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BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur

Steve Shaw 12 Oct 18 - 08:58 PM
Sandra in Sydney 12 Oct 18 - 11:32 PM
Jack Campin 13 Oct 18 - 03:16 AM
Senoufou 13 Oct 18 - 03:43 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Oct 18 - 04:36 AM
Jack Campin 13 Oct 18 - 05:02 AM
Thompson 13 Oct 18 - 05:07 AM
Jack Campin 13 Oct 18 - 10:18 AM
Senoufou 13 Oct 18 - 01:18 PM
Jack Campin 13 Oct 18 - 02:39 PM
leeneia 16 Oct 18 - 10:30 AM
Steve Shaw 16 Oct 18 - 05:31 PM
Jack Campin 17 Oct 18 - 06:14 AM
Senoufou 17 Oct 18 - 10:21 AM
Will Fly 17 Oct 18 - 10:36 AM
FreddyHeadey 23 Oct 18 - 06:45 AM
Will Fly 23 Oct 18 - 07:01 AM
Senoufou 23 Oct 18 - 10:04 AM
Donuel 23 Oct 18 - 10:55 AM
Helen 23 Oct 18 - 02:51 PM
Steve Shaw 23 Oct 18 - 05:23 PM
Helen 24 Oct 18 - 04:24 PM
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Subject: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Oct 18 - 08:58 PM

I've had a terrible time with these this year. Through the summer I get eaten alive by horseflies/clegs and they make me bleed, but the itch lasts half an hour then I'm all right again, so I just let the little buggers do their worst. But mozzies...Thought the cold nights recently might have seen them off, but I went outside for three minutes tonight (it's very warm and humid) and I have two new bites on my arm and one on my ear. So that's me itching on fire for the next three days. A couple of weeks ago in Kefalonia I dared to venture outside one evening unprotected and within minutes I received five vicious bites, all below the knees, that plagued me for the next four days. Those southern European ones can bring you up in weals and blisters. I still have a scar on my leg from a bite I got in a volcanic crater in Italy in 2013. I find that smothering myself in 50% DEET is completely effective, but, as that stuff can dissolve plastic, I have to wonder what it's doing to me hide. When we go on holiday we always plug in those things that you put the blue anti-mozzie tablets in and they seem to do the trick as far as indoors goes. But what am I thereby breathing in?

Is it global warming or should I blame the Tories?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 12 Oct 18 - 11:32 PM

Maybe it's your genes Steve - my parent could walk along the beach & Mum would get bitten & the mozzies ignored Dad.

I'm not often walking around beaches or in mosquito territory, but have been with folks who got bitten at a BBQ, & I don't, so maybe I have more of Dad's genes than Mum's.

I hadn't heard of 50% DEET, so looked it up - N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, also called DEET (/di?t/) or diethyltoluamide, is the most common active ingredient in insect repellents. It is a slightly yellow oil intended to be applied to the skin or to clothing and provides protection against mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, chiggers, leeches and many biting insects.

Now, recent review of DEET's effects on human health has found the insect repellent is safe to use on the skin. The review is one of several that researchers have done over the past 20 years, all finding that DEET is generally safe. In fact, there's no direct evidence using DEET normally harms the nervous system. Jun 4, 2014

I hope the cooler weather i s kind to you, Steve.

I think I'll stick to avoiding outside activities in mosquito season!

sandra (not a typical beach-dwelling Australian)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Oct 18 - 03:16 AM

I bought an anaesthetic ointment in Turkey that worked much better on mosquito bites than anything I could buy in the UK. "Anestol", 5% lidocaine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Senoufou
Date: 13 Oct 18 - 03:43 AM

I sympathise Steve. I've been bitten half to death in Africa, and my lower legs have many purple scars to this day where the beasts did their worst.

It's true they like certain people and not others. My husband and his entire family don't seem to get inflamed, itchy spots when bitten. But they've had malaria countless times, so the insects obviously do puncture their skin and suck the blood. Whereas I get huge swollen lumps which drive me mad as I claw and scratch at them until they bleed.

I too found Deet to be quite a good repellent, and choosing clothes that cover most of me (long loose sleeves, long skirt/trousers) helped. But I never wore socks, so my feet were an excellent target.

Lidocaine shouldn't be used on open wounds or bites. It might be an idea to take an anti-histamine to reduce the histamine reaction (but that will make one drowsy).


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Oct 18 - 04:36 AM

You can buy little tubes of bites and stings cream that contain 1% hydrocortisone (£1.50 Asda). It works until you can fall asleep but it's steroid, innit? Anthisan works for a bit longer but it stinks. I've tried taking a one-a-day antihistamine but, despite what they say on the pack, they all make me drowsy. The idea that I can't go anyone for several months a year unless I'm doused in DEET is depressing. It dissolves the colour out of plastic shopping bags which then stain yours skin and clothes. There is no God.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Oct 18 - 05:02 AM

I never found DEET very effective and gave up on it a very long time ago after it dissolved the earpieces of my specs (warning: the free cologne they dispense to passengers on Turkish coaches does the same).

Can't see why you wouldn't use lidocaine on a mozzie bite. It's vasoconstrictive as well as anaesthetic, reduces the redness and swelling very fast.

One thing I've never tried is electric bite zappers (like a small taser, I think). Do they work?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Thompson
Date: 13 Oct 18 - 05:07 AM

Ammonia, dabbed on straight after the bite, usually stops it flaring up. You can get ammonia roll-on sticks called After Bite, or just use the household stuff.

Personally if I lived in mosquito or midge country, I'd just avoid going out when the clouds of the little horrors are around - when the air is still and especially at dusk. They love me, but a bite on me swells up into a pus-filled, miserable, itching mound that bursts and risks infection.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Oct 18 - 10:18 AM

My pet hate in New Zealand was sandflies. They don't fly so you only get bitten below the knees, but you always get LOTS of bites and they treat repellents as ketchup. They also sedate you - there have been occasional cases of people lying down on beaches and getting bitten into coma and death. The only other place I've met them was the northern Adriatic islands (specifically, at the Cres ferry terminal for Istria).


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Senoufou
Date: 13 Oct 18 - 01:18 PM

Gosh Jack, I just looked up 'sandflies' and they're pretty dangerous aren't they? They're vectors for all kinds of nasties.

I've been bitten by mozzies at high noon, while wandering around African markets. They do appear in greater numbers after dark, but they don't disappear completely during the day. They really love me.

Anti-malarials are essential, it's incredibly foolish to think you can get away with it.

I've been very glad of a 'moustiquaire' over the bed in the tropics. You have to make sure they're correctly arranged, and that one doesn't sleep touching the netting (the mozzies bite through it!) Also, in the morning one should wind it round and round then make a knot, so no mozzies can get inside ready for night time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Oct 18 - 02:39 PM

I don't think either NZ or Croatian sandflies transmit anything. South American ones carry leishmaniasis, which you really don't want to get.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: leeneia
Date: 16 Oct 18 - 10:30 AM

Okay, about DEET. Let's compare risk and reward. Assume it works, as most agree here.

Risk: damages plastic. (Doesn't harm skin.)

Reward: repels mosquitoes, which can convey malaria, West Nile virus or the Zika virus. Cause itching, if nothing else.

The reward of using it far outweighs the risk.

In case you think West Nile virus is tropical - there have been cases of it in Missouri this year, some very serious.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Oct 18 - 05:31 PM

Agreed. I'm just glad my skin isn't made of plastic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Oct 18 - 06:14 AM

How about: doesn't work, costs money and smells foul?

Also, possibly toxic to a very wide range of invertebrates, not just insects.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180926140832.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Senoufou
Date: 17 Oct 18 - 10:21 AM

Yes, deet does smell awful. And I'm not too worried about confusing the mozzies, as long as it keeps them away.
I seem to remember a TV documentary some years ago that said mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide exhaled by mammals. And prefer dark colours (skin or clothing) to white.
I suppose if I wore a long white nightie and tried not to breathe while in Africa, I'd be alright!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Oct 18 - 10:36 AM

Gosh, Steve - sorry to hear of your airborn troubles. Sounds vile. The worst I've ever been bitten was a few fly/gnat type bites on the Suffolk coast (Dunwich, to be precise), many years ago. That was mainly at night, but we got a plug-in repellent which helped a lot.

I've also heard that some people are more attractive to flying insects than others - and that lemon juice or lemon scented stuff is effective as a preventive - but that's perhaps just hearsay.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 06:45 AM

^^^^^^^
I wondered how long it would be before Will Fly landed here.
;)    ;)    ;)   

NZ sand flies !!!!! The bites seemed fairly innocuous on day one then overnight drove me crazy and lasted days!!

My dad was forever telling us "DON'T SCRATCH. IT MAKES IT WORSE!".
One day I got three very similar bites and marked round them with a biro.
One I scratched all over when the need arose.
One I scratched but not the centre.
One I studiously ignored.
Dad was right. I still find it nearly impossible to resist though.
I do find the amonia\afterbite pen is helpful in reducing the urge to scratch.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Will Fly
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 07:01 AM

Oh, I renounced biting people many years ago.

Well... some people...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Senoufou
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 10:04 AM

There are so many nasty biting critters in tropical places aren't there?
I remember when much younger I used to travel all over West Africa alone. I often stayed in a 'campement' (basic lodging) in southern Senegal. The lady had several goats which I took to immediately. They all had kids and were very friendly. In the afternoons I'd sit on the bare earth in the goats' enclosure and offer them bits of tomatoes and onions etc.

The very kind lady flew out one day waving her arms in the air and shouting in Wolof (a language I don't have in my repertoire!) She grabbed me and hauled me to my feet, pointing at the ground. I could only see a lot of termites in the vicinity, and tried to shrug, showing her I didn't mind ants.

She nearly burst a blood vessel and pointed again. It was then I noticed a rather large black scorpion meandering around where I'd been sitting. Its sting was arched over its back. They're pretty deadly, so maybe the lady saved my life!

It was she who rushed out and retrieved the flat dish of water I put out for the birds. Her son Léon who spoke French translated that all the snakes in Senegal would soon be zooming into the enclosure for a nice drink.

Every evening the goats were locked in a ramshackle shed under the 'chateau d'eau' (water tower) and in there lived the biggest, hairiest spiders ever to be seen on this Earth. I once ran out of there screaming blue murder when I saw one near the door while I was giving the goats a bedtime snack.

I reckon they thought this weird English woman was completely bonkers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Donuel
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 10:55 AM

We do have the means to make them extinct. How that would effect the food chain from frogs to birds to mammals, I do not know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Helen
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 02:51 PM

Three Aussie remedies.

1. Citronella is the lemon-smelling stuff, Will. You can get it in candle form, or oil burners. I used to be able to get the oil from the chemist/pharmacist without the flammable stuff in it and I used to dab a bit on my temples, wrists and legs.

2. Aerogard spray works a treat. Ingredients: Butane, Alcohol Denat., Diethyl Toluamide, Isopropyl Myristate, N-Octyl Bicycloheptene Dicarboximide, Fragrance (Amyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Isoeugenol, Citronellol, Coumarin, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool). Shake well before use. Hold can upright and lightly spray on exposed skin from a distance of 15-20cm.

3. Tea tree oil is "the bomb" for post bite itching. Use the dilute form or dab a bit on a wet piece of cotton wool. Tea tree oil is my go-to remedy for a lot of things.

Also, lately, if I have been bitten by something small and annoying, i.e. not venomous spiders, etc, I dab a bit of the hand sanitiser goop on to the bite. It contains ethyl alcohol and it seems to stop the sting. It also seems to stop teeny-tiny little mitey things from doing their stuff. I think it might kill 'em before they can get started with their teeny-tiny, evil little plans.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 05:23 PM

Aerogard contains DEET. if ever I was going into a bug-infested area, I would never rely on citronella. During our evening barbies in summer we use anti-mozzie citronella coils and tea-lights. They work a treat. But not on me skin...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mozzies/skeeters/mosquitos cri de coeur
From: Helen
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 04:24 PM

The truth is, I very rarely use Aerogard, but sometimes when you need it, you need it. We went for a lovely walk to a place next to a creek in a local national park one day. The mozzies formed a mozzie-posse and attacked us in droves as soon as we took our first step over the entrance. We dived back into the car and found some repellent and then we were fine for the walk.

Sometimes our back yard gets overpopulated with mozzies. Usually there is a bit of standing water in plant bases etc which we have forgotten to empty out. As soon as we double-check containers etc and get rid of the water the mozzies start to die off. (Our garden is a bit of a jungle. No excuses. Just not good gardeners.)

I think you can get pure citronella oil without nasties, but you'd have to do a skin-check for allergic reactions before slathering it on.

You could make your own citronella oil, too.


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