View Full Version : Mosquitos and HH's

Tree Swinger
2003-02-09, 18:58
I know it's a bit early for some but I live in Florida and mosqiutos are almost a year round problem. I used to use one of those Guatemalan cloth hammocks, I sewed mosquito netting to the top leaving about three feet for velcro closure and thought I was covered but they ate me up through the bottom. Bit right through the cloth.

Has anyone had a problem with mosquitos biting through the bottom of the HH? If so is there a good remedy?

SGT Rock
2003-02-09, 19:01
I had that problem in a Clark Hammock I tested.

Tree Swinger
2003-02-09, 19:05

Does that mean the HH has kept you puncture free?

SGT Rock
2003-02-09, 19:10
It just means I can't remember being puncture free. Often I get bit a lot before going to bed, so I cannot say for certain if the bites I've had while using a Hennesy were from in the hammock or not. That night with the Clark it was obvius because I had gone to bed in it after being inside all day, and it was a short trip out the back door to the hammock. The next morning the skin that was against the hammock fabric was tore up.

2003-02-09, 19:20
I don't how Nova Scotian mosquitoes compare to the Florida variety, but while we do have them, they are mean, voracious and nasty! Never been bit through the hammock bottom. I just lay there and grin at the bug netting.



SGT Rock
2003-02-09, 19:29
The absolute worst 'skeeters I've ever seen are along the Gulf of Mexico coast starting in east Texas and going over into Florida. The meanest swarms I've ever seen were in a documentary from Florida where you could choke from breathing them in the Everglades. the documentary said that occasionally cattle die from blood loss - they go into hypovolemic (sp?) shock because they have been drained too much in one night from the pests.

I've not messed with biting flies like up north, but I have seen swarms of flies. As for annoying flies, Kuwait has the worst I've seen so foar, but at least they don't bite. The first night in country I walked out of the dinning facility and the asphalt looked like it was moving. As I walked out I realized that section was totally covered in small black flies that would hover in waves as you walked. The would land on everything while you tried to eat in the field and the sewage treatment and general cleanliness in Kuwait (at least in '93) wasn't that good. Better take your gaba gaba shot before going. That is enough on that tangent.

I have been in some pretty bad mosquito territory with my Hennessy, but I got ripped up outside the hammock anyway. Dealing with those pests if you hike anywhere in Lousiana means you WILL get bit. That is especially scary now that Louisiana is leading the US in West Nile Virus deaths.

2003-02-09, 23:25
Louisiana leads? Illinois held the West nile title for a while. I never had a problem in my HH, but even in warm late April, early June I had a fleece bag to sleep on top of. The swarming sound outside the hammock got a little disturbing. I felt like I was in a SciFi flick.

Wander Yonder
2003-02-10, 00:36
In the summer I spray my hammock with Permethrin every couple of weeks. That's amazing stuff. It works!

You can find it in the camping section at Walmart. I'm keeping a can in my bounce box.

You can also spray your clothes with it. It doesn't wash out and repels mosquitos and ticks for two weeks.

It is not recommended for use on skin, though.

Tree Swinger
2003-02-10, 00:58

That sounds like a good solution although I may try the hammock with nothing at first just to see if they can bite through. I am a little concerned about the long term chemical effect on the hammock fabric. I read that people spaying OFF repellent on and in their nylon tents caused a rotting effect in around two or three years specifically while the tent is packed away. I'll see if I can find the article, I don't remember which chemical caused the problem.

SGT Rock
2003-02-10, 07:26
Permethrin is supposed to be some amazing stuff. A lot of new Army gear is comming with the stuff already added. It supposd to actually last a long time unless you wash it a lot, if so, then re-apply every couple of weeks while needed. It isn'y supposed to mess up fabrics. DEET on the other hand will, especially nylon - it will do exactly what you are talking about. Deep Woods Off contains Deet which masks the CO2 your body gives off and how 'skeeters track you.

Permethrin is not reccomended for your body because it cannot bond to your skin. It evaporates in about 10 minutes if you do that, so you would be constantly re-applying it.

2003-02-10, 18:59
Yes DEET really does eat thru nylon like its going out of style. I know some one who had a leak in their bottle of bug spray(about 95% DEET I believe)and didn't wash their pack. The next time I saw him he had holes in the pocket of his ALICE pack that he had the leak.

Not exactly the same as mosquitos, but similar has any one has problems with chiggers when pitching by or to cedar trees. When I was tarping, I tied the tarp to a cedar tree and when I woke up I had about 120 chigger bites on the part of back that was sticking out of my sleeping bag and my eye was swollen shut from bites on my eyelid.

SGT Rock
2003-02-10, 20:56
Chigger bites really suck. I would rather have a mosqito bite (other than the West Nile problem).

2003-02-10, 21:07
I would rather itch than the west nile also. This summer there were a few people in my county( only about 30 mi south of where I live) that got west nile. Tons of horses got it.

Hammock Hanger
2003-02-13, 11:40
and I got it somewhere in NH. HH

Zero Day
2003-02-13, 12:24
Does anyone know if you contract West Nile virus and then recover, are you immune to future WN infections? Sort of like being vacinated with a live virus.

2003-02-19, 01:38
I don't know about other states, but I maintain that North Carolina has at least some of the meanest skeeters around. We get hordes of these suckers that are so big they look like birds. During the summer, if you're not moving pretty quickly, you're lunch. That's why I took particular pleasure in setting up my HH and napping during the day this past summer. Mosquitoes would swoop in for a bite and bounce off the no-see-um mesh. You could also hear them bouncing off the bottom fabric. Despite this relentless attack, I was never bitten while inside the hammock. It is, bar none, the most insect-proof shelter I've ever had. As others have said, it's very entertaining to watch them try to reach you. Better than TV IMHO.


2003-02-19, 16:24
I don't know, but I suspect that once you have had it that should be the end of it. I will research it a little and let you know what I find. Here in AR we had a few diagnosed, I suspect that LOTS of people have had it. It is just that no one looks for it. I mean really, we would spend a lot of money tracking it down in other wise healthy people with no risk factors and a flu-like illness. The people most susceptible to WNV are going to be

Very young (<1 year)
Immunocompromised (AIDS, Cancer, Chemo, Leukemia etc.)
chronically ill
Homeless. (not hiker trash :) )

Ill keep looking and tell you what I find. But speaking as a physician and an outdoorsman, I would not sweat the WNV and worry about the much greater threat of Tick borne disease, i.e. lyme, erlichia, Rocky mountain spotted fever, Q fever, tularemia, etc.

By the way, Fort smith where I live is the epicenter of tick borne disease, Erlichiha chaffeinsis is named for Fort Chaffee which is about 3 miles from my house.