Dealing with mosquitos

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Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Postby cnb » Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:12 pm

I've heard that eating Marmite for a couple of weeks before your trip helps keep the dreaded midge at bay not sure about mozzies though...
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Postby randomblue » Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:50 pm

I'm a marmite eater anyway (bought a little nalgene jar of it with me xD) and that definitely doesn't make a difference. Probably linked to the vitamin B12 theory?
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Postby skicat » Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:55 pm

I think I'd rather have the midges than Marmite :wink:
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Postby Tigger » Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:12 am

randomblue wrote:Hey all!

I was wondering if anyone has any tips for keeping away the mozzies? I have mega problems in that I seem to be some kind of alergic to the bites but they love me :( for example sometimes instead of a bite being spot sized I end up with a big enough red, raised area that I can't cover it with one hand...

Sorry to hear you are suffering, randomblue (and MarkF) - I get this too, a few times a year, and its miserable

It's not an allergic reaction which is why antihistamines don't work.

What you are describing is cellulitis - infection of the skin and subcutaneous layers. A large, swollen area out of proportion to the 'normal' bite reaction + painful + hot + red = cellulitis. It's likely due to bacteria introduced by the biting insect.

Obviously the best thing is to avoid getting bitten (but I get these at home, and never see the blighters!). Cellulitis can be treated with antibiotics, though if you are young and healthy then your body should be able to cope.

BUT you must be careful as cellulitis can turn nasty, eg it can develop into septicaemia (commonly known as blood poisoning). Here's what to watch out for, any two or more of the following and seek medical help URGENTLY (so, in the UK, either 999 or get yourself to A&E somehow): body temperature above 38C, resting heart rate over 90, resting breathing rate over 19, any confusion or drowsiness. (Also, if you have the gadgets, blood oxygen saturation less than 95%, blood glucose more than 8.0). Intra-venous antibiotics, job done.

I'm not scaremongering, this is a condition to keep an eye on. But I really hope you find the right stuff to keep them away, so you can carry on and enjoy your trip, randomblue!

MarkF, have you tried Autan against Scottish midges? I'm going up next week and only have Skin So Soft packed so far...
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Postby MarkF » Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:29 am

Tigger wrote:MarkF, have you tried Autan against Scottish midges? I'm going up next week and only have Skin So Soft packed so far...


No, I would like to but I am too scared to go to Scotland, with it's midge reputation, I don't have the time to risk a tour being ruined. :(
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Postby Tigger » Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:07 pm

MarkF wrote:
Tigger wrote:MarkF, have you tried Autan against Scottish midges? I'm going up next week and only have Skin So Soft packed so far...


No, I would like to but I am too scared to go to Scotland, with it's midge reputation, I don't have the time to risk a tour being ruined. :(

Ah, but you shouldn't deprive yourself of the most amazing scenery!... so go to Scotland in May before the midge season starts - the weather is (often) at its best then too.

I'll let you know about the Autan as I'll probably get a tube before I go.
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Postby LollyKat » Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:57 pm

I live in Scotland and find Autan is the best of the products I've tried so far - though I haven't tried Skin so Soft. I like the solid sticks as they are easy to apply quickly and there is no risk of squishing and stuff oozing out.

For camping I would also use a mosquito coil - even if they don't bite it is really annoying when you can't avoid eating them....
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Postby MarkF » Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:09 pm

Tigger wrote:Ah, but you shouldn't deprive yourself of the most amazing scenery!... so go to Scotland in May before the midge season starts - the weather is (often) at its best then too. I'll let you know about the Autan as I'll probably get a tube before I go.


True Tigger, I've driven all over and wished I could cycle there too, if I could rely on not missing riding days (through bites) it'd be my next tour.
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Postby cnb » Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:15 pm

Yep i'm no fan of Marmite either..Best way to deal with Midgies is to leave your visit till May or Sept.. Interestingly enough i have just come back from a tour of the Netherlands,,Midgies on a couple of sites but they didn't bother us..
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Postby acciaio » Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:16 pm

+1 for Scotland in May.

We go almost every year and have done for (cough) several decades.

In the age before kids it was for the climbing and walking, moving around places, since then we tend to base in Applecross. Great campsite and generally one of the best places in the world to chill-out, helped by having no mobile reception.

This year, with the oldest 14 we took the bikes up for the first time and the two of us did the round of the coast road and back over the Bealach na Bar. For any cyclist absolutely has to be done - fantastic climb followed by a seriously fast decent, which probably put me up there on the list of irresponsible parents.

And, being in May and on the coast, few midges.

In short, don't let the midges put you off …
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Postby Pete Jack » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:29 pm

DEET does work, it also dissolves bike helmets. climbing up to Sequoya NP we were invaded by some kind of flies that buzzed round our heads. I sprayed my head (and helmet) with REI Jungle Juice that claims to be 98% DEET and that got rid of the flies.. Next day I noticed a black sticky deposit on my jacket collar. The DEET was melting my helmet. There was no warning on the label about melting plastic (says it's OK with cotton and wool) so I took my helmet back to REI and bellyached; they replaced it.
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Postby Psamathe » Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:27 pm

Pete Jack wrote:DEET does work, it also dissolves bike helmets. climbing up to Sequoya NP we were invaded by some kind of flies that buzzed round our heads. I sprayed my head (and helmet) with REI Jungle Juice that claims to be 98% DEET and that got rid of the flies.. Next day I noticed a black sticky deposit on my jacket collar. The DEET was melting my helmet. There was no warning on the label about melting plastic (says it's OK with cotton and wool) so I took my helmet back to REI and bellyached; they replaced it.

DEET "melts" a lot of plastics. In CA covered in DEET repellant I found my camera stuck to my hands and I stuck to plastic chairs, etc.. But it was more of a tacky type of stick NOT a superglue stick. And the tacky on plastic was still far far better than the mosquitos.

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Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Postby randomblue » Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:54 am

Update on the deet! I got a 40% spray as it was the strongest I found. Yesterday was stopped by two touring cyclists going the other way in the middle of a forested track which prompted me to respray myself as I had bare arms. Despite this one of them got me right on the tip of my elbow which is going to drive me crazy for the next 2 days -.- in addition to that they got me three more time THROUGH MY CLOTHES!!! I get thespray all exposed skin but what am I meant to do bathe in the stuff??? I already feel like I'm going through the bottle pretty fast and relative to my tour budget it wasn't cheap! Especially if it's not actually going to keep them off me! :(
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Postby Psamathe » Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:46 am

[quote="randomblue"... in addition to that they got me three more time THROUGH MY CLOTHES!!![/quote]
Some hiking clothing comes pre-impregnated with insect repellant (though normally with a permethrin repellant (not good for cats!!).

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Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Postby Vorpal » Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:52 am

randomblue wrote:Update on the deet! I got a 40% spray as it was the strongest I found. Yesterday was stopped by two touring cyclists going the other way in the middle of a forested track which prompted me to respray myself as I had bare arms. Despite this one of them got me right on the tip of my elbow which is going to drive me crazy for the next 2 days -.- in addition to that they got me three more time THROUGH MY CLOTHES!!! I get thespray all exposed skin but what am I meant to do bathe in the stuff??? I already feel like I'm going through the bottle pretty fast and relative to my tour budget it wasn't cheap! Especially if it's not actually going to keep them off me! :(


I'm not sure the 40% version is good enough :( Where are you? Can you get something like http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pyramid-Insect- ... B000R2DPYY ? Maybe at an outfitter? Or have it sent ahead to where you will be?

However, I recommend that you spray your clothes throughly, also. This may be easier to do when you aren't wearing them. I don't know if the DEET will affect synthetic clothes. I haven't ever had any problems, but most of the clothes I've put DEET on are some kind of blend. It might be worth trying it on a small spot, first.
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