Coming soon: Picaridin review.

Joined
Mar 16, 2017
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151
I heard good things about this stuff, supposedly better than DEET at warding off blackflies. Also it does not eat your fabric or consume your central nervous system. Anyway in one week I will strike out into the North Maine Woods with nothing but a bottle of Picaridin and my loincloth. OK that's a lie but I am going to test it out.
 
Joined
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central NYS - 10 miles from the Baseball Hall of F
I hope your experience is better than mine. I used it a couple of years ago in the Adirondacks while teaching a May/June outdoor ed course. After not getting much in the way of positive results, I went back to full strength DEET. I so wanted it to work for me but apparently my body chemistry just wouldn't cooperate. I look forward to hearing your experience.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

snapper
 
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Never switching back to DEET. I also use Permethrin on my clothes. Together, with Picaridin, it's an effective 1-2 combo.
 
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Back in the 90s I heard a report on NPR about DEET, saying that the concentration only affects the length of time of effectiveness, not the effectiveness per se (DEET was the most effective stuff around then, and appears to still be). I hate the 100% stuff, so I used the lighter 15-25% stuff and just apply it more often (worked great in Alaska for 7 years). Just doing a search, I found sort of an update to the piece https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsa...osquito-repellents-from-deet-to-gin-and-tonic. Interestingly, one researcher said the picaridin was highly effective against mosquitoes.

I'll second the effectiveness of Permethrin on clothes. Worked great in northern Canada (hands got DEET for the portages).
 
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Mar 16, 2017
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Well, the results were inconclusive. We had plenty of blackflies, not many mosquitos on the trip. What with all the other coping techniques, including a bug shirt, permethryn treated clothing, and a new one for me was the use of Horsefoot Fungus, which grows on dead birch trees, in a smudge, well I just wasn't that bothered by bugs. I did apply it liberally to my skin, whereas DEET only goes on the brim of my hat or a bandana. I probably used at least an ounce of it whereas I'm still working on my second bottle of DEET ever, and it's still 90% full. I probably got three bites all week.
 
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South Carolina
I remember using full strength DEET many years ago and after applying to my feet (like to paddle barefoot) and sitting in my MR Explorer, at the end of the day the factory applied paint on the floor was softened and wrinkled under my feet. Never used full strength again.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2017
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151
A more decisive test this past week. I set out on a portage from the windy beach into the still interior and found myself covered in mosquitos. It was like 90 degrees out so I resisted covering up. Took out the picaridin, the consistency of sunscreen lotion, and slathered it on my bare skin. Slight fruity aroma. Instantly no mosquitos. They were all over my boat but weren't coming anywhere near me. So I'm for it. But it seems that blackflies don't care, same as DEET.
 
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Mar 21, 2015
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It does seem to vary with body chemistry. Works well for me -and seems to keep the deer flies off, at least- but my dad tried it once and immediately went back to DEET. I've also found that what I've been eating recently makes a big difference. I'm on an "absolutely no bananas ever" diet during mosquito season, unless I want to be a 24/7 all-you-can-suck.

Another thing to keep in mind with picaridin is that it seems to be very effective at targeting ticks, which might skew your choices a bit.
 
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