Forum Index > Trail Talk > How does mosquito repellent work?
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ThinAir
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PostSat Jul 24, 2021 2:22 pm 
Trick question. It doesn't.

Cyclopath, olderthanIusedtobe  GaliWalker, awilsondc
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Chief Joseph
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PostSat Jul 24, 2021 4:26 pm 
I would pretty much rather be bitten than to spray that nasty, sticky, smelly chemical crap on my skin. I have some anti-itch creme that was prescribed by my doctor for a rash I had and it takes the itch away almost immediately. Not sure if over the counter cremes work as well.

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Mountainfisherman
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PostSat Jul 24, 2021 4:53 pm 
I have great success with Benís 100. I spend a lot of time fishing during mosquito season between Chinook and White Pass. I use a spray to reach difficult area and rug the pump stuff on hands, face, arms. Rarely get bit. I believe the way it works-like most mosquito repellants is that it messes up their olfactory system. I lather it on pretty good, and I understand there is concern with DEET as a potential cause of cancer, but thatís what I use. I think Repel has a spray thatís 95% DEET as well. This has been an epic mosquito season I believe because the hot spell opened up all the tarns, lakes, marshes, ponds at once rather than a more sequential melting from low to high that tends to spread the hatch out a bit.  My guess is that the height of mosquito season will end sooner this year at the pace things are drying out.  Skeeters were pretty much down by the end of July in 2015-I think that was the last real dry year but I may be mistaken.

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Chief Joseph
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PostSat Jul 24, 2021 7:00 pm 
I actually recently bought a bottle of bens 100 and it doesnít smell as bad as most. I will spray it on my ankles while docile and on my clothes sometimes. Usually I just move fast enough, wear a bug jacket or escape to my mossie shelter to chill.

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Jul 24, 2021 7:22 pm 
We have had success with permethrin on clothes combined with picaridin  on skin. Iíd does not dissolve your ice axe or phone like DEET does. The permethrin works on ticks even on NorCal coast. SSS works on kids for about 20 min.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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texasbb
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texasbb
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PostSat Jul 24, 2021 7:24 pm 
Chief Joseph wrote:
I would pretty much rather be bitten than to spray that nasty, sticky, smelly chemical crap on my skin.

Hear, hear!

Fortunately, there's an alternative:  Permethrin treated clothing and a good headnet.

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Chief Joseph
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PostSat Jul 24, 2021 7:45 pm 
I am very skeptical about Permathrin, sprayed it on my clothes just prior to hiking in the winds and they still landed and stayed on my clothes. But then the mozzies there are more plentiful and aggressive than in most places.

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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gb
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gb
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PostSat Jul 24, 2021 8:15 pm 
My Dad had a factory decades ago. Tolulene/Tolulol was the industrial grade solvent we used to clean heavy duty adhesives.....

When buggy, I wear a long-sleeved white nylon dress shirt - don't even need to fully button it & and a pair of very lightweight fisherman's pants that I bought at Patagonia eons ago. Bugs can't bite through either, really.

I wouldn't have anything against Permethrin on clothing except for the thought of what happens when you sweat heavily, especially on the back and shoulders.

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Cyclopath
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PostSat Jul 24, 2021 8:29 pm 
Chief Joseph wrote:
I am very skeptical about Permathrin, sprayed it on my clothes just prior to hiking in the winds and they still landed and stayed on my clothes.

That's been my experience with Permethrin too.  Except in the Cascades.  (I tried the kind you put into your clothes, not the kind that come from the store with it already applied.)

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Bramble_Scramble
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PostSat Jul 24, 2021 9:18 pm 
Does anyone have any solutions for horseflies and black flies? Black flies are just obnoxious but horseflies are mean and bug me more than anything else while hiking. I usually have a towel or something to whack them. I read chemicals don't really work because they rely on sight instead of smell to find you.

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Leafguy
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PostSun Jul 25, 2021 9:26 am 
Not a solution to totally avoiding DEET but for some like me, the 20% DEET solution creams work good. Sawyerís makes one that works well for me on areas I canít cover up like my face and ears.

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Malachai Constant
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PostSun Jul 25, 2021 9:47 am 
Only advantage of horseflies is that they are slow. On the other hand they are sneaky. Poor horses, tails are not long enough.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn

Mountainpines
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Mountainpines
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PostSun Jul 25, 2021 9:58 am 
Live and learn

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zimmertr
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PostSun Jul 25, 2021 11:50 am 
My usual approach is to wear a long sleeve shirt and running tights. I also wear tall wool socks that I tuck my tights into as well to keep the ticks off. Then I'll just spray a little 99% Deet on my hand and rub it in my hair. This pretty much keeps me from getting bit all together.

If I'm in REALLY buggy terrain, I'll throw on a head net as well but it's almost always unneeded given the above approach. My head net is treated with Permethrin but I'm a little hesitant to treat anything else with it given how toxic it is to cats. (I have two!)

I tried to use some citrus-blended non-deet spray I found on Amazon back in 2017 on a trip to the Rampart Lakes and accumulated dozens of bites. Funny how well reviewed that product was in hindsight.

I have pictures, they're not pretty. Never again.

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostSun Jul 25, 2021 11:58 am 
Yelling and swinging my arms around like a lunatic really helps.  Okay, no it doesn't.

I agree with others, I really don't like using DEET.  I've used the eucalyptus/lemon stuff, which seems marginally effective.  Mostly I just grin and bear it.  Day hikes usually aren't too bad.  Overnight trips can be miserable, but I just hide in my tent when it's really bad.

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