GaryO

Picaridin vs. DEET?

16 posts in this topic

I know that the fishermen have started changing over to picaridin bassed inspect repellents because DEET products attack plastics so badly. Question: would that same idea apply to an observer who would be handling photographic gear on safari? What say you?

 

Also, anyone use Thermacells yet?

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Don't forget what those chemicals can do to your skin -

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In my experience, DEET will indeed eat through a plastic bag. However, it has not damaged my camera equipment's plastic parts.

 

That was in the past. I have switched to natural insect repellent (lemon-based) recently, and I have found them to work well against mosquitos. Nothing works against tsetses, so I am pleased with the natural insect repellent.

 

But if you must, I don't think DEET will damage your camera. Get it on the lens... then watch out!

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The only time I used DEET I had an immediate reaction of large skin hives.

 

I have since effectively used herbal insect repelants and long clothing

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Not sure if the spray "Peaceful sleep" has DEET or not - but, my skin didn't handle it very well... stopped using it ever since.

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A friend of mine in the British Army was in Kenya. He is a photographer with a Canon DSLR and was issued a DEET based repellent (30% I think). It not only left finger prints embedded in the hand grip of his camera, but also melted rifle stocks (which are plastic these days).

 

It doesn't melt all plastics (it often comes in plastic bottles) but polycarbonates are vulnerable (it melted the case of my travel alarm). I can't find a definitive list.

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I heard a number of years ago that strong chemicals like DEET are very closely related to dioxin, from which came agent orange the vietnam war ariel spray agent and the herbicides roundup and zero.

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I have noticed at supermarkets with their prominent claims on effectiveness ,that a whole lot of people go straight for chemical based insect repellants.

 

not everyon is sensative

 

on a camping trip I was on I saw people at night in short clothing putting on a whole lot of deet based repellant on legs, arms, even hands, and forehead ,then repeat it the next night

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I took the insect repellant RID with me to Kenya this time. Made in Queensland, NO DEET.

 

And we went through heavy, heavy tsetse fly infestations in Meru and guess what … not a single bite. So it does work. And just to prove a point, our driver was getting bitten badly in the front seat and so I sprayed him with RID and not another nibble.

 

(No, I have no shares in the company)

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Meru's tsetses ar really soft.....Katavi's or Kafue's ones would have not been deterred! :huh:

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I remember on one of my first trips to Africa, being in shock as I sprayed my feet with Peaceful Sleep (a DEET based repellant), and watched my toe-nail varnish bubble up... Not from a vanity point of view - more like "what is this stuff doing to my skin??" point of view! Having said that, I continued to use a DEET based repellant during my holidays, as I figured the short term damage to my skin was worth it to not get malaria.

 

Now I'm living here full time and the story is somewhat different. I was told before I arrived (by a friend who used to work in Arusha), that mosquitoes hate the following:

Rosemary

Lemongrass

Nivea Plain Blue body lotion

 

So - what to do with those ingredients? Well, I stocked up on proper (not cheap) essential oils of rosemary, lemongrass, and also some citronella (what could it hurt!!), and now use these in two ways:

1. about 5 or 6 drops of each of the 3 essential oils in a spray bottle of water.. spray on as needed

2. about the same amount of each in a full size bottle of Nivea moisturiser - shake well when first mixing, and then for each use.

I use them alternatively, depending on whether I want to moisturise or just repel the mossies.

 

I've had a number of people scoff at my use of a natural repellant, but they're often the guests who, partway through dinner go to reapply some DEET, as I sit there not affected by any mossies! I can say this - it works for me!

 

I still advocate the use of Dettol to repel tsetse flies, but thanks to twaffle's advice, will be trying some RID when I'm in Luangwa in a few weeks' time... glad I still have a bottle here to use!

 

Oh - and another handy hint, for both mossie and tsetse bites, either Tea Tree Oil or Tiger Balm are really good at taking the itch away... I never go anywhere without it, and my travelling buddies are always grateful!

 

Meegan

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Meru's tsetses ar really soft.....Katavi's or Kafue's ones would have not been deterred! :huh:

 

 

I did a little search and found this :D

 

"Regarding the RID. It is a yes yes yes from me. We all used it and while they pestered us quite a bit we did not get bitten where it was sprayed. I ended up spraying a lot on my shirts and shorts so we recommend it for anyone going to tsetse infested areas." Diana White (Okavango Tours & Safaris) after testing RID in the Katavi National Park, which is mosquito and tsetse fly heaven!

 

From here: http://www.thesafaristore.co.uk/products/Accessories/RID_Insect_Repellent/RID_Insect_Repellent/RID_Tropical_Strength_Insect_Repellent_Roll-On

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I don't take anti-malaria pills anymore. Nor do I use non-natural insect repellents. The people who work in the bush don't do that either.

 

B.Regs,

 

J.

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Posted (edited)

I don't take anti-malaria pills anymore. Nor do I use non-natural insect repellents. The people who work in the bush don't do that either.

 

Well, if I lived permanently in the bush I wouldn't use anything either. Especially anti-malaria pills. You'd fry your liver if you were to take anti-malaria pills every day for years. However those who live in the bush often get malaria and sometimes this means several days in the hospital. I've heard a Kruger ranger saying he's contracted malaria 19 times. For him it may not mean much more than a few days of leave but I wouldn't want it to spoil my trip.

Edited by micmic

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Hi, my husband and I are going to a 3.5 week safari to Botswana and Zimbabwe in a couple weeks (late May-mid June). We are also debating between Picaridin, DEET, and herbal insect repellents.

 

I searched the web for RID insect repellent, made in Australia, and found that it contains DEET

http://onlyoz.com.au/index.php?page=shop.product_details&category_id=452&flypage=flypage-ask.tpl&product_id=7005&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=83

 

To everyone who has been to Botswana Linyati, Okavango Delta, and Kalahari, as well as Zimbabwe's Hwange and Mana Pools:

Based on your experience, do we really need strong repellent based on DEET or Picaridin to ward off mosquitoes or would non-chemical insect repellent works to protect against mosquitoes? If so, which herbal base among the following citronella, soy bean oil, rosemary oil, lemon eucalyptus, did you find effective?

 

Will we be able to get roll-on Picaridin insect repellent in South Africa or Botswana airports? Here in USA most repellents are DEET based, with a couple spray Picaridin products available ... on top of it, they don't make the roll on type here. I figure the roll on would be more convenient, since we probably would need to reapply the repellent during the game drive but we won't be able to wash our hands afterwards.

 

Any advice appreciated!

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...

To everyone who has been to Botswana Linyati, Okavango Delta, and Kalahari, as well as Zimbabwe's Hwange and Mana Pools:

Based on your experience, do we really need strong repellent based on DEET or Picaridin to ward off mosquitoes or would non-chemical insect repellent works to protect against mosquitoes? If so, which herbal base among the following citronella, soy bean oil, rosemary oil, lemon eucalyptus, did you find effective?

...

Any advice appreciated!

 

Well, I haven't been the places you list, but I did spend 2 weeks on safari in Kruger, Ngoronogo and the Masai Mara, and I can vouch for the effectiveness of Picaridin 20% against mosquitoes. We used a spray-pump bottle, and had no trouble applying it. At 20% strength it will last about 6-8 hours, I think. The CDC recommends both DEET and Picaridin against mosquitoes: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/insect_repellent.htm

 

Note that Picaridin is only useful against mosquitoes, from what I understand, while DEET will also protect you against ticks and the like, if that is important to you.

 

 

Christopher

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