Sunday, May 13, 2012

BUGS! - Insect Repellents- What Works?

Here's an article about a subject that no one in tourism really wants to talk about - BUGS  or mosquitoes and black flies
Some people don't venture outside of the city for fear of getting bitten by black flies or mosquitoes.    >>> They are missing out on a lot of fun!
We tried using a yard mosquito trap that uses carbon dioxide, but found that it wasn't very effective.  It was more psychological than anything.  Instead, there are bug nets on many of the cottage decks for people to sit out under or enjoy the hot tub, at night.
Although there are many opinions, we don't think that chemical fogging to kill all the insects is the correct solution. Birds and fish would lose a food source. Plants would lose a pollinator. Both could become sick and die too.
In the last year or so, there have been remarkable improvements in repellants that are easy on your body and easy on the environment.
Three new products that come to mind are the Insect Defend Patch and the Off! Clip on (repellant you don't spray on)
Gord has used the Insect Defend patch which is vitamin B1 distributed through your skin. (no DEET)  We give them away to our Beauview guests.  Some have had great results where they have received no bites.  Others don't like the musky smell.  You can wear it when swimming or bathing. It doesn't come off easily.
The Off! Clip on is something we will try this year. We like it because you don't have to spray anything on your body or clothing. It goes wherever you go.  And it can be turned on and off unlike the patch where once its on - its on - for 24 hours! 
Consumer Reports (U.S.) doesn't think too much of the Off! Clip on product after testing it.
Read their report on the most effective insect repellents
Another product, we are going to try is the Bug BAM wristband, which gives 100 hours of protection. (when you aren't using it, it goes in a bag. So it lasts a lot longer as opposed to the patch which works round the clock whether you need it or not)
All Bug Bam products use a 100% natural, food-grade formula and materials.
All repelling products are non-toxic, waterproof, sweat-proof and tested to repel for up to 100 hours.
All repelling products are non-irritant and safe to use on children of all ages.

We have a family that comes each year and uses this type of product for both adults and children.

From U.S. Consumer Reports: Six repellents protected against deer ticks and two common types of mosquitoes for 7 hours or more. Four of those contain deet in varying levels. The Environmental Protection Agency judges deet safe when used as directed, but it has caused rare toxic reactions when misused. It shouldn't be applied to infants less than 2 months old. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against using repellents with deet concentrations higher than 30 percent on any children. We think that no one needs a repellent with more than 30 percent deet.
The active ingredient in Repel is oil of lemon eucalyptus. (It's not recommended for children under 3.) Almost as effective was Natrapel, which protects with picaridin, a chemical newer than deet.
Insect Repellent for Children:
There are several ways to avoid insect bites:
  • Wear light-coloured, long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors.
  • Avoid places where mosquitoes breed and live, like standing water.
  • Stay inside when mosquitoes are most active: dawn, dusk, evening.
  • Use insect repellents.

What works best for you?

Beauview Cottage Resort, Huntsville, Ontario, Canada 800-363-6047

1 comment:

Algonquin Outfitters said...

I prefer my bug shirt/jacket. Keeps them off of me with no chemicals and it even filters the blackflies out of my coffee too!