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Insect repellent - anything 100% effective?

Posted by jemal29 on 24/9/2012 at 16:21

Hi all,

I'm off to travel round Thailand in a few weeks to escape this miserable UK weather, and I'm feeling rather paranoid about getting bitting by mosquitos. I know insect repellent has been discussed here before, but they've concentrated mainly on natural repellents - I want something that's going to be as close to 100% effective as possible even if it is some chemical-rich concoction.

So, has anyone here ever used an insect repellent and never got bitten? I know I haven't!

Cheers,
J

#1 jemal29 has been a member since 24/9/2012. Posts: 3

Posted by busylizzy on 24/9/2012 at 17:28

If you don't mind the chemicals, then use Deet - get the highest % content that you can find. It's horrible stuff though - thick and sticky. Otherwise, just cover up (socks, long trousers, long shirt).

#2 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,155
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Posted by somsai on 24/9/2012 at 18:27

Tiny dabs of Deet on collars or back of hands etc. work like magic. Never seen anything as good. The chemicals in it are as worrisome to me as, well, absolutely don't even register. Probably a thousand times better than those smoke coils everyone uses in their rooms.

#3 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 568

Posted by altmtl on 24/9/2012 at 21:10

I use citronella based products, but I'm not paranoid about getting bitten, it doesn't really bother me all that much. You can use coils in your room and a net.

#4 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 992
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Posted by MADMAC on 24/9/2012 at 21:50

Don't wear shorts or open toed footwear, especially evenings, and you should be good to hook. Most of us anglos have hair on our arms which offers natural protection. I have lived here five years and can count on one hand the number of times I was bitten.

#5 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by altmtl on 24/9/2012 at 21:55

yeah, but look where live - lol - hardly an issue in Issam I found :)

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Posted by tyler on 24/9/2012 at 23:03

I usually just wear long pants/shirt. Sometimes - depending where I am - I'll use Citronella. It works well for me. And it doesn't smell like deet or bother my skin. But the mossy's only tend to be an issue at night anyway.
100% - stay inside!

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Posted by busylizzy on 25/9/2012 at 00:28

"Most of us anglos have hair on our arms which offers natural protection."


Well, that won't work for those of us who shave our legs! :-)

#8 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,155
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Posted by travellingsarah on 25/9/2012 at 00:39 TF writer

Is that why I never get bites on my arms even when my legs are being bitten to shreds? Hmmm, time to stop shaving I think. Anyway, in response to original question - agree that Deet is the ultimate but there's a really cheap product called Soffell here in Vietnam and it seems to work really well. It's available in Thailand too. http://www.enesis.com/product/detail/en/5

#9 travellingsarah has been a member since 23/3/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 681
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Posted by SBE on 25/9/2012 at 02:31

Lemon eucalyptus extract is as effective and as long lasting as DEET according to this expert review of insect repellents.



The principal repellent component of lemon eucalyptus extract is PMD, which is the main by-product of lemon eucalyptus hydrodistillation.43 The active component is prepared through acid modified extraction of leaves or a synthetic version of PMD is used in the majority of commercially available preparations. Importantly, PMD has been proven to prevent malaria in a clinical trial in the Bolivian Amazon.44

Studies carried out both in the laboratory and the field using rigorous methodology have shown PMD to be a repellent of equal efficacy and longevity as deet.45 At 30% AI, PMD provided almost complete protection for 4 hours in South America46 and complete protection for 6 hours at 50% AI in Sub-Saharan Africa against malaria vectors.47 In both of these studies, the protection time was equivalent to the deet controls. A well-designed laboratory trial of PMD against a further African malaria vector showed complete protection for 4 to 5 hours using PMD impregnated towlettes,48 again comparable with deet. Laboratory trials using the main vectors of dengue fever have shown good protection, which is important for travelers as the vector bites in the day-time.45,49 Against the tick vectors of Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, PMD reduces attachment and feeding success by around 77%, and PMD is highly effective against the Highland Midge.50 PMD has not been tested against the vectors of leishhmaniasis in vivo, although in vitro results suggest that it may be effective.51


http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1708-8305.2010.00402.x/full

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Posted by jemal29 on 25/9/2012 at 16:07

Wow, thanks guys. A quick google using the search words "deet insect repellent" brought up some useful results, but it looks like the strongest is "100+", and I'm sure I've used that one before...and still got bit. Oh well, I'll take some of your tips on board and perhaps I'll bring a citronella-based repellent as well as deet, as it looks like they both do a similar job.
Cheers!

#11 jemal29 has been a member since 24/9/2012. Posts: 3

Posted by MADMAC on 25/9/2012 at 21:45

Jemal, just remmember, if the skin is covered up, the mosquito can't get to it. So if you wear shoes instead of sandals, and long pants intead of shorts, the mosquitos area of attack is much more limited, making for easier defense.

#12 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by altmtl on 25/9/2012 at 22:04

Funny thing is I'm usually semi nude on the beach and in my room - clothes are so restricting.

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Posted by MADMAC on 25/9/2012 at 23:15

I don't do the beach, and I don't have skeeters in my room. So I'm good to go. My wife is always comlaining about getting bit - because she likes to wear dresses and shorts...

#14 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by busylizzy on 26/9/2012 at 03:12

Tell her not to shave her legs, Mac, and she'll have natural protection!

#15 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,155
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Posted by MADMAC on 26/9/2012 at 07:24

She's Thai. She has a really small amount of natural body hair. She's screwed.

#16 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by SBE on 26/9/2012 at 08:09

Adolescent Thai girls wearing frumpy high school uniforms often have a great deal of leg hair.

Perhaps it all naturally falls off as soon as they hit 18.

#17 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,002
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Posted by MADMAC on 26/9/2012 at 22:11

I don't know SBE. My wife doesn't shave her legs and she doesn't have any hair on them - or almost none. Certainly not enough to help her with the mosquito problem! I personally can't speak for all adolescent Thai girls.

#18 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by Xircal on 1/1/2013 at 09:20

I use DEET bought from a local drug store. You can buy it in Thailand provided you're in a tourist area like Bangkok or Phuket, but once you're out in the sticks, you'll be lucky if you can find any. Or at least, that has been my experience.

Some tips though. Mozzies like to bite where your skin is the thinnest and ankles are a favourite.

I was able to find DEET in an aerosol can in Thailand which also worked upside down. It's called "Off!" and is available in most Big C supermarkets. But it's pretty strong stuff and my skin began to wrinkle wthin a couple of days of using it. I never got bitten though. Here are some pix of it: http://is.gd/fFv2WV

#19 Xircal has been a member since 24/12/2012. Posts: 95

Posted by PaulWhite on 8/1/2013 at 05:52

In different kind of place their is always a lotion for insect bite that 100 percent effective.

#20 PaulWhite has been a member since 8/1/2013. Posts: 3

Posted by JaiYen88 on 5/3/2013 at 11:15

I've been using a mixture of pure citronella oil diluted in baby oil, about 4 parts baby oil to 1 part citronella. I find it to be quite effective as long as you reapply every hour or two. All you need is a thin coating on whatever bits of skin are exposed. The downsides are that you always have to take a shower before bed because you are quite greasy by the end of the night and also some people (especially Lao and Isaan people for some reason) dislike the smell!

#21 JaiYen88 has been a member since 25/4/2012. Posts: 110

Posted by bollanger on 8/8/2014 at 05:33

Hi guys, girls and families this is not related to camping equipment but it will still be helpful for all those who go camping or any other holiday. My friends and i go camping quite allot and also travell to many places with my family, we went for safari in Africa. To be more precise Nairobi, Kenya. We purchased Mosquito patches from Amazon and they worked beautifully. We still got 1 or 2 bites but the fact is we were in Africa with so many mosquitoes around us, the patches did an excellent job. The patches can also be stuck on clothing and are still very effective, this is a big advantage for children and babies. the patches can be stuck on their clothing at the back where they cant reach it thus being very safe for them. The only downside is that it left marks on my sons skin so I used them on his clothes or nappy. As they are really sticky they didn't come off when he was wriggling around in the travel cot! I would recommend this product to all. I shall post some links below. the brand for the product is called VIE and most of their mosquito rage are excellent. hope this helps because it did help me alot, also a big positive is that they have deet free products too. They have got very good reviews.. and soo should be.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mosquito-Patches-Insect-Repellent-Deet/dp/B002ECUAQ6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1407400684&sr=8-2&keywords=green+baby

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mosquito-Patches-Repellent-perfect-family/dp/B005IXIX6C/ref=sr_1_2?s=outdoors&ie=UTF8&qid=1407400798&sr=1-2&keywords=deet+free

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aag/main?ie=UTF8&asin=&isAmazonFulfilled=&isCBA=&marketplaceID=A1F83G8C2ARO7P&orderID=&seller=A2UZ0Z46RUF0RX

#22 bollanger has been a member since 8/8/2014. Posts: 1

Posted by squarethecircle on 10/8/2014 at 00:10

I eat fresh garlic and find it scares the mozzies away. I've only used DEET mosquito repellent once, in an area in rural Mae Hong Son province along the Burmese border due to UN reports of malaria. Other than that there's not much need for paranoia in Th., they seem to do a decent job of spraying in non-slummy areas.

#23 squarethecircle has been a member since 19/10/2011. Posts: 133

Posted by chrisvale123 on 6/8/2015 at 15:58

Hi, I have something that may help! its called mosquitoaway mosquito repellent bracelet. It is simply amazing! I wear it whenever I go camping and I have to say.. it works! I've never gotten one bite since i've worn it! there is no spray or any of that nonsense. This is the best thing ever. I'll put a link to it right here. #mosquitoaway

http://www.amazon.com/MosquitoAway-Mosquito-Repellent-Bracelet-Refills/dp/B00Z8AHJCE/ref=sr_1_2?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1438129191&sr=1-2

#24 chrisvale123 has been a member since 6/8/2015. Posts: 1

Posted by neilmason on 7/8/2015 at 16:51

Travelling in Malaysia, I've found it really difficult to find a repellent with DEET, so these days I bring it with me.

#25 neilmason has been a member since 31/12/2012. Posts: 38


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