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Vadim Fedorovsky
Bugs on 05/27/2010 22:54:24 MDT Print View

What would you guys recommend to do if you know you are heading into the woods during heaviest bug season (June in upstate NY where I am going)?

1.More specifically: which BPL headnet should I buy? Last time I checked there were two different kinds.

2. Is it wise to soak the net in DEET or some other repellent?

thanks ULers!

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Bugs on 05/28/2010 02:15:07 MDT Print View

The noseeum headnets will keep out the extremely small bugs but they affect your sight a lot more than regular mosquito netting. If you aren't expecting noseeums then I would opt for the mosquito netting. I've got a noseeum headnet and I rarely use it because it's annoying to look through.

Besides that, you can treat your clothing with permethrin (do a search) and you can use deet on your skin if you like. I personally try to cover up as much as I can rather than use chemicals. When the bugs are bad is usually when you are sitting around camp, so I put on my rain jacket and rain pants since the bugs can't bite through these. If you wear the hood and cinch the waist elastic of your jacket then you just need to worry about your ankles, hands and face.

Edited by dandydan on 05/28/2010 02:15:48 MDT.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Bugs on 05/28/2010 08:13:49 MDT Print View

I like a head net that will either have a metal ring to hold it away from my face or else be roomy enough for the brim of my hat to hold it away from my face. Black is easier to see through than green. I have a green one and can't really see where I'm going if the sun shines in my face. Being able to cinch it around your neck is good when the mosquitoes are especially vicious.

Sean Nordeen
(Miner) - F

Locale: SoCAL
Bugs on 05/28/2010 13:58:38 MDT Print View

If all you care about is mosquitos and/or flies, then go with the lighterweight headnet that isn't good for noseeums. I have both types. I don't like the metal ring one since its much heavier. A good hat under the net is enough to keep it away from your head so the bugs can't bite you through the mesh.

The noseeum one is heavier, obstructs your vision a slight bit more and holds more heat. And no, I wouldn't want to treat it with anything since its near my face. Let the net do its job, it doesn't need any help. That said, I find that permithrin treated clothing and hats work pretty well at reducing the annoying blood suckers and only use a net when taking a break in a bad swarm.

Vadim Fedorovsky
good place to buy on 05/30/2010 12:40:38 MDT Print View

thanks guys

anybody got a link for good place to buy the permethrin treatment?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: good place to buy on 05/30/2010 12:47:35 MDT Print View

I haven't bought any Permethrin online, but it is sold by REI, Campmor, and several of the standard sources.

I bought mine in a local camping and sporting goods store.


Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: good place to buy on 05/30/2010 20:18:27 MDT Print View

Or you can find it sometimes in big box hardware stores in higher concentrations and dilute it as needed. I found some "carpenter ant killer" in 15% I think it was.

James D Buch
(rocketman) - F

Locale: Midwest
Permethrin -Some Safety Data on 06/13/2010 07:28:18 MDT Print View

Permethrin - New Source of Safety Data

Permethrin, an insecticide, has been used and debated as an anti-insect treatment for clothing, including backpacking. This useage is most often based on 0.5% solutions, although some use higher concentrations.

It is common for someone to allege that it "might be unsafe to use this insecticide in contact with human skin". The following is an affordable medical reference ($6.99 at Borders) that has a page on Permethrin.

The Johns Hopkins Pills & Medicines - 3,000 prescription and over-the-counter medications.
ISBN 978-1-57912-359-8
Copyright 2005

On page 620 is Permethrin sold as a generic topical antiparasitic for ridding the head of lice -- including children's heads. Brand names are Nix and Elimite.

Elemite is sold as a lotion containing 5% permethrin to be applied directly to the scalp.

The Johns Hopkins book cites side effects

No serious side effects have been reported.

Burning, itching, numbness, rash, redness, stinging, swelling, or tingling of scalp. In most cases such symptoms are mild and temporary: notify your doctor if they are more troublesome or if they persist.

Less Common
No less-common side effects have been reported."


By searching for the pharmacological recommendations for the drugs, Nix and Elimite, you can obtain your own information on side effects of permethrin applied directly to human scalp skin.

The section on how the drug works is below.

" How The Drug Works
Permethrin is absorbed into the bodies of lice, where it blocks nerve activity, ultimately causing paralysis and death of the lice. (The drug has no such toxic effect on humans.) "

Bottom Line

Follow the safety instructions on any bottles of permethrin you buy for the purpose of treating garments with insecticides. Follow the military treatment guidelines for the application of high concentrations of permethrin.