the morning.

When I was in Vietnam they gave us little plastic bottles of deet. The problem was that spending weeks at a time without washing it off seriously irritated my sensitive skin. So I saturated the OD towel I wore around my neck with deet. Every time I stopped I had to put the towel out away from me to get a breath of air. That worked well enough for me until we were issued the first M-16s right out the box. Since we had problems with them firing I covered my 16 with the towel. It made the mosquito issue more of a problem but keeping that piece of crap I was issued clean was more important. I actually still have that towel and after over 40 years you can still smell the deet.
Things are better now so I just stab the buggers with an ice pick.:biggrin:

Whiskyjo
2008-11-10, 10:51
Might want to look into catnip oil. It works better then deet.