View Full Version : Consumer Reports Article

2003-04-29, 09:58
Just wanted to mention that there is an interesting article on insect repellent in the May issue of Consumer Reports. They also cover West Nile disease, ticks and Lyme disease. I know some people, like my sister, don't like to use insect repellent, but according to Consumer Reports the risk of side effects is small if you stick to the kind with 30% or less deet. Remember jungle juice? 100% deet and would melt the handle off a toothbrush. The top rated repellent is 3M Ultrathon, which was developed for the military and is now being sold to us civilians. I'm sure the Rock can tell us about it when he gets back. In my neck of the woods they sell it at Longs' Drug store.

Zero Day
2003-04-29, 19:51
I have been using Ben's Max -- 100% DEET. I have some GI repellant left over from a former life that is 70% DEET. I read somewhere that anything more than 30% does no good.

2003-05-02, 09:40
Actually the highest rated repellent 3M Ultrathon has only 33% deet. I forgot to mention that you can access the article at www.ConsumerReports.org.

I have always found Consumer Reports to be pretty accurate in their ratings, and I trust their opinion.

2003-05-02, 20:45
I do not know about the Consumer Report that you mentioned, however, I do know about the Jungle Juice you mentioned. It would melt the watch face or even the plastic stock on the M-16 rifles. However, with all the insects that us in the infantry in Vietnam had to put up with, the jungle juice was well worth the risk. It was the best insect repelent that I have ever used. I wish I could get a bottle of the orginal stuff in the clear plastic bottle, but I have not seen any for years..
Just my 2 cents.....


Zero Day
2003-05-03, 17:21
Does This bring back memories?

2003-05-03, 19:00
Ah that NATO stock number takes me back - and not to any place good either.


2003-05-04, 07:07
I use bug dope very sparingly, a one ounce bottle will normally last an entire summer. But when you really need it, the only thing that really works is DEET. If you are annoyed with a few pesky mosquitoes, a 30% DEET product may increase your comfort level. But when the bugs are crazy insanely thick and hungry like when you can’t open your mouth without swallowing one, or when you can swat 10 mosquitoes on your arm with one whack, or when the only sound you can hear is a loud constant buzz… the only thing to use is 100% DEET regardless of the label on the bottle.

All equipment should be chosen for the worst case scenario, if you are planning for any overnight trip in which there is no chance for immediate escape, the only sensible choice is 100% DEET. The other stuff may be OK for a Trip the beach, but for a one week canoe trip in Northern Minnesota, you better go with the 100%.

2003-05-04, 07:21
Zero Day,

It sure does bring back the memories, both good and bad. The only photo I can imagine that would be more memorial would be the bottle stuck under the band of a helmet, since that is way most everyone carried the stuff... Thanks for the photo and jogging the mind.


PS..... do you remember the deck of cards that was passed out during that time, no photos on them, but the entire deck was only Ace of Spades....? more memories ?

Zero Day
2003-05-04, 19:22
Before I mislead anyone any more, I was active duty Air Force from 1966 to 1977. I spent the war in Los Angeles where the greatest danger was the traffic on the freeway. I never did any time in Vietnam and have a lot of respect for those who did. I finished up my military career in the reserve and have since retired from that. I have also served and since retired from Civil Service. I picked up that bottle of DEET in Canada in 1994 while helping recover a crashed H-1 helicopter, so the DOD is still issuing the stuff. It was July and there were a lot of black flies in the bush. I did get to Kuwait in 1999 (also to recover a crashed helicopter) so I know what the Rock means when he says the country sucks. It must be the oil. LOL!

2003-05-05, 07:17
we used to carry that govt. issue 100% DEET aboard ship. i spent years on the "rubber run", long stays in countries like indonesia and malaysia. i did come down with malaria during one of those voyages in the 70's, so i guess DEET wasn't the complete answer (i used it everytime i went ashore). in all, i've visited about 75 countries, still the worst mosquitos i've seen are in coastal texas (near the louisiana border). however, in 2000 on the AT in NJ, they came close! i had 100% DEET then and it worked pretty well as long as i kept moving. when i stopped, the critters didn't fear DEET at all! i've had just the same results with 30% and it doesn't burn my skin or rot my clothes. that's what i'll be using from now on.

Zero Day
2003-05-05, 09:25
Some information here.


2003-05-07, 23:35
Has anyone used permithrin? I tried it once in Arkansas because I was afraid of it being buggy. I sprayed my trail runners, pants and shirt and my hat. I never knew how well it worked because the bugs were not bad after all.

Zero Day
2003-05-08, 08:22
I have some but have not tried it yet. Maybe the bugs were not too bad because the permithrin was working ???

2003-05-11, 15:31
I now stay away from DEET and permethrin because it's now known that they can cause brain damage, especially when used together.

Researchers have found that when you use one or the other in limited amounts, the body seems to be able to deal with the toxins and remove them. Together, however, they overload the body's system and are neurotoxic.

The US military also issues an anti-nerve gas agent called PB that makes this an even more damaging combination. PB specifically depresses the section of the immune system that deals with these sorts of toxins, and virtually guarantees the DEET/permethrin combo will cause damage to the brain.

It's now thought that this might be the cause of gulf war syndrome:

A further nasty effect of gulf war syndrome that's being discovered is damage to testes and the sperm they create:

While I was searching for these articles I'd read, I found something promising: Catnip extract appears to repel mosquitos better than synthetic repellants. I don't know if it's able to be applied in a lotion or spray, though. This is preliminary research:

To deal with swams of bugs, I got a set bug-proof clothing from these folks: http://www.bugshirt.com/

2003-05-14, 15:20
I've used Permethrin on my pants mainly to prevent ticks from crawling up my legs. It must work because I haven't seen or felt any since I started using it. It said on the can not to use it on bare skin, not because it is harmfull, but rather because it won't stick to your skin. I spray my pants the night before I go hiking and hang them outside to dry out. I don't get any irritation on my legs from the stuff, although I can smell it the whole time. If I am wearing shorts in the summer I don't use Permethrin but some form of repellent with deet. I'd rather not use anything but I think using repellent is better than getting West Nile or something else. I can't remember the Permethrin spray brand offhand, but I bought it at Wal Mart.

2003-05-14, 21:48
Originally posted by dsilsby
While I was searching for these articles I'd read, I found something promising: Catnip extract appears to repel mosquitos better than synthetic repellants. I don't know if it's able to be applied in a lotion or spray, though. This is preliminary research:

hmm... catnip extract. I always wanted to see a Mountain Lion on a backpacking trip. :)

2003-05-14, 23:35
ALL mentha plants are insect repellant.

Chocolate Mint
Orange Mint
Lemon Mint
Lemon Balm
Curly Mint
Apple Mint
Kentucky Mint

and so on...

A blending of the oils, mixed with Cedar (another good insect repellant) oil and GrapeSeed oil (as a carrier) is what I generally use...

Warning: The oil may cause an allergic reaction. Avoid prolonged intake of inhalants from the oil, which must never be used by babies.