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Dealing with mosquitos

Posted: 27 Jun 2014, 1:05pm
by randomblue
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... I've tried a ton of mosquito repellents and still have them biting me.. One even landed in the repellent I'd just sprayed on!

It's frustrating because I'm starting to be more confident about wild camping but the idea of arriving and setting up at dusk means I'm out in the worst of it from 5pm onwards. And even if I stay at a proper campsite where there are generally fewer of them, I have to basically be in my tent from 5ish onwards or I'm like an all you can eat buffet for them :( its a shame because it would be nice to actually enjoy the warm evenings and nice weather!!!

Thanks in advance for any tips!

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Posted: 27 Jun 2014, 1:10pm
by Furkuk
This is going to sound strange but try taking antihistamines. It won't stop them biting you but it will stop you coming out in big red bite marks

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Posted: 27 Jun 2014, 2:33pm
by Psamathe
DEET (or rather repellants containing the stuff).

There was an "old wives tale" about way OTT quantities of a certain Vitamin but it always struck me as unwise given that OD'ing on some vitamins can cause serious problems so either check out that option with a doctor or try other methods.


Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Posted: 27 Jun 2014, 3:30pm
by Mistik-ka
Traditional wisdom from Saskatchewan, where the mozzies are so big we hunt them with shotguns :twisted: : insect repellent with a high DEET content. "Deep Woods Off" sets the standard around here. It is reputed to dissolve plastic (so be careful around the frames of your sunglasses), but it makes life bearable when the bugs are really bad. Available through Amazon U.K.

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Posted: 27 Jun 2014, 6:52pm
by randomblue
Thanks for the tips! Already taking one a day antihistamines which stop them itching so much but they still get big, red and sometimes hot to the touch. I'm specifically looking for stuff to stop the bite in the first place as I've had a few in places that clothes rub like the inside of my knee or a particularly annoying/embarrassing one on my bum that my saddle presses against :(

The vitamin is B12 if I remember rightly and i've tried it but made zero difference. My theory is they can smell in your blood that you're not local as I got eaten alive my first 2 weeks living in France and then they left me alone. Obviously doesn't help much when touring but I'll look when I go to the camping shops tomorrow for ones with deet :) thanks everyone!

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Posted: 27 Jun 2014, 7:05pm
by Furkuk
Have you tried Jungle Formula? I used it everyday in Cuba and didn't get one bite. Bought mine from Asda

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Posted: 27 Jun 2014, 7:16pm
by bikerwaser
2 things to try :

1 in tea tree oil . i have a friend that swears by it, not only as a Mozzie repelant but as a deodorant.
2 i've also heard a lot of good stuff about Avon "skin so soft"

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Posted: 27 Jun 2014, 7:50pm
by Neilo
DEET, I find works to some extent, and so does Skin so soft, It smells better and feels better on your skin than DEET.
DEET does melt plastic. I had some spill in a kit bag, same type of material as an Ortlieb pannier, it dissolved the plastic coating of the fabric, and It would not dry. I had to bin the bag.

I don't react well to bites either, horse flies in particular.

What works for me, is a combination of everything. Repellent, cover up with long sleeves and long trousers, wear a mossie net, take anti histamines. Use an after bite stick, ammonia based, supposed to neutralise the stuff the bug injects into you,it stings though. burning mossie coils. Camp where there is a breeze.

Or you could go in the winter :lol:


Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Posted: 27 Jun 2014, 8:04pm
by Vorpal
bikerwaser wrote:2 i've also heard a lot of good stuff about Avon "skin so soft"

Avon 'skin so soft' is a mild repellent. It's fine if there aren't too many around, or you aren't someone who is particularly bothered by them, but I wouldn't recommend it for the OP.

+1 for anything high DEET content. If you've really got to keep them off, there's nothing else like it.

Wearing long sleeves and trousers helps, too. If you don't want to wear them cycling, put on another layer as soon as you've stopped. Keep the extra layer well coated with the DEET repellent, especially at cuffs, trouser ends, etc.

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Posted: 27 Jun 2014, 9:41pm
by randomblue
I was an avon rep for a while and got asked about the skin so soft all the time xD again it doesn't seem to make a huge difference and the fact its also oil based makes it pretty risky if used on bare skin in sunny weather xD

Didn't make it to a camping shop today so will look for the deet stuff tomorrow :) thanks again all!

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Posted: 28 Jun 2014, 12:08am
by acciaio
Doesn't exactly help with the cycling, but consider taking up smoking :shock:

Seriously, my wife and two of my kids seem to be midge and mosquito magnets, while me and the other kid seem almost immune. We've tried most things, and found that none of the fancy commercial methods work as well as they claim. In terms of repellant, vanilla scent spray is pretty good and also makes you smell nice. Joss sticks also work well, although they may confirm other campers' suspicions about the nature of cycle tourists.

If it gets really bad, such as in the Highlands after June (and some times/places before then) headnets are worth considering.

The worst place for midges and mosquitos (and not only) we ever camped was in the Kielder Forest in Northumberland. Plan was for a week, we stuck it for 2 nights and high-tailed it to the coast.

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Posted: 28 Jun 2014, 12:14am
by Dean
Smoking does seem to put off midges, but not mozzies, in my experience.

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Posted: 28 Jun 2014, 8:22am
by Vorpal
Citronella candles seem to help some, too. Not so much if the mozzies are really thick, but enough that it might be worth trying / carrying one to put near the tent opening, or something.

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Posted: 28 Jun 2014, 9:20am
by MarkF
OP, I am the same, a magnet for them, I've been with in groups and had a cloud of them above my head whilst everybody else is left alone. If you also react as badly as me then you'll might know that antihistamines make zero difference, at least ones that I can buy over the counter. If I get bitten on my legs, I can't cycle, just one bite sees my limb swollen terribly.

The only thing that works for me is Autan, I only get bitten using it if I've forgotten to apply it somewhere, I once slept under the stars and coated myself in Autan, the buggers ravaged the soles of my feet, the only place I hadn't applied it. :D I don't go out cycling without being covered in Autan.

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

Posted: 28 Jun 2014, 3:59pm
by randomblue
Thanks Mark! Its a releif to hear i'm not the only person it happens to! One campsite I stayed at there were some students celebrating the end of their exams who then slept outside with zero problems whereas I had to hide in my tent from 6 onwards! :(

I bought a deet spray today so will see if that helps and if not will look for Autan. I'll be cycling along the danube next so will definitely put the deet to the test!