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Suggestions for Mosquito Repellent

New Orleans...
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76 posts
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Suggestions for Mosquito Repellent

My girlfriend and I wil be travelling to the Amazon in a few months and the topic of mosquito repllent has been brought up a few times. Mainly because bugs think she is a delectable buffet of human they can nibble on night and day. It's true. I have seen it with my own eyes, not a bug around and she is covered in bites while I remain unscathed. So we are wondering if there are any recommendations for excellent natural repellent that doesnt harm the enviornment?

Los Angeles...
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1. Re: Suggestions for Mosquito Repellent

This topic is near and dear to me as those bugs of all sorts, especially mosquito, love to feast on this white skinned, light hair green eyed man. Do not listen to what a Colombian says "oh those are not a problem here", well truth be told their bodies have built up a defense against them over many generations. Even if you think your immune, take precautions, don't let the bugs ruin your travel adventure.

First for your GF take this very serious, I too have traveled back far off woods in Brazil and Colombia, and a few times been hospitalized because of severe bites that lead to infections on my arms and legs. The last time about 2 years ago was a 6 hour hike through the mountains about 2 hours outside Medellin, 33 infected blood oozing open sores where they hit my arms and hands, daily multiple shots at hospital for a week followed with 3 weeks heavy medication, it took about 2.5 weeks to get to the point where I had some relief.

Please if she reacts anything like my body does: Cover your body with loose clothing, wear simple gloves to protect the hands, wear long loose pants and tuck them in at the boots or socks, for the face/back of neck I wear a tee-shirt over my head and then put on a cap and finally the "natural" remedy's you find to protect against insects bits simply are not effective, you have to go with a product that has a high % of the ingredient "dep", just noway to get around this.

And now if your planning on sleeping in far off places bring a net screen with you, you MUST HAVE! I paid about $120. for a very fine net screen and it was the best money I have ever paid. Look in a high end camping supply and sports store. We have a few specialty stores in and around Los Angeles, maybe you can check eBay for them. Again the best money I have spent.

Most of all have fun!

Bogota, Colombia
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for Colombia
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2. Re: Suggestions for Mosquito Repellent

Hi

Please read this article, it is not talking about brands, but about active ingredients.

medicaldaily.com/four-best-bug-repellents-de…

In summary, they say that Picaridin is the best choice, since it is at least as good as DEET without some of DEET drawbacks. At least 20% concentration.

New Orleans...
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3. Re: Suggestions for Mosquito Repellent

Whoa La traveler it sounds like you have had some bad luck. I didn't mention it but we live in a swampy region of the U.S. and the bugs are pretty bad here. I have been told it's somewhat comparable to the areas we will be traveling to so we have some practice already but thanks for the advice!

Thanks Stephane501 for the article, I haven't heard of Picaridin before.

Bogota, Colombia
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for Colombia
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4. Re: Suggestions for Mosquito Repellent

I detest the little blood suckers; having suffered the wrath of their bites & subsequent diseases.I have been infected with dengue on two separate occasions.

We use a combination of products to deter their bite;Menticol / No Pikex Soap, simply place the soap into a menthol spray & spray on your skin. These products are available in some Colombian stores/pharmacies. Vitamin B taken before your trip may also help.

http://www.visitleticia.com/main/?p=22

London, United...
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5. Re: Suggestions for Mosquito Repellent

i've been using deet, re-applying every 2-3 hours because it sweats off fast.

however, easier is clothing with bug repellent built in. we were in the peruvian amazon earlier this month, and while wearing quick dry shirts with built in bug repellent, we got few bites. normal t-shirts? the bugs went right through the fabric. also long pants tucked into socks. geeky but effective.

mosquitos are attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale, and they seem to like warm people--my partner can easily take 10 times more bites than me, even when i'm sitting right next to him.

Bogota, Colombia
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for Colombia
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1,658 posts
31 reviews
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6. Re: Suggestions for Mosquito Repellent

Yep DEET is a "classic". problem is it evaporates fast. And smells bad. And attacks plastic and rubber. I've had a plastic watch (a swatch) ruined because of DEET.

I used both DEET and Picaridin in the same area two different years (the forests of Madagascar, nothing to do with the Amazon, but still...), and I found both pretty efficient. I had the feeling that Picaridin lasted a bit longer. Wich can be a plus especially for sleeptime.

London, United...
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7. Re: Suggestions for Mosquito Repellent

we had to go shopping in El Molino yesterday--the deet ate through my partner's very expensive watch strap. he could buy a replacement, but the shipping costs are ridiculous.

there's a lot of exciting research for replacements for deet--let's home they come out soon.

all the places we stayed around manu either had no mosquitos or mosquito nets, so we never needed any spray at nighttime.

New Orleans...
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76 posts
6 reviews
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8. Re: Suggestions for Mosquito Repellent

All good to know. We are going to try a variety of things and see what works best. I read somewhere that since August is a drier season mosquitoes do not seem to be as bad. Here' hoping.

United States
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55 posts
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9. Re: Suggestions for Mosquito Repellent

I'll be in Columbia with 2 sons in July & have been researching this topic too. I found a product that you spray on your clothes before leaving home. You can also spray it on gear so I'll be coating our backpacks too. It's main, lethal-to-bugs, ingredient is permethrin. People swear by the stuff. It lasts thru 6 washings, I believe. On our exposed areas I'll be using a product with 20% picaridin. Of course we'll also be doing the long sleeves & jeans thing too. But I'll spray the clothes to keep the bugs away in the first place.

New Orleans...
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76 posts
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10. Re: Suggestions for Mosquito Repellent

Ivegottafly, please, if you can, let me know the name of the product and how it fairs on your trip. That sounds like something else we will be able to use to layer ourselves. I'm curious to see just how bad mosquitoes are there because I have traveled to multiple jungles numerous times and have never encountered any big problems with mosquitoes; I've mainly just had problems with the natives trying to bite me. Kidding! Thanks for your advise as well!!!