alternative to 100% deet
I've read about how bad the bugs might be and wondered if anyone had suggestions for anything that works other than 100% DEET? We will be at CN from Sept. 10-17. I really hate the idea of 100% DEET, but also don't want my vacation ruined because of bug bites. We have never been to Jamaica and are totally psyched! Anyone?
We used Deep Woods Off with 25% Deet and had no issues with bugs..
I posted this a while back.
Tee tree is not just great for relieving itch (and it's naturally anti-bacterial) but it also helps to PREVENT insect bites.
I am a veritable insect magnet, and I use a self-made concoction of teatree, eucalpytus, citronella, lavendar and geranium oils. I mix it in a base of sweet almond oil and put it in an atomizer. It works wonders. And the smell, while definitely herbal isn't too bad.
You might want to bring a backup of deet as well just in case it doesn't work for you, but i'm not a big fan of chemicals and don't want to have to shower off the poison after dinner and before, ummm, bed.
As a side note: I am also an adventure racer and this stuff works as well in the deep woods as it does in Ocho Rios and Negril. (And yes, before I sprayed some on, the bugs in Ochi DID find me... especially sitting outside the lobby on the balcony before dinner.)
Here is the link to the entire post where we discussed different alternatives:
I admit freely that this does not work the same for everyone... but...
My wife and I refuse to rub poison (deet) all over our skin while in Jamaica. About 15 years ago we started using Avon Skin-So-Soft and have been very happy with how it protects us from mosquito bites. We have used it consistently for many years now. We don't use it during the day because we have never been bothered by any bugs during the day. When we go back to the room to get ready for dinner we shower and apply it to skin that will be exposed when we dress for dinner. (Be careful, it can make the shower floor slippery!).
We have recomended this to others and some of them swear by it and still use it today. Others say it simply did not work for them. We know couples where it works perfectly for one of them and not at all for the other. The fact remains, we have had great success with it and feel it is worth a try for anyone who wants to avoid bites, but does not want deet all over them.
One other recommendation- If you walk (esp. barefoot) on the beach after the sun goes down you willoften get some 'sand flea' bites no matter what you use. When the sun is out and the sand is hot the sand fleas stay deep and are not a problem, but once the sand begins to cool they can be out in force. In other words there is a price to be paid if you decide to walk the beach after sundown... it is romantic but there is sometimes a trade-off.
Best of luck!
Just thought I would pop on and spread a word of caution about 100% Deet.... I had never used it before and was reading the MB last year before we went, people were talking about Deet, So I went and bought some and took it with because every year I get eaten alive.... Well not knowing any better, I sprayed it on my legs in the room.... OH BOY! WHAT A MESS! It started eating the wax off the floor and it was a HUGE sticky mess... It was all my fault! I laid a wet towel down, and had to call for somebody to come clean up this mess I had created... They ended up bringing this huge floor polisher in, and got us all fixed up, but I felt awful! :o
So learning from my mistake... Put it on outside on the concrete, and give yourself time to air dry... It even started to eat the plastic off my sandles!!!! :(
For anyone who uses the Skin So Soft -- do you just use the original skin so soft lotion? I went to the Avon website and they are now manufacturing skin so soft repellents. Wasn't sure if that's what people are using now or (as I thought I had heard in the past) if the original lotion still works. Would prefer the least chemical smell and feel as possible.
The Skin-So-Soft we use sprays on and I think it is Original Bath Oil spray. The scent is not medicinal, but as a guy I can say that it is not exactly a 'manly' scent. :)
Works for us, but not for everyone!
BTW- I think the Skin-So-Soft bug guard has the same ingredient in it that helps to make regular skin so soft effective as a repellent. When Aan realizes how many of us used it for bug spray they created that product.
This may sound crazy, but my neighbor suggested using a dryer sheet. She gave my husband and I one to try. I was thinking okay whatever,but it worked!!! Now you should use alot of pressure while wiping the sheet on your skin. Maybe even use two sheets. Just give it a try. They smell alot better then bug spray
We use the original Skin-So-Soft product, but buy it when it is available as my rep told me it is not available all year round.
Thanks so much
I wanted to thank everyone who replied to my question about bug spray. I think I'll bring a few options in case one doesn't seem to work. 16 days and counting down!
maybe this helps someone--today, while visiting my local natural foods/organic market, i noticed at least 4 different deet-free bug repellants. i can't speak for their effectiveness, but did read the ingridient list for one and it contained essential oils, such as castor.
i'll bet Whole Foods or a similar store would have something, or even a GNC or a Vitamin Shoppe!