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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. See full disclosure here.

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 requires a serious approach to prevent bug-bites. We created a Bug-Free-Layer-Strategy.The Layer strategy allows us to enjoy Wisconsin's beautiful green spaces, rivers, and lakes during spring and summer without itching or worrying about diseases. The Layer 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 coverup on hot days - no matter how thin the materials.

 

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

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Sawyer Permethrin Insect Repellent

for Clothing, Gear & Tents

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

Treat Shoes, Clothing, Tents and Gear

with Permethrin Repellent

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

It is hot on the top deck of the houseboat during the day-long trips.

 

We used the larger Clam Outdoors Quick-Set EscapeXL Screen Shelter for van camping and boat camping. It is perfect for shade and breeze during day trips and offers a bug-free night of fire-fly gazing. 

 

The Clam Screen Shelter sets up fast and easy in 45 seconds 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

Bug Free Van Camping:  In the summer, the cab windows are opened at night, and the netting is draped around the door frames. When the doors are closed, it tightly locks the netting in place. In the morning, it's easy to slip the netting off the frames, fold-up, and put away. No fuss.

A twin-size frame and camper mattress topped with a Sansbug Pop Up Mosquito tent let us sleep soundly and 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)