General Insect Repellent The difficulty with general insect repellent is that no one insect repellent will repel all insects. There are so many different species of insects that nothing will deter them all. Some insects in some areas for instance have been particularly targeted, like bed bugs in New York, and so they have built up a tolerance to repellents that does not exist elsewhere. This is not such a difficulty if you know the area where you are staying, becauseyou will know the most common insect pests in your region, but what about when you go on holiday? You may take a box of your favourite mosquito cream to Acapulco on your dream holiday just to find that there are no mosquitoes there but that the sand flies are homicidal. Mosquitoes are not really difficult in Scotland, but midges are in the summer and mosquito repellent does not have an effect on midges (or sand flies) even though they get up to the same sort of monkey business. The key is local knowledge. Before you go anywhere strive to do some research on local problem insects. In fact, unless you know that your favourite mosquito repellent works where you are going, there is not much point taking it with you, becausethe locals will already have the best repellents for their own particular local problem insects. The only potential exception is a cream with a high percentage of DEET. It may be illegal where you are going to sell a lotion containing over 25%DEET,but you feel safer with 50%.I know that I would feel far less at risk with 50%DEET,if I were going to Gambia, where the world's most toxic mosquitoes lives. Another insecticide that kills pretty much all insects (except bed bugs) is permethrin, but you may not be able to buy it where you are going. The difference between DEETand permethrin is that DEETdeters mosquitoes by baffling their senses- in essence, you slip under their RADARbut permethrin kills insects. This bewilderment works for lots of insects that detect their prey by carbon dioxide emissions like ticks and possibly bed bugs. Permethryn is not so effectual against bed bugs becausethey have a waxy coat which does not allow the chemical to actually get to their skin, where it would kill them. This waxy coat can be removed, but you will not have time when on holiday to do it. The overall best answer to most, but not all insect pests is putting DEETat around 25-35%on your skin, which will give you five to eight hours protection and spaying permethrin on your clothes. Permethrin can last up to six months and can survive several washes.
If you are sitting outdoors it is a good tactic to hang up a bug zapper - the kind that has an 1
ultraviolet lamp inside a highly charged electric grill. A handheld racquet style bug zapper is also useful for clearing a tent or bedroom of a few mosquitoes or flies before retiring. Owen Jones,the author of this piece writes on a number of subjects, but is currently concerned with finding a home remedy for mosquito bites. If you want to know more, pleasego to our website at Getting Rid of Mosquito Bites.