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Mosquitos Aargh! -- Need Advise
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Luymes Ted

Locale: So Cal.
Mosquitos Aargh! -- Need Advise on 07/02/2006 20:26:56 MDT Print View

I just returned from a week in the Sierra Nevada. I'm the guy who bathes in DEET, wears long sleeves and pants, yet somehow comes away with 4 times the stings as anyone else. In three weeks I'm going to an even buggier place.

There's got to be a better way to deal with mosquitos without overheating in long sleeves and pants.

Please help!

John Chan
Mosquito relief... for me. on 07/02/2006 21:40:46 MDT Print View

Maybe you should try some of the newer formulations of DEET.

I've experienced really good results with 3M's Ultrathon. Its like Deep Woods Off on steriods. I usually put a thin layer of it on my exposed skin (legs, arms, back of neck) and I'm good for at least 8 hours while I'm at the crags. A 2 oz tube doesn't really weigh that much and will last you a long, long time.

Also, wear light colors to discourage mosquitos from flocking to you.

Nathan Moody
(atomick) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Ultrathon in Sierras = :-) on 07/10/2006 15:06:35 MDT Print View

I was in the Sierras (Hope Valley and elsewhere) that very same weekend. The skeeters were totally out of control, you're right. My companion had a rather spectacular failure using Natrapel, and like the previous poster I was using 3M Ultrathon.

The 3M Ultrathon I used was awesome. I found that with sweat I did have to reapply it - and as a lotion it didn't work on clothing as a spray would - but I tested it at Lake Audrian (off the PCT) and Hope Valley, sitting perfectly still and tempting the little buggers with shorts and a t-shirt ... *very* few bites, really, considering the hellish density of the insect. I was quite impressed.

We also used 33% DEET Deep Woods Off on our clothing when the Ultrathon ran low and had fairly good results.

I'll let you know if I grow a tail or second head from all those chemicals. :-\

Edited by atomick on 07/10/2006 15:07:59 MDT.

Mark Regalia
(markr) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz
Re: Mosquitos Aargh! -- Need Advise on 07/11/2006 16:36:34 MDT Print View

I use Ultrathon. It stinks upon application but quickly loses its smell. I like it because it lasts longer than standard forumlations. Consumer Reports just released their most recent test results. 100% DEET once again was the most effective, with Ultrathon coming in second, aided by its longevity. The "natural" repellants rated at the bottom.

Andrew Hedges
(alhedges) - F
Permethrin on 07/15/2006 21:45:54 MDT Print View

Ultrathon is great.

I don't think DEET works on clothes; if you know you are going to a buggy place, you should probably apply some permethrin to your clothes before you go - it works well and lasts a couple of weeks. You might also apply it to tent screens and mosquito headnets.

david fausnight
(rckjnky) - F
Deet on 07/15/2006 23:26:58 MDT Print View

Ive always heard that Deet in high enough concentrations could melt some synthetic fabrics. Ive never managed to do this myself. But, I have seen the face of a cheap watch that had melted after exposure.

cat morris
(catt) - F

Locale: Alaska
DEET damages some materials on 07/16/2006 13:56:26 MDT Print View

On a recent trip up by Denali, DEET drops took the color right out of spots on my sunblock shirt and (sigh!) my go-lite gortex jacket. Luckily, it didn't effect the integrity of the gortex. I don't usually use DEET, so this was a new experience.

From now on, I will never use DEET spray, only DEET in a roll-on. Same with sunscreen, roll-ons are so less messy.

Antonio Abad
(tonyabad) - F
RE: DEET on 07/16/2006 23:17:55 MDT Print View

Just keep DEET away from any plastics and stretchy materials containing spandex/lyca. That includes stretchy softshell pieces. I prefer applying via lotion. Once I'm done with the application I pour some water on my palms and rinse them dry.

It's my experience that a 20% delayed-release concentration is flawless in just about every situation in the Northeast. Please note that I sweat buckets no matter how much I skimp on layers. In that regard, the delayed-release stuff is gold! I base this not only while hiking (when black flies and the like have trouble keeping up) but while climbing (masochists would revel in belaying sans DEET in Spring up here).

IIRC, you don't gain a lot more by going for any concentrations greater than 33%. That jives with my experiences.

I know some outdoors folks have pretty strong criticisms of DEET, but it's right near the top of my essential list of gear. Given how much I sweat and how many critters I seem to attract, I don't think I would be able to enjoy the outdoors without DEET.

Man, I didn't even realize the stuff could be applied with a roll on! Thanks for the heads-up.

Happy trails!

Edited by tonyabad on 07/16/2006 23:20:27 MDT.

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
other possibilities on 07/17/2006 13:03:45 MDT Print View

I stopped using DEET after it melted my camera's plastic lens cap! True, that doesn't NECESSARILY mean it's bad for me, but offhand I can't think of anything else that melts plastic that isn't bad for you.

I am also the mosquito magnet in a group. I've had good success with one non-DEET repellent - Bite Blocker (no, I'm not associated with the company in any way, just really like the stuff). You have to apply more often than DEET (I generally refresh it after a couple of hours), but it has tested to be about equal to 20% DEET in trials. It has worked well for me even in bad Sierra mosquito times. The other non-DEET repellent which tested even better was 30% oil of lemon eucalyptus (found in a few commercial repellents); I plan to try that when my Bite Blocker runs out.

I also wear long sleeved nylon shirts and pants when it's not too hot.

Alan Vos
(BigAl74) - F
Natural repellent on 08/09/2006 21:50:52 MDT Print View

I bought some 30% lemon Eucalyptus oil repellent. I was very sceptical at first so I also brought some deet just in case. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked for me, I did have to re-apply every 4-5 hours but it seemed to work just as well as the deet. I also try and wear light weight pants and long sleeve when the temp. allows.