Bug Repellant

aliens_21026623At the dawn of time, ticks, chiggers, and mosquitoes each elected a leader. Those leaders held a council and after much debate decided that they would always and forever ruin fun for outdoor enthusiasts. They all shook each others’ little hands and left the meeting laughing maniacally. If there is one thing that can spoil a day of fun in nature, it is bugs. Fortunately, there is a solution to the problem. One day some guy said, “I wish there was something that would, you know, repel bugs.” and his buddy said, “Yeah, like some some sort of bug repellant.” And the rest was history.

The three most commonly used chemicals for bug repellants are Deet, Picaridin, and Permethrin.

Deet is probably the best known of the three, albeit somewhat infamously. Deet, or N,N-Diethyl-3-methylbenzamide, was first developed and used by the US military in 1946. Deet definitely works. If you spray yourself down in the stuff, bugs will leave you alone. However, the toxicity of Deet is still unknown, which is the primary reason people are so wary of using it. Studies have proven that Deet is absorbed by the skin and then excreted by the kidneys, so if you use a spray containing Deet be sure to avoid your skin as much as possible. Children have been shown to absorb more of the chemical than adults so be especially careful when using it on your kids. 20 to 35 percent Deet concentration is generally viewed as a safe amount.

Picaridin has become a popular alternative to Deet. Picaridin is a relatively new bug repellant option that first popped up about around the turn of the millennium. It offers the same advantages as Deet without the scary qualities (like melting plastic). Picaridin is odorless and it has been shown to be equally as effective as Deet when used in the same quantity.

Bug repellant with Deet or Picaridin is typically used in the moments before you go out. You spray yourself down with a bug barrier and stride confidently in spite of black cloud swarms of mosquitoes. But imagine if you didn’t have to put on bug repellant every time you went outside.

If you’re not very imaginative, you don’t have to be. Permethrin is a bug repellant that you treat your gear and clothing with directly. There is a naturally occurring insecticide, called pyrethrum, that is found in chrysanthemums. Permethrin is basically a synthetic form of this natural bug repellant. Basically, you spray your adventure pants down with a coat of Permetherin and you’re bug-free for up to 6 months depending on how frequently you wash you them. Permethrin works by bonding to the material that it’s sprayed on. Once it dries it’s safe to touch, but you don’t really want the stuff bonding to your skin when it’s wet.

Don’t let bugs deter you from having a good time. We carry bug repellant with Permethrin, Picaridin, and Deet here at Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters. Stop by and pick some up so you can beat the bugs!

One Comment

  1. […] insect bites. Be sure to avoid heavily wooded areas and high grass when possible. Otherwise, apply bug spray, and wear long sleeves and pants to maximize […]

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