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  1. #1
    bicycle explorer gavin_japan's Avatar
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    What is the best mosquito defense?

    Other than deet, does anyone spray their tend with permetherin, light mosquito coils or anything else to keeep the skeeters at bay that works. I am considering taking my OFF! PowerPad with me. It seems to do ok on my back patio so why not in some nice quiet bog that i decide to set my tent up in.

  2. #2
    Just ignore the wind... SMN21601's Avatar
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    I have heard that smoking a cigar has been effective in keeping them away.
    "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" -Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
    Tossed some weight Redrom's Avatar
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    Ride faster.

  4. #4
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    For a recent tour in Sri Lanka, I brought along both a DEET-based product and a plant-based product called Natrapel. I found that Natrapel worked quite well for me, so I never bothered with DEET. The little vial of Natrapel seems to last quite a while, too. It smells nice and doesn't leave a sticky residue. I use it now when I'm working in my garden, where mosquitoes are a major annoyance in the summer.

  5. #5
    Senior Member kesroberts's Avatar
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    On the tour I just did, we bought a small citronella candle at a gas station - that did the trick. My brother told me that some magazine (Backpacker maybe) just did a test of different repellants and the Burts Bees non-toxic stuff did just as well as DEET.

  6. #6
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    smoke, onions, maby garlic, and cut back on sweeets. Oh yeah, wise sight choices, in the wind, away from swamps.

  7. #7
    Hooked on Touring
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    Infrequent showers.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    I used to be a great proponent for natural defenses. However after a recent canoe trip in the Okefenokee I was overwhelmed by the no-see-ums, gnats, mosquitos, and I think there were also vampire bats and flying gators as well. DEET. Simply put it works. It will probably cause cancer in your great grand children, but it works. Try the rest and when you can't stand it anymore, damn the torpedoes and DEET away.
    --A

  9. #9
    Urban Biker jimmuter's Avatar
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    Take bats with you. They eat mosquitos.

  10. #10
    Prairie Path Commuter
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    Here is a thread that might help.

    Winged Vampires!

  11. #11
    New Zealand eleanor's Avatar
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    You coud try eating vegemite sandwiches. There is something in the stuff that the critters don't like, and it tastes real good too (although the English would swear blind that marmite is better.)

  12. #12
    nm+
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    My mother is an entomologist who specializes in minimal pesticide use (and is actually rather well known in that small little world). She uses DEET. Thats good enough for me. Nothing is more effective except wind and riding faster. Other things do "work," but not as well as DEET,
    However, take a shower as soon as you can after using it.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Every since I grew up and left home I have chosen to live in dry or Meditteranen (sp?) climates. Ergo no mosquitos. Beats DEET any day.
    This space open

  14. #14
    nm+
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken cummings
    Every since I grew up and left home I have chosen to live in dry or Meditteranen (sp?) climates. Ergo no mosquitos. Beats DEET any day.
    There were more mosquito's in my backyard in Sacramento than anywhere else I've lived.
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  15. #15
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    One thing that works much better than Deet is one of those bugjackets. I forget what they are called, they basically look like cheezecloth, you put them in a sealed bag with some citronella, and then pull them out to wear them. Citronella may not be as nasty as deet, but the jacket has way more than you would put on your skin, so the effect is much more powerful. Of course if the heat allows you can wear a bug proof jacket. MEC sells some.

    If the tent has good netting why bother covering it with anything. Just get in there, with a flashlight, kill everything that moves, and then sleep. Use pee bottle.

    One thing that is more fun than deet are those tennis racket shaped units that have batteries in them, and you push a buttom and wave it in the air, and the mosquitos that touch the "strings" catch fire or explode. It's actually really effective, in certain situations, and wildly entertaining. I can grab a mosquito out of the air an crush it at will. The problem with the rackets is that one tends to want the light show and goes searching for the device. In the end one takes some hits just getitng the thing out.

    The only real solution to bugs is winter.

  16. #16
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    every time i've been canoeing in canada or the boundary waters i've used deet. the little bastards still bite the living hell out of me. but from experience it's the difference between being able to count the number of bites on me and trying to count the number of stars in the sky.

  17. #17
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    They won't bite through deet, but a lot of people put it on like cologne, a dab here and there. I've seen guides put it one like it was sun tan lotion. Before West Nile I would put up with some bites rather than bathe in the stuff.

    It's actually a misnomer to call the stuff repelent, it just confuses or masks the fact that you are something they want to bite into. So if you don't cover the particular section they are hovering over or if it's clothing that they can bite through and you haven't oversprayed it, then they may well bite you. It's not mosquito tear gas where a stray wiff on the wind might induce suffering and drive them off.

    Much bike clothing is: a) too tight to provide protection; b) the wrong colour; c) is adversely affected by deet.

  18. #18
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    I used to just accept bites as a necessary evil of bike touring, until a friend told me about taking B-12. Apparently, B12 bitters your blood and mosquitos are able to smell it through your skin, and they avoid you. (Eating a ton of garlic works the same way) When I did a weeklong tour this spring I took a 1000microgram B12 pill (probably overkill) each day and I don't remember being bitten once. It wasn't high mosquito season yet (it was pretty damn cold actually) but it was promising.

    I don't like using bug repellant so that's not a solution for me.

  19. #19
    Perma-clyde Alox's Avatar
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    I don't have any scientific proof of this, just anecdotal evidence...

    About three years ago I gave up drinking orange juice in favour of eating whole oranges (peeled of course). I'll eat maybe two or three a week, and since that time I've not been bitten very much by mosquitoes. I've been sweaty, salt-encrusted and breathing hard in the woods (mtb and other sports), and the skeeters have hovered over my skin but refused to land - while others around me have been eaten alive. And I used to get my fair share of bites.

    Maybe the citrus has made my blood go sour? Or perhaps that B12 recommendation has some merit!

    P.S.: I'll still use DEET for blackflies (noseeums) and horse and deer flies though.

  20. #20
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Don't camp in a bog.

  21. #21
    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
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    Deet, although very effective, tends to dissolve plastic (knob/buttons on radios and electronic gear, sunglasses, eye-glass lenses, cameras etc) and is also carcinogenic. For a more permanent solution set up some bat houses on the south side of your house.

    I eat lots of garlic and that tends to repel all manner of pests, incuding mosquitoes. When I'm outdoors or camping, I find a wide-brimmed hat not only keeps the sun off, but is very effective for keeping bugs away when it starts to get dark.

    - Wil
    "" - Marcel Marceau

  22. #22
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    Last year I used: OFF Skintastic Insect Repellent. It worked fine when you ride (on the move). It also smells nicely. However, on camping didn’t work too well. I've got some mosquitoes bites. This year for sure I’ll try something else.

  23. #23
    Senior Member bronskcloosper's Avatar
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    I use the bug repellant that is like lotion but it has DEET in it. what's wrong with DEET anyway? How does it harm you/how much do you have to use for it to harm you?

  24. #24
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    The oils in citrus peels are used in some bug repellants spelling not prob accurate but maybe spelled Pyrethins? I used it years ago on my dogs who were suffering terribly from fleas in the days before the current meds, That and closing a vacation house in Galveston Tx helped a lot........those Galveston fleas were industrial size

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    Permetherin is great. It's tough to get in NY though.

    And check this out...(to bad I live in NY)

    http://www.cutterinsectrepellent.com...CAPicardin.htm

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