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Old 05-05-2016, 13:54   #1
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Dealing with mosquitos, no-see-ums, and other blood suckers...

Living in Alaska we are often asked what we use in various situations while we boat, kayak, and venture on land.

We finally published a page on this topic with some brief background, the strategies, and links to what we use and do to try and avoid the seasonal bloodletting...

The short version is we have continued to have great success with the Thermacel devices over the years on the boat and on land, and can share the absolute best apparel designed specifically for thwarting these insects. [Canadian Bug Shirts.]

In case it is helpful for anyone planning a visit, and for those worried about the recent Zika virus outbreak [among many other diseases these bugs are vectors for...]

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 05-05-2016, 15:06   #2
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos, no-see-ums, and other blood suckers...

Since you are in Alaska, your opinion carries great weight.

In FLA, and notably the Everglades I prefer sprays with high DEET levels. Notably Backwoods Off. Used it in some buggy spots on a recent trip to Cuba with good results.



Sent from my iPhone- please forgive autocorrect errors.
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Old 05-05-2016, 15:26   #3
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos, no-see-ums, and other blood suckers...

Thank you Bill.....I appreciate the info and the links you posted

I've been looking at products since we're going to spend some time in the mountains of Norway in July.....wet tundra type area absolutely FULL of mosquitos.
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Old 05-05-2016, 15:47   #4
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos, no-see-ums, and other blood suckers...

+1 for thermocell. It isn't much use in a wind but the bugs aren't a big problem then either. It's magic on a still night at anchor.

I will also place it for a few minutes below decks (with hatches and ports open) to clear out the little buggers if the screens weren't put up in time.

The best weapon inside the cabin is flyshooter. It's astonishingly deadly - and satisfying

http://www.amazon.com/Martin-Paul-10...GBEV14F3NF707N

If you have youngsters aboard, be sure to have enough for everyone. Infinitely more fun than a video game.
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Old 05-05-2016, 15:48   #5
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos, no-see-ums, and other blood suckers...

I don't see a viable strategy that deals with mosquitoes, gnats and other "blood suckers in the same manner. I once had what I thought was a good personal adaptation to mosquitoes as a grew up on the edge of the Everglades and spent a lot of time adventuring there; however, I've been amazed by the high density of mosquitoes in the northern latitudes. I've actually been able to identify the direction to an island by turning my head to the direction of the buzzing "humm" while canoeing in the northern lakes.

I'm best dealing with mosquitoes by clothing coverings and deet. My best strategy for dealing with gnat's (no-se-ums) is by selecting the temperature of my activity or with Avon's "skin so soft" lotion.

My strategy that works for both is anchoring far from shore.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:59   #6
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos, no-see-ums, and other blood suckers...

Sheer curtain material is cheap & great for hatch screens.
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Old 06-05-2016, 10:01   #7
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos, no-see-ums, and other blood suckers...

Screens on every opening to the interior. Not just bugs but snakes, rodents, and birds can otherwise get into a boat. Got the money, go with bronze screens; or just buy a roll of synthetic screening and tape it on(kind of ghetto looking). Families have died from letting poisonous spiders into their boats. Do not forget to screen your dorados, vent tubes, etc. Deet only goes just so far and is not a deterrent to spiders, asps, and flying hypodermic bugs.
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Old 06-05-2016, 10:10   #8
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos, no-see-ums, and other blood suckers...

I guess it's cool enough in Alaska for fine mesh screens, but we just keep screens with a mesh suitable to block mosquitoes and biting flies. Screen with a mesh to block gnats doesn't allow enough ventilation for our needs.
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Old 06-05-2016, 10:34   #9
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos, no-see-ums, and other blood suckers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saleen411 View Post
Thank you Bill.....I appreciate the info and the links you posted

I've been looking at products since we're going to spend some time in the mountains of Norway in July.....wet tundra type area absolutely FULL of mosquitos.
You are welcome, Saleen.

I hope you have a wonderful trip and that your bug deterrent measures all work well.

The tundra regions have amazing populations of parasitic insects. Thankfully, many are affected by air density and cannot fly high enough out of the tundra on a sunny day to reach you... But watch them gain altitude as the air cools [and becomes more dense]... [A great study in density altitude for pilots... but I digress...]

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 06-05-2016, 10:39   #10
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos, no-see-ums, and other blood suckers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
I guess it's cool enough in Alaska for fine mesh screens, but we just keep screens with a mesh suitable to block mosquitoes and biting flies. Screen with a mesh to block gnats doesn't allow enough ventilation for our needs.
I hear that, Hudson.

The fine mesh does slow down a breeze.

On the hot days we spoil ourselves with running the air conditioning a bit... Yup, even up here... [Our generator is oversized, so the AC also helps keep a healthy load on it... whether heat or AC...]

The good news is, when there is a breeze, there are no bugs... a natural deterrent. But you better be quick to put the screens back up as the breeze dies...

Cheers!

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Old 06-05-2016, 10:43   #11
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos, no-see-ums, and other blood suckers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
+1 for thermocell. It isn't much use in a wind but the bugs aren't a big problem then either. It's magic on a still night at anchor.

I will also place it for a few minutes below decks (with hatches and ports open) to clear out the little buggers if the screens weren't put up in time.

The best weapon inside the cabin is flyshooter. It's astonishingly deadly - and satisfying

http://www.amazon.com/Martin-Paul-10...GBEV14F3NF707N

If you have youngsters aboard, be sure to have enough for everyone. Infinitely more fun than a video game.
Hi Carl,

Yes, thanks for mentioning that the Thermacel is great for chasing bugs out of living quarters [including tents on shore...]

I can see the Flyshooters entertaining kids for hours- productively!

We get far less entertainment value, but similar satisfaction from using electric paddles...

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 06-05-2016, 11:01   #12
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos, no-see-ums, and other blood suckers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
Since you are in Alaska, your opinion carries great weight.

In FLA, and notably the Everglades I prefer sprays with high DEET levels. Notably Backwoods Off. Used it in some buggy spots on a recent trip to Cuba with good results.
Hi Snore,

I would say Floridians are equally experiences with bug deterrent techniques...

We agree about high % DEET. We keep liquid DEET in our ditch bags in our current cruising area. [Double vacuum wrapped to avoid damage from leaks...]

However we avoid its use as much as possible partly because bears [black and grizzly] are curious about odors, and we kayak/hike quite a bit. Even most islands- small and large- have bear populations... [Bears are excellent swimmers- documented as easily going 40 miles in one session...]

The most important thing is to have something [anything] that helps avoid the bugs! [And, in our case, the bears as well...]

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 06-05-2016, 11:12   #13
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos, no-see-ums, and other blood suckers...

Thermacell in living quarters? Maybe I'm misremembering, but don't the instructions warn not to use it in enclosed spaces, or indoors at all? I know, some of that applies to every toxin...just taking these kind of warnings more seriously these days.
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Old 06-05-2016, 11:12   #14
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos, no-see-ums, and other blood suckers...

As an alternative to Deet, I make an infusion of Labrador tea, yarrow, and mint (all gathered locally here in SE Alaska) in vinegar. I don't think it makes me bear bait since it has a woodsy aroma (so far, so good, any way). At least it doesn't melt my rain gear, and it's very effective. Not that I'd venture out without my bug net...!
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:18   #15
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Re: Dealing with mosquitos, no-see-ums, and other blood suckers...

The best fly killer IMHO is the Bug-A-Salt. Bug-A-Salt: The Original Salt Gun – Bug-A-Salt


My wife won't allow me to shoot salt around the cabin but out in the cockpit THEY'RE MINE!


I use an electric paddle inside the cabin but the Bug-A-Salt is more effective and fun. Bug-A-Salt will easily kill flies that land on your ankles or legs, where it's very difficult to swat them with other methods. The salt doesn't hurt your skin, but it does major damage to flies. (It would definitely damage eyes so this is not a kids toy).
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