Ask the Gear Guy

Avoiding mosquito attacks

Q. I feel like a mosquito magnet. Seems like every time I go on outings with my troop, I’m the only one who gets bitten. What can I do? Help!

– Badly Bitten Ben, Smyrna, Ga.

A. Luckily there are some things you can do. First, wear long pants, a long-sleeve shirt and a hat. If the mosquitoes can’t find your skin, then it’s harder for them to bite you. There’s even clothing with a built-in mosquito repellent called permethrin. Try Ex Officio’s Buzz Off long-sleeve tee ($34; and Buzz Off Air Strip pants ($75). I tested this stuff in the Yukon during an expedition recently where the mosquitoes were big enough to carry off a house cat — and it works!

Wear light colors, too, as mosquitoes seem more attracted to dark colors, and lay off scented shampoos and soaps because some bugs love the smell.

As for insect repellents, look for products that contain either DEET or picaridin as the active ingredient.

Comments about “Avoiding mosquito attacks”

  1. Sly Fox says:

    Bright colors work well to minimize the skeeters but Listerine isn’t a good idea; it will attract other animals if you use it on an overnight. Permethrin does come in a spray bottle and can be applied on your existing clothes; a bottle large enough to spray 6 sets of clothes costs about $20.00 and will last for 6 washing’s or 30 days. I also like to catch May-flies and put them in my tent, another great Mosquito eliminator.

  2. Noob says:

    I’m a former DEET fan who has switched to Picaridin. It works just as well, doesn’t smell as bad (although not exactly the greatest smell), and doesn’t ruin leather, etc.

  3. Jupiter says:

    Mosquitoes keep biting me like I’m on the menu when I go to bed what should I do

  4. gamer1101 says:

    My way of repelling mosquitoes is the natural and delicious way, by eating LOTS OF ONIONS AND HOT SAUCE! They don’t like stinky or spicy blood.

  5. TROOP45 says:


  6. Old Guy says:

    Repel makes a Gear and Clothing repellent which uses permethrin. Before packing for my last camp out I sprayed all my clothing, my hat and even my folding chair. The only time I needed bug spray the entire weekend was when I zipped off the legs of my Switchbacks.

    This was also the first time I’ve used a picaridin based repellent. I like it a lot better than the smell of the Deet based sprays. It was also nice because it didn’t have that greasy feel.

  7. Mac says:

    A 50%-50% blend of water and original Listerine works well. use a small spray bottle and just use a light mist of the solution on exposed areas, i’ve used it and it works well, and in-expensive.

  8. Video Games Ruleeee! says:

    I do get bitten by mosquitoes alot so this will help me! Thanks Gear guy!

  9. steffiegirl says:

    A friend told me to mix 3/4 listerine (original) and 1/4 water in a spray bottle. I live in Alabama on a creek and the mosquitoes will tote you away. Try it, I did and it worked for me!

  10. john says:

    umm what if your somewhere and it is realy hot out

    i never wear long pants or long shirts even in witnter

    i spray on bug spray and it never works what should i do?

  11. Stan says:

    Nice 2 know

  12. AJM says:

    Thanks, Gear Guy! I might try the slacks you mentioned in your answer.

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