What's the best way to deal with Mosquitoes?

angulife Member Posts: 5
edited June 2022 in EXPERT ADVICE

Every year around the end of spring and start of summer, the mosquito swarms begun to pop up and wreck havoc on outdoor recreationists. Especially in the Pacific Northwest, it's become a tradition to count up mosquito bites at the end of a trip and see who ended up with the most. The record in my group was ~70 mosquito bites (most were through clothes)

Here are some of my tips, but I'm curious about what others do as well:

1) Wear loose clothing - I've witnessed the mosquito bites through tight fitted clothing (leggings are no-go because your butt becomes prime mosquito bite zone)

2) Put on bug repellent on yourself - (I personally use Picaridin instead of Deet just because of the interaction Deet can have on some materials)

3) Put on bug repellent on your clothing & gear - (I use Permethrin and let it air dry in a well ventilated area)


  • sashaswashut
    sashaswashut Member Posts: 41

    I'm from the PNW, too...so I definitely feel your pain!

    Love your suggestions, and agree! I use bug spray, and also spray my clothes. I pack a bug net and will use it on hikes that are REALLY bad. The net helps a ton.

    Other than that, I just know it's something I have to deal with :(

    Interested to see what other people suggest!


  • Jessicaholly88
    Jessicaholly88 Member Posts: 44

    Hey I'm from the UK and I often hike in Scotland and the midges are absolutely horrendous through the summer months!

    We have a spray called smidge and it's the only thing that works for me!


  • skyestoury
    skyestoury Member Posts: 36

    I love my Thermacel, it's a device that screws onto a fuel canister (same one you use for your backpacking stove), and it creates a 10 foot bubble of protection around the area. Great for sitting at camp, it really makes a huge difference. But for moving, I use Picaridin as well and also use the gear spray version too.

  • tradigan21
    tradigan21 Member Posts: 28

    I've heard that putting dryer sheets in your clothing helps, I've tried it and didn't really notice much. Plus, it's pretty awkward to walk around with dryer sheets tucked into your shorts and shirt collar.

    Permethrin is the most effective treatment I've found. Spraying it on your clothes and gear should help for about six weeks. Make sure cats don't come into contact with the wet spray. They'll die.

    A sun hoodie and silk leggings are the best clothing choices I've found. Unless it's super thick or I'm spending a lot of time standing still, I can be in shorts without getting too chewed up.

    Mosquitoes are attracted to CO2, so in theory, wearing a buff over your mouth and nose under a sun hoodie with the buff tucked into the neck should really help. This might not be the most comfortable way to hike though. At that point, I'd probably recommend a bug net over a ball cap to keep it off your face a bit.

  • katethewild
    katethewild Member, Moderator Posts: 23

    I recently went on a backpacking trip in the 60 Lake Basin in the Sierra and the mosquitoes were horrendous. We were the only backpackers in that area (didn’t see a single soul), so they must have been bloodthirsty. I treated my sun shirt with permethrin but they bit right though. Permethrin may have deterred a few, but the best method I’ve found without using bug spray is to wear wind/rain pants and a rain jacket -- they can’t bite through the material! Wind pants and a rain jacket are part of my kit anyway, so they have a double use.

  • bergstromra
    bergstromra Member Posts: 20

    I second the rain gear recommendation. I’m on the CDT and ran out of picardin on my last day into town but my rain gear saved my butt (literally).