I too got tired of 100% DEET (REI Jungle Juice) and its effect on plastic. I got some "Natrapel 8 hour" spray which contains 20% picaridin repellent. It works very very well and doesn't have that strong odor or oily feel of 100% DEET.
Treat your clothes, hat, headnet, tent door and pack with Permethrin and then use something on your skin. Countless studies have shown that the only thing really effective is DEET and then Picardin but it's your skin. All the other stuff has been shown to be way less effective and needs to be applied frequently - some as often as every 15 min. Among others, the NE Journal of Medicine published a great study a couple years ago, check it out, or just go buy the nasty stuff to have as a backup if you can't stand it anymore. But do the Permethrin treatment and you'll really lower the amount of anything you have to put on your skin. If money weren't an object, I'd just say buy Buzz Off Insect Shield clothing but you can get do it yourself stuff at outdoor shops. Good luck!
Dustin, I see you're down in Trout Lake. Does Mosquito Hell = Indian Heaven? I heard that area is one of the worst!
Mosquitos haven't been too bad here where I live the last few years. Wonder if that 40 acres of marshy coastal bog (right out behind my place) getting developed into a cranberry farm had anything to do with it.
Thanks for sharing the info, Freestone. You have a beautiful mind!
No one likes DEET. But when the bugs are bad, DEET is your friend, as is permithrin as Freestone described. I spray permithrin on my hiking and fishing clothes so that I don't have to use as much DEET. In addition to spraying permithrin on the obvious shirt and pants, it's a good idea to spray it on socks, or at least the uppers, your fishing hat, and a bandana. I got the bandana idea from Ed Ward while in Kamchatka. I put the treated bandana on my head and then add my hat. It looks like a sun shade or screen, but with it I only have to put DEET on my face and the backs of my hands. This system has been working pretty well for me the past few years. I like Freestone's idea of also spraying the permithrin on the screened tent door, cuz the little buggers are always trying to get in every time the door is opened. Thanks for that tip Freestone!
I know this may sound a little weird, but garlic gel caps (oil). The tablet (dry type) of supplement does not work. Good for you, and naturally comes out of your pores and keeps the bugs off for hours. Take it a couple of hours before you intend to be outside. It really does work. Plus it doesn't leave your skin feeling "sticky" at the end of the day as do most sprays.
If you don't like the faint smell of garlic ( most people can't smell it, I've got a sensitive sniffer and can hardly notice), Citronella oil works really well too. It smells better to most, but does not last as long.
Ya Dustin, though very affective I'd avoid Deet too. Although, you can just put it on the clothing your wearing and it is just as affective. The obvious problem is that it's summer time. I don't know about you, but I'm in shorts and T-shirt....not much area to apply the stuff.
Freestone and Salmo_g's comments got me thinking...so I looked into how the Buzz Off clothing works, sure enough, they have patented a way to fix Permethrin somewhat permanently to clothing. They claim it lasts for 25 washes. It minimize the # of washes I try to hand rinse my shirts as much as possible, rarely wash my hat or bandanna. The Bandanna is great as you can just tuck it in your pocket or wear it around your neck.
But I remembered hearing something about the danger of Permethrin to aquatic insects from runoff in agricultural uses. Doing a little digging...
Nasty stuff for bugs, which is great when the bugs are Skeetos, ticks and fleas...but
"Permethrin is acutely toxic to honey bees; the median lethal dose is 0.008 micrograms per bee." and....
"Aquatic Insects: Because it is a broad spectrum insecticide, permethrin has severe impacts on aquatic insects. Permethrin applications to forest streams caused "a major increase in the density of drifting invertebrates" described as "catastrophic." (Drifting animals are those that are sufficiently poisoned by the insecticide that they are washed down-stream.) Most applications were also followed by "rapid depletion of bottom fauna," insects that live in the stream bed. Recovery required between 1 and 18 months.47 Mayflies and damselflies are the most sensitive species.49 Permethrin also bioconcentrates in aquatic insects; bioconcentration factors in stoneflies ranged from 43 to 570. 49"
Fish: Permethrin is highly toxic to fish. This toxicity is due, in part, to the sensitivity of their nervous system.54 Fish also lack the enzymes that break down permethrin in other animals.55
The LC50 (the concentration that kills 50 percent of a population of test animals) is less than 1 part per million (ppm) for almost all fish species tested, and for some fish is less than 1 part per billion (ppb)
So for the esteemed biologist on the board...any concerns about liberal use of Permethrin? I know the 'do it yourself' spray stuff is a very low concentration, but is says good for 6 washes so it does wash away faster than the Buzz Off....I am worried about wet wading, not letting the stuff dry completely after treatment, etc
Good work Split Bamboo for at least doing some research on the product. Here is a little I would like to add.
I can't believe people are endorsing the use of an insecticide like permethrin over the use of DEET. Permethrin is highly toxic to fish and the insects they feed on. In water permethrin has a half life of 19-27 hours. However the majority of it makes it to the soil where it is adsorbed to sediments and can persist up to a year. Research has shown that permethrin in aquatic sediments may inhibit growth of invertebrates at levels as low as 44-73 ng/g of sediment. For those not familiar with nanograms. 1 ng = 0.001 micrograms. 1 microgram in a liter of water is 1 part per billion. For most, these levels are so small as to be incomprehensible. A lot of zeros behind the decimal point.
Now for the effects on fish.
LC50 = the concentration to kill 50% of a population
DEET is slightly toxic to freshwater fish (LC50 = 75 ppm)
DEET is slightly toxic to aquatic invertebrates (LC50 = 75 ppm)
Permethrin is highly toxic to marine/estuarine, freshwater fish and other aquatic organisms
For rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) the 96 hour LC50 = 2.5 ppb, the 48 hour LC50 = 5.4 ppb
For bluegill sunfish the 48 hour LC50 is only 1.8 ppb
If you are going to use this product, please keep your treated clothing out of the water and don't be applying it anywhere near the water.
The "OFF" clip on doesn't really work from what I've heard. I've used the Thermocell unit by my tent, worked great. on my last camping trip I saw a lady that had a fabric softner sheet sticking out of her pocket. she said it seems to work pretty well as an insect repellent [which I don't doubt with all the chemicals in it]. So there you go, a box of Bounce.
I haven't used anything that works as consistently as DEET. Wearing lighter colors will help too. Don't really know why, but apparently makes you less attractive.
I bought a couple Ex Officio Insect Shield long sleeve fishing shirts at Orvis when they were on closeout. In several trips in mosquito-infested areas while wearing those shirts, I have never had a bite through the shirt. I have observed mosquitoes landing on it, but only for a moment. I have washed these shirts maybe ten times so far and they continue to repel bugs. I have one of the bandannas too, although I haven't worn it or washed it yet.
While wearing the shirts I do still need to use repellent on exposed skin such as the backs of my hands, my face and neck, and my hair. I was wearing a ball cap style hat one time and was wearing the Insect Shield shirt and had put 100% deet on my face, neck and hands, but forgot to do my hair. There is a small oval shaped area in the back of the hat where your hair is exposed. At the end of the day, that was one big swollen welt, where the mosquitoes found the ***** in my armor. Now that I use the 20% picaridin Natrapel spray instead, I simply spray my whole head with it and have had no more bite issues.
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