Thursday, June 8, 2017

Bug Repellent?

Bug repellent is an often overlooked emergency supply. You don't want to need it and not have it. When the biting insects darken the sky, the lack of good counter measures can drive you insane.

Here's how bad it can get, true story. My uncle was sawing up logs with a chainsaw. The bugs kept getting worse and worse. A large horsefly landed right in the middle of his forehead. By then he'd gone a bit mad. He flipped the chainsaw sideways and swatted the horsefly with the flat of the chair bar. Only later did it occur to him that he had killed a bug on his face with a running chainsaw. He's lucky he didn't cut his fool head off.

Don't assume that any old bug spray will do the job. Test them to make sure they are effective. There is no sense in stocking up on a product that the bugs treat as special sauce on their dinner. Also, make sure the products work on the bugs you find in your area. Something that works on mosquitoes might not work nearly as well on horseflies.

Not every product works for every person. Some people have reactions to using DEET for example. As for myself, DEET doesn't cause any issues, but so called natural repellents drive me into violet coughing fits.

Don't just rely on chemical agents. Physical barriers are important too. Even though it's warm, long sleeve shirts, and long pants tucked into socks eliminate a lot of exposed skin. I'm a huge fan of mosquito head nets. They are cheap and do a good job. You may even want to consider a net that covers your whole bed so the little monsters don't get you while you are sleeping.

Bug protection isn't just to prevent the annoyance of itchy bites. Insects carry a number of serious diseases. It's better to prevent infections than to treat them later. Some serious insect borne diseases don't even show symptoms until damage is done. For example, a coworker had Lyme disease, but had none of the normal indicators. In his case he ended up in the hospital when fluid built up around his heart. It took the doctors a long time to discover the root cause was a tick bite that happened months earlier.

Good bug protection can make sure they stay a mild annoyance rather than a life threatening issue.



  1. daughter has lyme.t is chronic and incurable.
    we are blessed that she is alive.
    take all precautions.
    good advice from sixbears.

    1. Sorry to hear your daughter is suffering. Glad she's still with us. It's a tough disease to live with.

  2. We learned that lesson the hard way after a hurricane blew through our area. Huge HUGE amount of mosquitoes were within a couple of days - bug repellent was completely sold out in our area. Very luckily, we were scheduled for a weekend trip and were able to buy a stock for ourselves as well as for other families who needed it.

    Especially relevant topic with Zika and other diseases now making a comeback. Do you have a reaction with Skin So Soft / rubbing alcohol ? Pretty effective down here.

    Thank you for the post.

    1. Skin so Soft is just a flavoring for the local insects. Not that effective in the North Woods. Oh well, at least I tried it.

      Good thing you were able to get a supply for you and your friends.

  3. It's that time of year, isn't it. Drat!