Sometimes the best repellent is to try and avoid areas where you know heavy infestation of mosquitoes or other pests may be. As an example, if you’re going fishing and have been to the area before, avoid those locations that seem to have the most bugs. Of course, the fish are probably biting in those other spots, so it’s a tough call. Wear more repellent, or get bit more. There are ways to help if you just can’t avoid the infested area.
‘The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend taking simple steps first to reduce the risk of mosquito bites: Use a good insect repellent containing DEET on exposed skin, wear long, loose-fitting clothes and consider using a mosquito head net’
The use of a mosquito head net is an inexpensive idea if you really can’t avoid the area. I’ve seen them sell for around 3 dollars. A second way to deter the situation is by taking away the bug’s home.
‘Mosquitoes tend to stay near where they hatch. Mosquito eggs in ponds can be controlled with minnows or small fish. Birds and dragonflies can eat mosquitoes in rain gardens and ponds. If more is needed, consider a bacterial pesticide called Bt, which will kill mosquito larvae but not affect beneficial insects.
Also change water in birdbaths every few days, keep gutters clean and remove any standing water. Any water that sits for more than a day or two, even inside something as small as a pop bottle top, can hatch mosquitoes.’
Add to the fact that unsightly algae tends to accumulate in the birdbath which is difficult to remove once its stuck. If these steps to deter mosquitoes don’t help, use more repellent. It may sound obvious, but sometimes the most effective remedies are.
‘Experts at the American Mosquito Control Association say people often don’t apply enough repellent or reapply it often enough.
Repellents with DEET are considered the best option when applied properly. Cream and lotion repellents are best because DEET won’t absorb as much into the skin.
Using DEET in small quantities is also best. A lower concentration of DEET, such as 30 percent, is best for adults, some doctors say. For children, a 10 percent DEET concentration is recommended.
There are new repellents on the market containing citronella, lemon or eucalyptus. They are about 85 percent effective, but work only briefly before another application is needed.
Experts deny claims of internal repellents, saying there is nothing you can eat, such as vitamin B12 or garlic, that will reduce the attraction of mosquitoes.
ThermaCELL is a portable, butane-operated bug repellent that claims 98 percent effectiveness at keeping mosquitoes and black flies away in a 15-by-15-foot area. The company has 20 years of history and many affidavits of success.’
I will review some of the ThermaCELL repellents for those campers and hunters who want to stay bite-free.