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!
#1 jemal29 has been a member since 24/9/2012. Posts: 3
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).
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.
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
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!
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
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
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.
#11 jemal29 has been a member since 24/9/2012. Posts: 3
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
#22 bollanger has been a member since 8/8/2014. Posts: 1
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
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
#24 chrisvale123 has been a member since 6/8/2015. Posts: 1
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: 39
Hi we are students who are coming up with a insect repellent soap made from 100% essential oils (no DEET no chemical) which last for 10 hours. You can include this soap in your packing list when going on a trip to mosquitos hotspots countries like Singapore and Malaysia. We would greatly appreciate if you could help us do a survey http://goo.gl/forms/RgTsXPZdowl2U0xO2 to help us understand whether will you be interested to buy if we launch this into the market. Survey Duration: 5mins (< 10 questions)
#26 Charlin has been a member since 27/5/2016. Posts: 1
I second Deet, if you don't like the scent of citronella. It's generally effective.
#27 wanderer143 has been a member since 2/11/2014. Posts: 30