Monday, March 30, 2009

Mosquito repellent as part of your preps

As “Dengue” fever starts infecting people in Buenos Aires, insect repellent becomes something people are hurrying up to buy.

So far there are 72 cases in Quilmes and La Plata, bur there are thousands in the northern provinces so its wise to prepare a bit for it just in case and avoid mosquitoes as much as possible.
I already have a few months worth of repellent tablets and 3 cans of repellent (insect repellent is cheap guys, pick some extra next time you go to the supermarket)
Guys in Florida and Southeast USA, this is something you might want to look into.

This is the type of mosquito that spreads dengue. If there’s Dengue in your area, watch out for mosquitoes with white spots in the legs.

*keep the lawn mowed around the house.
*Don’t leave cans, old pots or tires that may collect water unattended, everywhere where water gathers, the mosquito reproduces itself.
*Eat lots of vitamin B and B1. It makes your sweat smell bad to mosquitoes and you get bit a lot less (humans don’t detect this).
They found out about this in Ecuador if I’m remembering correctly.

Read this article:
U.S. Plague Prep: Experts Recall West Nile in Fight Against Dengue Fever
While Arias admits a dengue outbreak could occur, particularly in the South, he quickly insists that “the way we live does not encourage dengue.” While Americans' reliance upon air conditioning already minimizes chances of coming in contact with dengue, Arias says, the preventative steps are much as the same as for West Nile: insect repellent, water disposal to prevent mosquito breeding and the like.

The article was written in January 18, 2008.
Keep in mind that "the way we live" may change a bit in the not so distant future, when things get a bit more "3rd worldly".


Anonymous said...

A couple of things to note:

1) Enviromentalists got DDT banned which had eliminated this issue (and Malaria) - as a result, millions of people have died. Not only that, but DDT is actually quite safe the "studies" were flawed. It would be nice if we would start making it again - some country should.

2) If there is standing water around put in some bleach - that will kill the mosquitos. Bleach is also good for purifying water (tastes bad - and it is very small amounts only!)

Anonymous said...

Good info, thanks for raising this issue on something I hadn't considered, ferFAL.

Re: Anonymous 7:58
I'm not sure that DDT has been banned in many countries, actually. In any event, there's an interesting article on the topic ("Rachel Carson: Mass Murderer?') at fair [dot] org.

McClarinJ said...

Big eye-opener for me. I hadn't realized Dengue fever was even in the Western Hemisphere. I was vaccinated against yellow fever and took a daily antibiotic against malaria while in Ecuador. (Also kept my distance from assassin bugs that spread Chagas disease.)

I've loaded up on small pump-spray containers of 100% DEET since I frequent the woods and fields, often at night with my UV lights to attract insects (my hobby). These small containers will fit easily in a pocket or pouch and one application gives 10 hours' protection. I usually just spray a little on each palm then rub it on my neck, face, backs of my hands, and any other exposed skin.

I also treat my field clothes with 0.5% permethrin to discourage ticks and mosquitos. Although I use it as Repel Permanone in aerosol cans, I also bought a 5-quart container of concentrate online, enough to make 95 gallons (360 liters) of 5% solution that will probably last me the rest of my life, either in Ecuador or here in the US after TSHTF. One clothing treatment supposedly gives two weeks of protection. I have never been bitten while using both 100% DEET on exposed skin and 0.5% permethrin on my clothes.

Runner said...

For the last 10 years, I have worked outside and overnight in central Florida. Best stuff I ever used was Avon's skin so soft bug lotion. Rarely if ever am I bit.

But it's a pain to smear on from head to foot, so I grabbed a bunch of Avon's SSS in spray cans. Haven't tried the spray yet. It's still chilly here at night.

I used Deet at 100% and lesser %. Seems like the lesser % amounts lasts longer then the 100%. In any case, Deet wears off in about 4-6 hours. And skeeters still buzz you during that time. With SSS, I don't notice skeeters at all.

I tested the SSS lotion (ie didn't shower that day :p) and while not as effective as the night before, there was still a bit of residual(sp?) protection. (Bit only once and buzzed alot)

I don't sweat at work so I'm not sure how sweating affects SSS or Deet.

Anonymous said...

Make some extra money by buying a bulk amount of citronella oil and mix it with wax to make mosquito-repellant candles, tiki-style lawn torches, etc.

If you've got the means and really wanna go nuts, see if there are cheap ways to buy mosquito netting and sell deck/patio "tents" -- so folks can lounge outside w/o having to worry about the bugs. There might be reduced or subsidized wholesale prices for netting in areas that are experiencing mosquito transmitted disease.

Anonymous said...


If permethrin is not for skin contact, how safe is it to continuously have around you? If its on your clothes, its going to end up on your hands and probably your mouth, right? Just curious. Although there's probably been studies that show that not putting it directly on the skin wont cause cancer or whatever side effects, prolonged exposure can't be hot. Can it build up in your system and be toxic?

My concern is w/ the EPA or FDA or whoever approved it. MSG or other junk food ingredients might be safe for consumption, but if you eat doritos & coke twice daily your health is gonna suffer, and daily MSG intake might help you find a shortcut to hypertension or a heart attack.

P.S. - What's the deal with bulk DEET? Is it a big $ saver, does it have a long shelf life or special storage requirements?

Anonymous said...

FerFAL I don't know if you allow off topic comments but just wanted to ask you if you knew anything about the currency swap that happened between China and Argentina.

Shambhala said...

Yeah. I got Dengue once when I was 16.

Man that sucked for a whole week. Dont know if the antibiotics or Dengue were worse.

Don Williams said...

Re Anon's question "If permethrin is not for skin contact, how safe is it to continuously have around you? "
My understanding is that the US Army treats its combat clothing with permethrin. Both they and the US EPA have concluded it is safe to use in clothing. See

The Army obviously is concerned about casualties from some of the dangerous insect borne diseases -- Dengue, typhus, malaria, etc.

Here in the Eastern United States, Lyme disease from ticks can become serious if not recognized and treated. Merck's Manual has descriptions of the many insect borne diseases around the world. Not all of the insects are solely found in the outdoors -- in poverty areas, fleas in bedding can be a danger.

Anonymous said...

Well stated FerFal - last summer, Hurricane Dolly dumped some serious rain down here in south Texas, and for the 1st time I was aware, aerial spraying (cropduster type) of planes were used, as the friggin' mosquitos were HUGE in number, going outside after dark was pure misery. I think repellant or even a bug jacket (mosquito netting material) would be a great idea - after SHTF, I think spraying would be thing of the past.


Unknown said...

Would you recommend any mosquito traps? I've been reading about those Mosquito Magnets. They have independent testing backing up how well they work.
I found a demo of how they work: