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Tim Halberg
(Turtlehead) - F
Mosquitos... on 06/13/2008 01:55:49 MDT Print View

Hiking the JMT in July, I've heard stories of gnasty gnasty nights with mosquitos attacking brutally.

I HATE deet/off. Can't stand the smell/feel on my skin and don't really wanna crawl into my sleeping bag and get that all over my bag (I've heard stories that it can cause things like the rubber on a camera to get buggered up, so I'd hate to think what it might do to my new sleeping bag)

What do you guys do to deal with insects especially Mosquitos. Do I just have to pony up/down and use deet/off?

I hope to eat a TON of garlic to ward them off, but hear that might take a ton more than a ton?

Tim Halberg
(Turtlehead) - F
an option? on 06/13/2008 02:02:56 MDT Print View

also... a friend of mine has heard people having luck with this product sprayed on your clothing:

Any experience here? (I'm assuming the neck and other exposed skin would still be in trouble?)

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Mosquitos... on 06/13/2008 02:58:58 MDT Print View

Your link refers to Permethrin.

DEET applied to your skin and Permethrin sprayed on your clothing, socks, and shoes are meant to complement each other. Used together, the two provide very effective protection against mosquitos and other pests. Neither one is meant to provide full protection when used by itself.

No direct experience, but you might want to look at Picaridin as a replacement for DEET for skin application. Picaridin is supposedly "milder" than DEET but also effective. It's relatively new here in the States, but is widely used in Europe (or so we are told).

Hopefully, actual Picaridin users will chime in.

Edited by ben2world on 06/13/2008 03:00:42 MDT.

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 06/13/2008 10:00:56 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 11/20/2014 20:55:06 MST.

Ben Klocek
(benklocek) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Mosquitos... on 07/01/2008 15:41:01 MDT Print View

I've found that wearing tightly woven nylon clothing, plus a head net and a small amount of Deet around the edges of my cuffs (on the fabric, not on my skin) does the trick.

I also put a bit on my hat around my ears to stop the sound from driving me crazy, and preventing me from whacking my ears constantly.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Mosquitos... on 07/01/2008 18:29:56 MDT Print View


In lieu of applying DEET to the cuffs each day, I recommend that you give Permethrin spray a try (if you haven't done so already). One spray prior to your trip will last a few weeks -- even with a couple of washes in between.

I spray my socks and boots too -- and so far, I've never found any creepy-crawlies in them in the mornings.

Ben Klocek
(benklocek) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Mosquitos... on 07/02/2008 09:18:22 MDT Print View

You are absolutely right! Now that I think about it, I dipped my clothes in a Permethrin dilution about a year ago and forgot about it.

I put DEET on my cuffs in the hope that it will keep them away from the tender exposed flesh inches away. :D

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Mosquitos... on 07/02/2008 09:57:54 MDT Print View

According to the research I've done, Permethrin doesn't actually deter the critters but rather poisons them (which may or may not deter them initially). DEET on the other hand is designed to mask a certain human essence that critters are attracted to thereby deterring them. Therefore a combination of the two chemicals would be the best approach.

I personally avoid chemicals in 99% of the situations I encounter and try to stick to the use of purely physical barriers to keep critters from accessing my skin.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Mosquitos.. on 07/02/2008 09:58:50 MDT Print View

Sorry for being naive- where can I get some Permethrin spray? It doesn't sound like it is harmful to clothing so I would like to give it a try.

Jeremy Greene
(tippymcstagger) - F

Locale: North Texas
Re: Re: Mosquitos..Permethrin on 07/02/2008 10:21:11 MDT Print View

It is available in many products. Lawn fogger sprays are with the household chems in Wallyworld, and campground and clothing sprays are in the camping section. One brand is Repel.

It is also available for agricultural use. I don't know, you may need a permit for that.

Keep your cats away until the carrier has completely evaporated. I've read that other mammals should be OK with permethrin. Either way, I'd try not to breathe much.

Lots of info on the web.

As for clothing, I think the carrier is a solvent. Perhaps some coatings might be damaged.

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 07/02/2008 10:53:09 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 05/12/2015 15:41:24 MDT.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: how deet works. on 07/02/2008 13:46:56 MDT Print View


Is the English translation of that, "Insects can't smell you with DEET on?" :-)

René Enguehard
(ahugenerd) - MLife

Locale: Newfoundland
Study on 07/07/2008 19:20:54 MDT Print View

If I read that study correctly, it is saying that it masks your smell from the mosquitoes. However, it says nothing about masking your carbon dioxide emissions which many bugs, including mosquitoes, detect fairly well. So they might not 'smell' you, but they should know there is something alive present.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Our State Bird on 07/10/2008 10:09:32 MDT Print View

In Michigan's Upper Peninsula, we like to say that the mighty Mosquito is the state bird.

They're pretty bad up in Northern Minnesota, too. No technique really works for everyone, but here's how I cope:

Wide-brimmed jungle hat: spray deet on underside and top of brim, maybe a bit on the crown


I'm a sweat hog, but even in warmer months when the biting things are hatching, I cover all my skin. Lightweight pants tucked into socks, long-sleeve shirt tucked into pants.

Bug Dope: big fan of Ben's 30%, best I've tried. Always get it in the mini pump model. With the pump I can spray my hat, etc, and if I want to put a bit of dope on myself, I just spray into my hand and spread. Apply to back of hand, wrist; tiny swipes on nose, forehead, behind ears (eau de mosquito, it'll hit hollywood soon). For the record, i hate deet. I've melted a bike computer and camera stuff--what's it doing to skin?! Actually, there's a ton of research showing it's carcinogenic.

Bugs are why I use a tent. If I can't get away from them and have room to live (ie change, read, whatever) I go nuts.

I basically escalate my defenses (code orange!) as the bugs get thicker--my lower body was completely covered in a pulsating black mass one day. If they thin out, I roll up my sleeves, slip the headnet onto the brim of the hat, maybe even roll up the pant legs... Hope this helps!

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Deet - OFF on 07/10/2008 11:49:26 MDT Print View

Just a little info. I have a close friend who works for SC Johnson and they have a new OFF product that sprays on dry. I hate the feel of OFF but this is really great. At night I remove it with a baby wipe so I am not getting the product on the inside of the sleeping bag.

I also wear an item called a Bug-Me-Not hat. It's a baseball style cap with the little pouch on the front. The pouch opens to reveal a net that you can put over the ballcap (sometimes I just leave the hat at home and bring the net). It has fabric elastic that snugs the net under and around your upper arms. Lightweight and chemical free!

dan mchale
(wildlife) - MLife

Locale: Cascadia
bug suits on 07/11/2008 18:39:20 MDT Print View

In these bug discussions I rarely if ever hear of anyone carrying a bug suit. I especially like wearing the pants over baggy shorts. They don't weigh much at all for what they do.

René Enguehard
(ahugenerd) - MLife

Locale: Newfoundland
DEET on 07/15/2008 08:16:28 MDT Print View

I just came back from a trip and there were a fair number or mosquitoes and deer flies. I found that spraying my bandanna and the lower cuffs of my shorts and sleeves worked well. Technically this isn't supposed to work since DEET should be applied to your skin, but it did. Has anyone else had similar experiences?

In any case, it meant that when I got into my sleeping bag I was 'fairly' clean of bug spray. I hate that stuff...

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
DEET on 07/15/2008 08:32:55 MDT Print View

I tried using 100% DEET on my last trip in the Smokies and still got ate up on my legs. Not sure what I'm going to try next aside from maybe long pants.

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: DEET on 07/15/2008 10:12:36 MDT Print View

Drink a shot of cider vinegar every morning about 3-4 days before the trip, and through the trip's end. It doesn't work for flies, but the mosquitos will go in search of tastier victims. They don't like acidic blood.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: DEET on 07/15/2008 10:43:51 MDT Print View


I wonder if it's really mosquitoes that ate up your legs -- or biting flies and other insects that you disturbed while hiking through?

DEET confuses mosquitoes -- but not biting flies, etc. I had ugly red bites up and down my legs a few years ago when hiking the Wind Rivers in my shorts -- big ugly marks that were clearly not made by mosquitoes. I now wear nylon hiking pants (treated with Permethrin) and it's 99.8% better. Interestingly, these insects don't go for my arms -- probably because it's usually the legs that are brushing through vegetation and disturbing the insects.

Up to now, my experiences agree with popular findings: that a combination of DEET on skin plus Permethrin on clothing provides the best protection -- not 100% esp. when flies are involved -- but good protection.

Edited by ben2world on 07/15/2008 11:46:03 MDT.