plambers

favorite mosquite repellent with deet

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leaving june 20 for our first family safari with 2 young teens. will be on safari for 12 days. any favorites and how many bottles needed? we are doing a fly in so weight is an issue. thanks

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These days we take RID with us and it seems to work fine. I have the pump spray and will also take the roll on version as well. So two 100ml bottles for two of us, but we'll likely only get through one and maybe only just start the other for an 11 night trip.

 

Hard to say how much you might need. I suppose it depends on how much skin you have exposed. If you all wear shorts and vest tops all day and into dusk then you are going to need more than if you cover up. We cover up mostly as Mrld is very fair skinned and I'm not a fan of insect repellant or sun tan lotion. Happy with RID it smells better than most of the deet stuff in my view.

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@Id1-I was told to ensure it has deet in it. is that necessary? do you apply every 6/8 hours every day? do you apply to all exposed areas like your face too? I am usually just an ankle girl! thanks for any guidance.

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I have used many different deet based formulas and combined with insect repellent clothing. None of them are effective for me. I always end up getting bitten. :(

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Posted (edited)

RID has deet in it, but not as much as some. I used a high deet content years ago and it took the varnish off a bedside cabinet. I don't put it on my face, but neck, ankles and lower leg plus my forearms get a dousing. Usually only twice a day before the morning and afternoon drives. I do still pick up the odd bite, but mostly overnight on my legs as I have a habit of kicking the bed clothes off me when I'm asleep and mobile camps don't always have mosquito nets. Nothing is 100%, it's all about reducing the number of bites and taking the anti-malarials.

 

I have never tried the clothing or the repellant you put on clothes.

Edited by ld1

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I've used Repel Sportsman roll on with good effect, available on Amazon. It has 30% deet. I usually just put it around my neck and ankles and haven't been bitten. The first safari I wore the insect repellant pants and got absolutely devoured by mosquitoes in Lake Manyara.

 

I read a strange story that the higher the deet content the more careful you have to be when you touch other things with it on your hands. Someone said it started to eat away at the plastics on their camera. Not sure if that's an urban legend or not, but I don't actually touch it with my hands anyway.

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@plambers It might help to know where you’re going, if anyone has been there at the same time of year, then if they read this they can tell you how bad or not the mossies are likely to be. I presume your concern specifically mosquitoes or are you worried about tsetse flies as well for example?

 

Other than tsetses I don’t think I've ever had much of a problem with being bitten during the daytime, for these flies Rid is supposed to work but I've not tried it, almost nothing else does. I don’t really see the need to use repellent in the daytime, I've certainly never applied it before going on a game drive, but then my only concern has been tsetses and none of the repellents I've used have made any difference. In the evening I wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers, if you’re covered up you really don’t need a lot of repellent. The main problem in my experience is mossies flying around under the table at dinner biting your ankles that’s when you might want to apply a bit of deet. If I'm at my tent/room sitting outside in the evening they can also be a problem but if I find I'm getting bitten then I’ll just go back inside. The female Anopheles mosquitoes that spread malaria are not active during the day, so it’s really at night that you need to avoid being bitten. Although the malaria risk on a typical safari is usually in my view very small, it only takes one infected mosquito to bite you, make sure you’re taking appropriate tablets and that everyone takes the full course as per the instructions. Except mobiles most camps will have mossie nets and in most cases somebody will likely go around the rooms during dinner putting down the nets. You will also most likely have a can of Doom or similar insecticide in the room it’s not something I would use but you might want to perhaps spray under the bed, if the staff haven’t already done so, just to make sure there are no mossies under there.

 

I wouldn't think you would need more than a couple of bottles, roll ons I tend to think go quite a long way.

 

@amybatt No it’s not an urban legend, deet is well known for melting certain types of plastic (obviously not all, as it usually comes in a plastic bottle) so if you have a spray you do need to be very careful where you spray it and what you touch if it's on your hands and make sure that when it’s in your luggage it can’t leak onto anything valuable.

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i was most concerned about the mosquitos and the malarial risk but the fact that deet takes the tarnish off watches scares me. are the mosquitos and in general, bugs, bad in late june/early july in kenya?

 

i have also been told not to touch eyes or nose after using deet based products and that it takes your nail polish off! and can take the numbers/wording off your camera!

 

@@amybatt, yours is the one i was looking at. do i need to put it on my face? arms? what if we wear shorts? on any exposed area? do you reapply every 6-8 hrs?

 

there are some more natural based with premarin-can they be used also?

 

i am only thinking of the good parts of safari, and since this is our first, i have no idea really so appreciate any and all information.

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@@inyathi, so sorry. kenya from june 20-july 3.

 

4 nights sanctuary at ol lentille

3 nights kicheche laikipia

4 nights kicheche mara

 

i was also told there were no tse tse flies there-only tanzania. is that true? also, i tend to protect my ankles/knees here in nc! thanks for the info.

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@@plambers I've not been to the Mara in a while or anywhere in the Laikipia area but I don't particularly recall bad tsetses anywhere when I have been in Kenya but they certainly can be very bad in Tanz.


You certainly wouldn't want to get deet in your eyes, this is not a problem you’re likely to have but absentmindedly applying deet to your neck just after you've shaved is not a mistake you’ll ever make more than once. :rolleyes:


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@@plambers, I've only ever been to Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda in February, so can't speak to your time period. I was bitten exactly once in Rwanda, never that I can remember in Kenya and eaten alive that one day in Lake Manyara. I NEVER put DEET on my face and wouldn't recommend it. I wear contacts and don't want to court eye problems. I put it on in the morning and never reapply. Just ankles and neck for me. I almost always wear pants now on safari, but on the odd occasion I wear shorts, mostly around camp, I don't put anything more on.

 

Put it on after your sunblock too.

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Posted (edited)

deet is a very strong chemical , it is in the same family as agent orange which was used by the American army as an attack agent in the Vietnam war

  • you can look at the bottle on products which contain it and there is a warning not to get it on synetitic clothing which should cause you to question what it might do to you
  • a good non technical spource for scientific research written up in a non technical way is http://www.sciencedaily.com
  • the bugs are becoming resistent to deet
  • lemon scented eucalyptus oil and cinnamon leaf oil are just as effective as deet lack the side effects of deet but have to be applied more often
  • lemon scented euch oil is a special variety , not the one which is commonly sold
  • I got my supply of both the above oils from http://www.fishpond.com.au , then mixed them into a essential oil body wash ,adding a tiny bit of corn flour to thicken it.
  • It dries on the skin quickly , and I think it is a whole lot better than the online suggestions of dilluting the oils in a spray bottle woth water or olive oil
  • should you want to use deet ,you must try it out before you go away, the one and only time I used it , within 1 hour of apply it I got very large hives about the diameter of a pencil
  • insect repellent is never to be used on the face , if you misapply it you will get it in your eyes and on your lips
  • another insect bite prevent measure is to wear long clothing- long trousers , long sleeved shirt .
  • long clothing is also good to prevent from being scratched by thorn bush , they are everwhere and it is difficult to avoid contact with them ,so don't expose bare skin to them .Think of them as nature's answer to barbed wire
Edited by COSMIC RHINO

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I use deet based sprays in Australia. Spray on hands and rub on face. Never had a problem.

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Posted (edited)

Don't scratch if you do get bitten - so for tthe kids, just make them weart boxing gloves in the evening so they can't scratch - probelm solved! :D Alternatively a little rub of something to stop the itch.

 

\Luckily, it really isn't bad in Kenya at the altitudes you will be at most of the time. Most evenings in June it'll likely be too cold for mosquitos. You'll be lucky to find many tsetses. They are there but generally rare and since you have lcoal guides they will know where they are and not drive you there. More chance of being stung by a bee really.

 

Long trousers, long-sleeved shirts, socks and closed shoes in the evening is the best solution..

 

 

Edit: I have no real opinion on deet but use it only when absolutely necessary, which is rare.

Edited by pault
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Agree with others covering up at the critical times such as early evening is wise. Long sleeves, long trousers socks etc. is best. The most difficult times I find are when you come back from a drive, shorts and tee shirts etc sit around an open fire with a drink and chat about the wonderful day you have had. This is when the mossies zoom in to have a feed so you need to be prepared.

 

Repellant has a place but covering up and using mozzie nets at night is good.

 

BTW if you have a large mosi net over your bed it may be worth spraying inside the closed net say 30 mins before you get into bed. Spray is often provided by camps and soemtimes the mosi coils.

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thanks all. I will be sure to bring socks to cover the ankles and think I will look for natural repellants rather than deet based. much appreciated.

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I use deet based sprays in Australia. Spray on hands and rub on face. Never had a problem.

 

 

@@Geoff - I've been told to keep deet based stuff far away from camera equipment - is that a valid statement?

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I use deet based sprays in Australia. Spray on hands and rub on face. Never had a problem.

 

 

@@Geoff - I've been told to keep deet based stuff far away from camera equipment - is that a valid statement?

 

 

@@madaboutcheetah Hari better safe than sorry, especially where plastic is involved (which is probably the cheaper models). I've heard horror stories but nothing bad has happened to my cameras & lens.

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Posted (edited)

@madaboutcheetah On your gear it might take some coatings off lenses and damage the rear screen. You don't have a white paint job to worry about! But cameras and lenses are made to different tolerances I think (they can't test resistance to everything but any decent camera would be pretty resistant to damage from e.g. common suncreams and sprays .... but less common ones?).

 

That's my understanding anyway (imperfect).

Edited by pault
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I can say from personal experience that DEET dissolves the plastic handgrip of my old Canon 30D. It still has my fingerprints in it. Likewise a friend from the UK military who was based for some time in Kenya was issued with 50% DEET which left finger prints in the butt of his rifle. I think both of these cases are polycarbonates. Also heard of another case where it melted the drinking tube of a hydration system.

 

All these cases due to not taking care where the DEET ended up when applying from a spray.

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Someone said it started to eat away at the plastics on their camera. Not sure if that's an urban legend or not, but I don't actually touch it with my hands anyway.

 

As others have replied, this is definitely not a myth - DEET will corrode plastic, and the higher the strength the more likely this will be. As well as damaging camera equipment, it will also corrode the plastic lenses in your specs and sunglasses.

 

Picaridin is just as effective as DEET against mosquitoes, and will not corrode plastic.

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Someone said it started to eat away at the plastics on their camera. Not sure if that's an urban legend or not, but I don't actually touch it with my hands anyway.

 

As others have replied, this is definitely not a myth - DEET will corrode plastic, and the higher the strength the more likely this will be. As well as damaging camera equipment, it will also corrode the plastic lenses in your specs and sunglasses.

 

Picaridin is just as effective as DEET against mosquitoes, and will not corrode plastic.

 

 

 

Surely this can't be good for your skin? it sounds super toxic!!!

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Avon's Skin So Soft has a good reputation.

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Posted (edited)

I've steered clear of posting before now as the title said favorite mosquite repellent with deet but more recent posts have broadened the scope so, for what its worth, here are my thoughts:

1) The "problem" with DEET affecting many plastics has led many people to avoid using it although in reality it's no worse than say acetone (nail varnish remover)

2) Although DEET is classed as a harmful chemical, all the reviews of it's effects on human health has found it safe to use on the skin. The skin is a wonderful barrier to many harmful products, just don't swallow it or spray it in your eyes and make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after applying!

3) DEET is probably the most effective insect repellent there is and the one your doctor will almost certainly recommend but be aware that it doesn't kill insects (like eg permethrins), only "wards them off".

 

If you want to read further, the EPA's DEET review is worth a look.

 

Having said all the above, as I don't fancy trashing my camera and/or lenses, I'm not a fan and try to avoid using it so my go-to products are:

a - Avon Skin-so-Soft dry oil body spray which really does seem to work although there is a big caveat that because it's a "beauty product", Avon can change the formulation if & whenever they like so there's no guarantee of it continuing to work as a Mozzi repellent.

b - Mossiguard - in my experience, rubbish against mosquitos but does deter Tetse-fly if applied liberally & regularly

Edited by AfricIan
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