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Road test: Which mosquito repellent is the best?


Mozzies. They’re the bane of many a tenting journey. 

Holidays spent swatting, itching and cursing pesky flying, biting bugs are sufficient to make you wish to keep at residence. There are many mosquito repellents on the market – people who spray, squirt, defend or zap; chemical based mostly or pure. Here, we put 5 totally different merchandise to the check in the mozzie mecca of Kakadu.



Mozzigear Mosquito Patches

RRP $8.00

The non-toxic component is interesting, particularly when you have got little ones.

There are many variations of those stick-on-style patches on the market. The Mozzigear patches, from Kmart, are infused with pure citronella oil and are low cost, simple to make use of, non-toxic, and DEET (Diethyltoumide) free. There are ten 3.5cm-diameter patches in a field and every lasts as much as 12 hours. That’s sufficient to have your lengthy weekend lined. We tried these on our first night time in Kakadu at a caravan park in Jabiru. They’re mess-free and nice for teenagers, as you stick them in your garments, not your pores and skin. BUT, they didn’t work. I known as it quits after half an hour and retreated inside the caravan. My mozzie chunk depend was about six. Fail.

Thermacell MR300 Portable Mosquito Repeller

RRP: $49.95

The Thermacell ... does it live up to the hype?

The Thermacell … does it dwell as much as the hype?

This butane gas-powered gadget is about the measurement of a first-generation cell phone circa 1990. It homes a heat-activated mat containing the pesticide allethrin, which is emitted by a plastic grate. Turn it on and the system creates an odourless 21-square-metre bug-free bubble or “zone of protection”, as Thermacell phrases it. We first used this system whereas free tenting by a very stagnant creek in the Pilbara and it was a winner, visibly decreasing the variety of mozzies buzzing about. Kakadu was tougher. We turned the Thermacell on throughout our second night time at Jabiru and, whereas it made some dint in the night swarms, the system alone was not sufficient to forestall all bites. It is much less efficient in wind, and the fuel cartridges and mats are costly to interchange – $39.95 for a pack of 12 mats and 4 cartridges (lasting 4 hours and 10 hours every, respectively). Thermacell is poisonous to fish and invertebrates, resembling honeybees.

Bushman Plus

RRP: $10

Bushman Plus ... the lurid green certainly jumps out at you.

Bushman Plus … the lurid inexperienced actually jumps out at you.

The kryptonite of mozzie repellents, Bushman – with its 80 per cent bities-be-gone DEET components, has lengthy been a trusted model for hardcore bug-infested expeditions. I’ve used it in lots of tropical places over the years (I’ve a corroded shutter button on my digicam to show it) and it really works. I used Bushman at Cooinda, the place the mozzies had been the friendliest we’ve encountered in three months’ travelling Australia, and it labored a deal with. It didn’t hold the bugs away nevertheless it did cease them biting, offering it was utilized to each inch of uncovered pores and skin (repels for as much as 12 hours). However, it stinks, is greasy and I’m not a fan of slathering a chemical-based gel throughout my physique’s largest organ. While scientific research have proven DEET to be moderately protected, I’m alarmed by the warning on the label which reads: “May be dangerous, particularly to children, if you use large amounts on the skin…”

Gecko Rechargeable Insect Killer & Lantern

RRP: $65

The Gecko ... also good for a neon party vibe when are camping.

The Gecko … additionally good for a neon get together vibe when are tenting.

The Gecko offers 5 metres of touch-me-and-you’re-dead protection for as much as 20 hours. The science is easy: mosquitos and different flying bugs are drawn to the blue ultraviolet lamp. They buzz over after which – ZAP! They are immediately fried in a high-voltage grid. The bugs drop right into a tray catcher and cussed ones may be dusted off with the small brush supplied. I really like that this system is chemical free, solar-powered and rechargeable (the inbuilt lithium battery prices with a USB). However, the Gecko is no match for mozzies throughout the day or when there’s a competing gentle supply. We used this at Cooinda (earlier than reaching for the Bushman) however the circumstances had been by no means optimum, and the mozzies had been fierce. We did nevertheless deliver it inside the caravan in a single day (indoor use is not really helpful) and it was a mozzie mortuary by morning.

Nature’s Botanical 

RRP: $20.75

Behold, the fairy juice.

Behold, the fairy juice.

My husband calls these things fairy juice as a result of the energetic substances are rosemary oil and cedarwood oil. It sounds hippy, nevertheless it’s preferable to nasty chemical compounds – and it really works. The repellent is available in a cream or pump-spray lotion and is utilized liberally to the pores and skin. Horse riders use Nature’s Botanical to maintain flies off their mounts, and if it’s adequate for them, it’s adequate for me. Yes, it’s smelly (one buyer likened it in addition polish) however the odour is much less offensive than chemical-based merchandise and it’s non-greasy. I used this repellent at Maguk and Cahill’s Crossing and it saved most bities at bay. The draw back is it’s somewhat messy to spray and must be utilized extra often than different repellents (as much as 4 hours’ safety), particularly when perspiring.

The Verdict

The Thermacell is our new go-to when there are biting bugs about. It’s super-portable, simple to make use of and mess-free. When I’m on the transfer, or the mosquitos are rabid, I give them a double hit with the Thermacell and Nature’s Botanical. However, I at all times carry a stash of Bushman too, for when the squadrons of bugs won’t yield. DEET is fingers down higher than Ross River Fever.

See additionally:

–Sorry Australia, however we have to shut our borders to everybody

–How to attain low cost five-star lodging 

–Travel bills you possibly can and may’t declare on tax

–Five issues everybody ought to do in Cairns


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