Let's talk mosquitoes.

Discussion in 'General Bushcraft Discussion' started by Beach Hiker, May 16, 2018.

  1. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter

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    I've spent the last few days in the forest and on the beach.
    The mosquito situation is alarming! Swarms of them, still slow and dumb in their first days of warm spring weather.
    These moose ponds are mosquito breeding heaven:
    20180516_061430.jpg
    Even approaching them results in dense, thick swarms.
    What are your strategies?
    Here are mine:
    1. Clothing.
    I'm pretty much fully covered. Only my hands, face and neck are exposed. Neck also partially covered by bandana. Duty cap on head.
    2. Spray. Pretty high deet content spray on skin and clothes.
    3. All clothes are forest colour, which I have always thought helps a little.
    Thankfully there are no mosquitoes on the beach.
    So... what are your strategies, tips and tricks?
     
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  2. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper Supporter

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  3. slysir

    slysir Guide

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    In Florida we honor the skeeters...we've even made them our state bird!! :D:cool:

    My method of dealing with them is to apply large doses of alcohol internally. It doesn't stop them from biting, but after they've eaten their fill they're too impaired to fly. After they wake up with a splitting headache, they swear they'll never bite another cracker again. Thus negatively affecting their numbers. :rolleyes::dblthumb:

    -John
     
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  4. Zunga

    Zunga Guide

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    Bahaha. ROFLMAO!! :35:
     
  5. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    My strategy mostly consists of a lot of cursing.
     
  6. Mikewood

    Mikewood Supporter Supporter

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    Thermacell.
     
  7. PeterPNL

    PeterPNL Tracker

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    Eat a lot of garlic!
     
  8. BushcrafterAU

    BushcrafterAU Bushman Supporter

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    Good Ideas! My strategy is just to avoid them!
     
  9. Hillbilly stalker

    Hillbilly stalker Scout

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    A thermacell is the only way to go. Best money you will ever spend. They work.
     
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  10. Haggis

    Haggis Guide

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    As with Florida, mentioned above, there are lots of mosquitos here in Northern Minnesota as well, but unlike Florida, we don't have poison snakes, or alligators; the mosquitos and ticks killed them all.

    I don't get bumps or welts from mosquito bites, so the mosquitos are just annoying,,, a little bite, and a lot of buzz,,, for me, the buzz is worse than the bite. I use heavy clothing, DEET when it's really bad, and a headnet,,, and ear plugs,,, Try to camp where there will most likely be a good stiff breeze, and wear light or white clothing,,, Wait impatiently for the bug free months
     
  11. slysir

    slysir Guide

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    You're lucky not having to deal with the lizards...they can leave a nasty welt when they bite!! :eek::p

    [​IMG]

    -John
     
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  12. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    We were given concentrated doses of B-12 when I was in the military.
    The creepy crawlies and flying insects didn't bother us. Not sure how or why it worked...
     
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  13. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

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    Smoking your woods clothes helps a lot, Ben's backwoods formula on exposed skin.
     
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  14. Tor Helge

    Tor Helge Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Clothes, spray and smoke from a badly cleaned pipe takes care of most of the problem.
     
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  15. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    In Maine, and many northern climes, we suffer from black flies that have a savage bite, mosquitoes that bite, tiny little no seeums that bite painlessly but later itch to beat the band, and the dreaded green headed deer fly that, unlike a mosquito that hunts and pecks for a place to bite, seem to arrive mouth first and start tearing and sucking the instant they alight. Not to mention the ticks, that have their own list of nasty diseases they just live to spread around. If we had chiggers, and Tsetse flies too it would be a perfect Hell on Earth :D

    DEET is good stuff but it is really destructive on a lot of manmade fabrics and fly lines especially. I too love the Therma-cell units when I’m being still. I have been washing in Dr Wood’s brand Tea Tree oil soap for a few years now. The ticks really hate it and many of the flying insects seem to avoid me especially if there are other people around to bite so while it’s not the best it does seem to help at least.
     
  16. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter

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    Never heard of this before.
    Tea tree soap... I'm looking into it.
     
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  17. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    I have a Thermacell. I've never used it. I heard they work great, but when I read the instructions I didn't want to be bothered with lighting it and all that. That was for when I was shooting out back, so I simply adjusted the times I sat at the bench.
    Now that I've built a little campsite though... I am definitely going to look into using it.

    For those experienced users, I'm *assuming* you set it upwind?
     
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  18. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Dr Wood’s is the brand I like best. It’s often in the organic section of supermarkets. It’s a castile liquid soap base so it’s really gentle on the skin. You need one of those puffs to get it to lather however. I have short hair so I use it as both a body wash and a shampoo.
     
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  19. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    If it’s really windy usually flying insects are not a problem, which is good because the Thermacell works best in little to no breeze (their only weakness I’ve found with mine). They do get warm but not hot—except for the metal plate that heats the pad. I usually just put it on the ground next to me when I’m sitting on the deck turkey hunting, and hang it off my chair when I’m sitting around camp.
     
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  20. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter

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    I have never heard of Thermacell.... until now!
     
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  21. Jim L.

    Jim L. Supporter Supporter

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    I don't know about that. Once you get down to your socks, you're pretty much exposed. I mean how would you keep a sweaty sock lit, anyway? o_O

    No, seriously ...... incense sticks with out vanilla or better, treated with cicitronella oil at three to four points around you or a "smudge" pot with green or better, punky wood. This works ok for stationary set ups, but as my avatar suggests, a good cigar will diminish their numbers tremendously. Bad cigars will too. :D
     
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  22. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    They need disposable fuel cylinders and chemical pads and will not work without both, so some preplanning is required to stay supplied. They do have a small fire in them which heats a metal plate that the chemical pad sits against. As they heat up the pad gives off a vapor that the insects do not like. I don’t notice any scent or see clouds of vapor, so why do they work so well? It’s voodoo :D
     
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  23. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter

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    There's a device here in Europe that plugs in.... and then heats up. You put little pads on it and they are good for 24 hours. I'm assuming it's the same idea.
     
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  24. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

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    I dont go in the woods without a Thermocell.
     
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  25. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    It sure sounds like it!
     
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  26. charlesmc2

    charlesmc2 Scout

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    Natural areas are just gonna have mosquito hatcheries. But, if you go to the same areas repeatedly you can do a lot of good by dealing with standing water. A light spray of pretty much any oil will suffocate the wiggle tails that morph into mosquitoes. There was a time when folks sprayed diesel or kerosene on puddles, but I've found vegetable oil works, too. Of course this does nothing for the ones that are already airborne. There is a granule that has a species of Bacillus thuringenes (BT) that works well. Again to control the wiggles.

    Diseases are the big concern with mosquitoes. We had a friend that died a lingering death due to complications of West Nile virus. It took out key parts of his central nervous system. DEET is so bad on synthetics that I hate to use it, but its about the best repellant going, although several on BCUSA seem to swear by permethrin treated clothing.

    For those of us in Texas, nothing works quite like our yearly summer drought and low humidities/wind. I know, I know, a big part of the state is humid in summer, but even those humid days get to be a pretty low %RH when the thermometer goes triple digits.
     
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  27. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    My strategy is to just succumb to the mosquitoes. I gave up long ago on trying to do much about them. Resistance is futile with the kinds of swarms we have in Alaska. I basically just let them bite me and occasionally swat them off my face and hands. As long as theyre not covering my face or hands I've basically become ok with it. No amount of bug spray or garlic is going to keep them away, best to just embrace the suck or you'll literally go crazy trying to escape them.

    Hoodies are nice in mosquito country too. Hood keeps them off your neck and ears for the most part. I sometimes wear my hair down too to keep them off my neck/back.
     
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  28. Swampdog

    Swampdog Supporter Supporter

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    Thermacell is the way to go but keep in mind it only works to keep mosquitoes off of you when you are standing or sitting in one location. If you are hiking the protective vapor will be behind you and not work.
     
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  29. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper Supporter

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    I never heard of this. It's worth a try......
    Dominick........
     
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  30. Bobsdock

    Bobsdock Guide

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    100% DEET
     
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  31. boomchakabowwow

    boomchakabowwow Guide

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    im going to the rain forest in Peru.

    i am going to treat my clothing and wear the best DEET concentration available. usually i buy it over there where the FDA has to jurisdiction. you can buy 100% deet in thailand for sure. i am taking a head net and a neck gaiter.

    i have also gotten all my shots and i have malaria pills ready and next week is my yellow fever vaccine.

    i HATE mosquitos..
     
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  32. M.Hatfield

    M.Hatfield Supporter Supporter

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    Seems like I may have to try this on some of my summer trips. In the meantime, I plan to keep dressing like a beekeeper..... which is to say, exposed skin always gets found by bugs.
     
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  33. dub

    dub Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I'm the guy that draws them away from everyone else. I've always said it's the price I pay for not being allergic to poison ivy/oak.

    I picked up a Thermacell. Hopefully it works since nothing else does.
     
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  34. boomchakabowwow

    boomchakabowwow Guide

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    A thermocell is very vulnerable to a breeze.

    It works , but not so much when there is a breeze. Which is always around here.
     
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  35. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper Supporter

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    that's a good thing to know.....thanx for sharing!:35::dblthumb:
    Dominick......
     
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  36. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

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    Thanks now I can't stop hearing this.:16:
     
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  37. Zunga

    Zunga Guide

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    For me even the noise is bad. Lying in bed if I hear one. I'm not going to sleep. I find the best sleeps outdoors I've had are on beaches. Generally very little or no stagnant water. Usually a good wind and a smoky fire. Lakes are bad in my experience. The local variety of bat has sticky wings. Think nature's fly paper. They fly thru swarms picking up skeeters as they go. They lick them off when they land. Dragon fly also do their part. I've had luck with vitimin patches. Same concept as a cigarette patch. But you soak up a vitamin that is supposed to make you smell bad to skeeters. Not perfect but I did notice a reduction.
    Cheers Jim
     
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  38. tashunka witko

    tashunka witko Scout

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    If you want to avoid mosquito bites just let me tag along with you. They’ll eat me alive and leave you alone.
     
  39. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    There's always a breeze where I live, too.
    I'm hoping with my tarp setup that the Thermacell will work OK, but there's only one way to find out.
     
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  40. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    They seldom bother me. Not sure why? I am Italian i have heard, and I do eat a fair amount of onion and garlic, so that might play a part.

    If I'm in a group of people, I may have a couple kind of fluttering around me, but the others are constantly swatting and complaining.

    I don't know if color of clothes makes a difference or not, but I have found wearing lighter colored seems to help.
     
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  41. FreudianSlip

    FreudianSlip Guide

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    I use bug spray most of the time to tolerate them combined with a campfire. I usually end up hiding in my tent or hammock if they get so bad that it is unbearable
     
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  42. IA bbmw

    IA bbmw Tracker

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    Although I don't doubt that there are few/no studies on the effect of drinking beer on mosquito bites, the article clearly states that carbon dioxide attracts them, so:

    (1) Beers produce carbon dioxide (carbonation), thus attracting them.
    (2) Beers cause you to produce carbon dioxide (belching), thus attracting them.

    The article also states that heat/blood near the surface attracts them when they get near you, to decide where to bite.

    (1) someone correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't alcohol dilate blood vessels, bringing the blood to the surface? Thus attracting them.

    I don’t know if this will work, I have not tried it, but the guy in the video said that it was because of the smoke, I feel that it must be something in the coffee, I have been in parks with wood fires, citronella candles etc. all around me, still got ate up.
     
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  43. longcruise

    longcruise Tinder Gatherer

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    I got a thermacell last year and it worked great around camp in the evening. There was no breeze so that was probably a factor. If there is enough breeze it seems to keep them away anyway. It wouldn't stay lit at 8000 feet though. I read that there is now a version that will work at higher elevations.
     
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  44. Jim L.

    Jim L. Supporter Supporter

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    As

    He did say you had to be in the smoke plume. I was wondering the same thing about something in the unbrewed coffee. If dried out grounds work, Star Bucks will save grounds for you for free. More often than not they are already in puck form........hmmm...
     
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  45. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    Avon Skin So Soft, issued to Canadian Military.
     
  46. tashunka witko

    tashunka witko Scout

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    That explains it. Beers and veins. I’m doomed.
     
  47. ozarkbushman

    ozarkbushman Tracker

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    On the documentary happy people the Siberian trappers use birch tar mixed with a little oil rubbed on the skin to repel mosquitos. I have personally had good luck with yarrow leaves rubbed on the skin. They will still land on you but they don't bite. I guess they don't like the bitter taste of yarrow. I have a yarrow salve that is easier to apply but just plain leaves crushed and rubbed on works
     
  48. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter

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    Oh no.... Are there mosquitoes at 8000 feet as well?
     
  49. Midwest.Bushlore

    Midwest.Bushlore Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I use DEET and Permethryn and find the combo to work pretty well. I like the military-type tubes of Ultrathon, seems to last a bit better and is easy to apply. I'll often take along some wipes for use on my face and hands where I want better control of where the stuff goes. Often I'll have a small spray bottle of the stuff that uses Eucylyptus oil, it's not quite as good but if you reapply it frequently it's effective. That's okay for your neck and face too where maybe you might want to avoid the strong DEET.

    Beyond that I just cover the parts of me that I can, especially when it's not too hot out.
     
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  50. Papa Tac

    Papa Tac Guide

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    Our Boys do have soft skin...
     
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