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Mosquitoes, Ticks and Bug Repellents

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This post contains affiliate links for products we value and believe you will find helpful.

Climate change increases disease-carrying mosquitoes' territories, spreading Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), Lyme, Zika, Malaria, and many more infections into non-standard colder areas.

 

Wisconsin happens to be the most buggy place we have experienced in all of our international travels and local travels. Remaining bug-free requires a serious approach to preventing bug bites. We created a Bug-Free Layer Strategy that allows us to enjoy Wisconsin's beautiful green spaces, rivers, and lakes without annoying itching or worrying about getting a mosquito-borne disease. Best of all, this layering strategy works anywhere in the world. (Diseases like West Nile, EEE, and flesh-eating bacteria are flourishing due to climate change. USA Today)

Clothes: We wear hats, loose-fitting long sleeves, long pants, and socks when practical. Mosquitoes prefer light colors, and ticks are easier to spot. However, you may be like Dave and overheat too quickly, making it intolerable for him to cover up on hot days - no matter how thin the materials.

 

Avoid using body products with scents (shampoos, perfumes, or body washes).

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Sawyer Permethrin Insect Repellent

for Clothing, Gear & Tents

US armies are treating all new uniforms with Permethrin. Permethrin actually kills ticks, mosquitoes, spiders, chiggers, mites, and more than 55 other kinds of insects. The formula bonds to the fabric fibers and lasts for 6 weeks or 6 washings. 

 

I soak one set of clothes for both Dave and me - one Tee Shirt, one pair of shorts, one pair of long pants, one pair of socks, one hat. Since the repellent lasts for 6 weeks or 6 washings, we wear the permethrin-sprayed clothes in deep woodsy, mosquito-infested areas only

Other Repellents available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mU9lJa

More details and instructions available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LbavSu

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Spray OFF! botanicals insect repellent

on exposed skin only:

More details and instructions available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/39MhTOc

 

Protect Exposed Skin

with Off! Botanicals

The active ingredient in OFF! botanicals is chemically synthesized from pine oil extract and repels mosquitoes, black flies, gnats, and no-see-ums. Dave and I love this product because it is odorless and non-greasy. Use on exposed skin only and not under clothes.

 

Be sure to wash off all repellents before bedtime.

Other Repellents available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mU9lJa

More details and instructions available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/39MhTOc

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12 HOUR

Picaridin Insect Repellent  

More details and instructions available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mQ8qJI

When Hiking in a woodsy area

was not Planned

When hiking in a woodsy area was not planned, we would not be wearing our Permethrin-treated clothes. In that case, before going into the woods, we spray the clothes, hats, shoes, and socks we have on with Sawyer's 12 Hour Picaridin spray. 

 

Picaridin, derived from Piperine in pepper plants, repels biting mosquitos, ticks, flies, gnats, chiggers, and sandflies. I keep one Sawyer's 12-Hour Picaridin spray repellent in the car and one in my backpack.

Be sure to wash off all repellents before bedtime.

Other Repellents available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mU9lJa

More details and instructions available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mQ8qJI

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Thermacell Radius Zone

Mosquito repeller

More details and instructions available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/37BcE1n

No Spray Mosquito Repellent; Rechargeable; Scent and DEET-Free

We purchased the Thermacell Radius for gardening, picnicking  outdoorsin the park, or in the campsite. It is a great alternative to slathering on bug spray when you're just sitting around outdoors.

  • Great for Travelers – lightweight and TSA-compliant for airline travel, Radius comes with built in Li-Ion rechargeable battery, one 12-hour refill repellent cartridge and a USB battery charger

Other Repellers available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/33KezPW

More details and instructions available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/37BcE1n

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Clam Outdoors Quick-Set Traveler

Screen Shelter - 20lbs

Other sizes and styles available

on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3lQKLHr

Quick Set 9870 Tent,

72 x 72 x 82 inches

 

The Clam Screen Shelter sets up fast and easy and ready to use right out of the box, with no assembly required.

The Permethrin spray works great on mosquito nets and tents to kill bugs on contact rather than having the critters wait for an opportunity to enter the tent or bite through the tent when sleeping.

More sizes and styles available

on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3oryqex

 Instructions available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3lQKLHr

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Telescopic Foldable Fan, Rechargeable Battery Powered and USB 

https://amzn.to/2L28lV1

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COGHLANS

Mosquito Bed Net

9640 32x78

https://amzn.to/2JDMgvK

For a bug-free van camping experience: In the summer, we can leave the cab windows open at night with mosquito netting draped around the door frames providing double mosquito protection. When the doors are closed, the net is secured. In the morning, it's easy to open the doors and slip the netting off the frames, fold it, and put it away. No-fuss.

 

A twin-size frame and camper mattress topped with a Sansbug Pop Up Mosquito tent and the Mosquito Bed Net around the van doors allows us to van-camp bug-free.


A battery-powered stand-up fan inside the van boosts airflow during sultry summer evenings.

Other fans available

on Amazon:

https://amzn.to/3gidBPW

Other netting available

on Amazon:

https://amzn.to/3mT3Yd2

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More styles & sizes available

on Amazon:

https://amzn.to/3lJFBgF

Instructions available

https://amzn.to/3mSSdU8

Other sizes and styles available

on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mSSdU8

For the squeamish among us, the Sansbug mosquito-free tent provides a peaceful sleep no matter where you are. It is easy to pop open and place on top of any bed. It's large zip-entry makes night bathroom treks convenient.

 

We took ours to a 30-day Mexico trip reserving all Airbnbs along the way. It turned out, all the Airbnbs were wonderfully bug free. We still set up the Mosquito Pop Up every night. There are 2-person and 3-person tents available. At home in Wisconsin, we use the pop-up exclusively for van camping during the Wisconsin's buggy season.

The Permethrin spray works great on mosquito nets and tents to kill bugs on contact rather than having the critters wait for an opportunity to enter the tent or bite through the tent when sleeping.

SANSBUG 1-Person Free-Standing

Pop Up Mosquito Net (Tarp Floor)