Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
DarkNewt
Posts: 388
Joined: 12 Aug 2014, 9:55pm
Location: West Midlands

Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

Postby DarkNewt » 8 Apr 2015, 10:52pm

Hi All,

I am pretty much fearless (or stupid) when it comes to most things however I have to admit it mosquitos/midges blood sucking flesh stripping insects fill me with fear/dread! You see mozzies love me or more acurately they see me as a free all you can eat buffet, I still bear the scars of a previous attack and overnight stay in hospital and the mental damage from weeks of scratching.

I am going to be travelling around the coast from the 3rd of July and after reading someone describe the mozzies on Stornaway are the insect equivalent of Ninja's and other tales of people abandoning their bikes a la wasp attack jumping into rivers I am even more worried. So I have decided to go on the attack and prepare for my equivalent of MOSQUITO ARMAGEDDON!

So far I have:

Purchased a mosquito net that drapes over your hat and ties round your neck
a 40% deet based repellant and wipes
I am looking for a mosquito cover for my entire tent.
I will check this website: http://midgeforecast.co.uk/home
I am also going to tuck my trousers into my socks and my long sleeve into my gloves and wear a neck cover
i may even invent a mosquito net that you can cycle along with on your bike...

but seriously I need to avoid heavy biting or I will go down like a ton of bricks..

so my thoughts were, if you have any ideas or tips (please only put the proven ones avoid the my granny says sleep with an onion and shout at the moon will prevent pimples suggestions). I will compile them along with the advice I have garnered from other sources such as habitat's to avoid etc.. and put them in a pdf for downloading.

so any proven suggestions please put here, I will try and test out as many as possible and feedback any that work for me!
Currently planning my next adventure and trying to get over two operations in 6 months but still going strong!
email: newt@systems-engineer.info web: thedarknewt.blogspot.co.uk

bikercolin
Posts: 144
Joined: 14 Feb 2009, 1:01pm

Re: Mosquitos be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

Postby bikercolin » 8 Apr 2015, 11:00pm

I have toured in several places including India and have found Avon Skin So Soft works better and is kinder to skin than the products with deet in.

DarkNewt
Posts: 388
Joined: 12 Aug 2014, 9:55pm
Location: West Midlands

Re: Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

Postby DarkNewt » 8 Apr 2015, 11:04pm

Hiya,

I have considered that, and an article here: http://www.bcmj.org/article/mosquito-repellent-effectiveness-placebo-controlled-trial-comparing-95-deet-avon-skin-so-sof tends to back you up, however it still doesn't come out as effective as deet but I think useful if you are one of the rare people affected by deet based products.

I still haven't found any actual scientific evidence for avon skin so soft, which I find strange as I am sure Avon would push that if there was, i.e the scientific studies showing the blocking actions of deet on insects etc.. are documented.
Currently planning my next adventure and trying to get over two operations in 6 months but still going strong!
email: newt@systems-engineer.info web: thedarknewt.blogspot.co.uk

DarkNewt
Posts: 388
Joined: 12 Aug 2014, 9:55pm
Location: West Midlands

Re: Mosquitos be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

Postby DarkNewt » 8 Apr 2015, 11:09pm

bikercolin wrote:I have toured in several places including India and have found Avon Skin So Soft works better and is kinder to skin than the products with deet in.


a friend just sent me this from snopes.com which puts a downer on skin so soft as effective for a long period http://www.snopes.com/oldwives/skeeters.asp

so I think in a DEET V's Skin so Soft, I am falling down on the deet side!
Currently planning my next adventure and trying to get over two operations in 6 months but still going strong!
email: newt@systems-engineer.info web: thedarknewt.blogspot.co.uk

MarkF
Posts: 435
Joined: 4 Apr 2011, 10:20am

Re: Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

Postby MarkF » 9 Apr 2015, 1:14am

I rely on Autan, if I've remembered to put it on then I have never once been bitten. Once I fell asleep outside and the buggers bit the soles of my feet to bits, the only place not covered in Autan. :(

nmnm
Posts: 470
Joined: 14 Nov 2010, 6:03pm

Re: Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

Postby nmnm » 9 Apr 2015, 1:40am

Never tried this, but understand one strategy is to take antihistamines before setting off, as it's not (just) the bite that's the problem but the reaction.

4wils
Posts: 73
Joined: 20 Mar 2009, 9:56pm
Location: Teesside

Re: Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

Postby 4wils » 9 Apr 2015, 6:07am

A neighbour of mine who, has considerable walking experience, suggests taking a vitamin supplement for a couple of weeks before venturing into midge territory and then taking a daily dose whilst on the trip. Vitamin B1 I think.
On one trip with, some on the supplement and some not, he reported a marked difference in the bite rate, with those on the supplement bite free.
Not tried it myself yet, so can't say from personal experience if it works.

rfryer
Posts: 706
Joined: 7 Feb 2013, 3:58pm

Re: Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

Postby rfryer » 9 Apr 2015, 6:28am

For the last few years I've been using Smidge, and been very happy with it. It's pleasant to use and has proved very effective on the west coast of Scotland, although I have tended to avoid seriously midgy environments.

However, in the past I've used 100% deet and found it 100% effective, walking through humming swarms of midges on Rhum with no bites at all.

User avatar
Heltor Chasca
Posts: 3016
Joined: 30 Aug 2014, 8:18pm
Location: Near Bath & The Mendips in Somerset

Re: Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

Postby Heltor Chasca » 9 Apr 2015, 8:12am

Is it true that deet can damage the waterproofing on tents?

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 17736
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

Postby Vorpal » 9 Apr 2015, 8:45am

DEET breaks down nylon, so damage to waterproofing is indirect.

It's best to use DEET on your (non nylon) clothes, as the effect can last for days, where on your skin, it only lasts for hours. You can also spray your mosquito netting and improve it effectiveness that way. So, to protect yourself in your tent, spray your mosquito netting, and ensure that it dries completely before you use it with your tent. You can also try permethrin, instead of DEET. Permethrin does not harm fabrics. It is an insecticide, instead of a repellent, and for this reason many people recommend against using it on the skin. It is commonly used on mosquito netting in malaria prone areas.

There are also http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thermacell-Appl ... B0031ESIVK sort of things to use whilst cooking and camping.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

User avatar
andrew_s
Posts: 5061
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 9:29pm
Location: Gloucestershire

Re: Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

Postby andrew_s » 9 Apr 2015, 10:45am

DarkNewt wrote:i may even invent a mosquito net that you can cycle along with on your bike...

I have seen a full all-in-one mozzy net suit for sale on the web somewhere

irc
Posts: 4650
Joined: 3 Dec 2008, 2:22pm
Location: glasgow

Re: Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

Postby irc » 9 Apr 2015, 10:55am

Another good reason for starting a coast ride Ardossan - Campbelltown in April . Gets the worst midgie areas out the way before peak season - end of May onwards.

DarkNewt
Posts: 388
Joined: 12 Aug 2014, 9:55pm
Location: West Midlands

Re: Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

Postby DarkNewt » 9 Apr 2015, 11:00am

irc wrote:Another good reason for starting a coast ride Ardossan - Campbelltown in April . Gets the worst midgie areas out the way before peak season - end of May onwards.


Unfortunately, and one of the reasons I was quaking with fear is that I start my tour of the UK & Irish coast in July so I will be riding around scotland/Ireland in the peak season as it were! Meals on Wheels for the beggars!
Currently planning my next adventure and trying to get over two operations in 6 months but still going strong!
email: newt@systems-engineer.info web: thedarknewt.blogspot.co.uk

andrew549
Posts: 56
Joined: 26 Jul 2014, 6:26pm

Re: Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

Postby andrew549 » 9 Apr 2015, 12:52pm

I've got a half body midge suit that I got for camping on Skye a couple of years ago it works well and allows for you to wear short sleaves without being eaten alive too much. This is the one I've got and the zip in the hood means that eating and drinking is just about possible. http://www.midgejacket.co.uk/index.htm

For bug spray I use smidge as I don't want deet on clothes or climbing gear given what it can do to nylon.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 17736
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

Postby Vorpal » 9 Apr 2015, 3:28pm

When I have been cycling in mosquito / midge areas in peak season (which includes a July / August cycle tour in Scotland), I have never really has a problem whilst cycling. I canæt even say that I have had any problems during the day. the problem comes, when out of doors in the evning, and especially around dusk.

I think that cycling, the biggest risk is riding into them, and normal repellent is probably enough for the occasional midge in those circumstances. However, I can see that someone who is very sensitive to their bites may go to extraordinary lengths to avoid being bitten.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom