[CT Birds] Mosquitos

Michael Richardson michael_s_richardson at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 17 13:55:23 EDT 2012


As a nature photographer, I spend a lot of time in the deep woods, trying to keep the bugs off.  Standing still for even a moment to compose a shot can be too long and cause many painful and itchy mosquito bites.  This time of year can be especially bad.  In my opinion, hosing yourself down with bug spray, including the stuff with 40% DEET, does very little to keep the mosquitos off.  The solution that I have found that works is a combination of tactics.

First off, don't wear any perfumes or deodorants before you go out.  They can attract bugs.Wear leather boots and socks that go up the calf, preferably wool.Blue jeans are usually fine for me, I don't get bitten on the legs much anyway.  You can tuck them into your socks if it's really bad, or as extra protection from ticks.
Wear a very thin, synthetic, lightweight long sleep shirt, such as: http://bit.ly/Mrz2d6Douse yourself with 40% DEET bug spray at this time.  Cover the whole body, legs, arms, ears, back of neck, etc...The put on a Bug Tamer jacket with face shield.  These are lightweight, breathable mesh jackets that keep the bugs out:  http://bit.ly/NCaDogFinally, get very thin pair of gloves: http://bit.ly/MhrgUX
The end result is that you might look like a hunter (or a terrorist as one lady called me) but you will be nearly impervious to even the harshest mosquito environments.  The outfit is very light weigh, very breathable and not overly hot, even in 90 degree weather.  It will also protect you from ticks and other insects.  Since most of the outfit is camouflaged, it will protect you from green-heads and deer flies as well.  Not to mention the added benefit of being stealthy in the woods that can give you a better chance to see and photograph your targets. Not the cheapest option by far, but worth it if you spend a lot of time outdoors in the summer months.
My only other suggestion is to keep a change of clothes in the car, so you can change into something more comfortable and less frightening after your hike.

-Mike


> From: david.f.provencher at dom.com
> To: gswilliams9 at yahoo.com; ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
> Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2012 13:18:05 -0400
> Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Barn Island - BB Cuckoo
> 
> Glenn I know what you mean about the bugs! The species of mosquito flying at Barn Island is a sizable and hardy one to be sure. Repellant, specifically DEET, works by confusing the senses of mosquitoes. As you know mosquitoes (well the females) sense us by detecting the CO2 we emit. Supposedly when they get close to a person wearing DEET, they are unable to sense where to land and bite. So they swarm around the CO2 cloud and keep trying to sense a feeding site. If you miss any part of your body with the repellant (and it could be an area as small as penny), they WILL find it and nail you. Green-heads and Deer Flies find their prey (again it is the females that bite, though "slash" is a better description) mostly by sight, with CO2 detection playing a much smaller role. These odious little buggers are not deterred in any appreciable way by DEET in my experience. Since they use color contrast and movement to find targets, wearing clothes that approximate the color of the environment you're in, and moving slowly, can lower the amount of Deer Flies/Green Heads that find you. Also running as fast as you can helps when you have been driven absolutely insane by these winged curses, a tactic I have used (read as been driven to) on occasion. It admittedly only works for a few precious moments, and has somewhat of a deleterious effect on birding!
> 
> Dave  
> 
> David Provencher
> 
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