Beat the Bugs


By: Bob Humphrey

Late spring and early summer is bug season. And whether you’re hunting turkeys in Alabama or black bears in Saskatchewan, you’re going to be plagued by myriad biting, stinging and sucking mosquitoes, gnats, black flies, ticks and chiggers. Fortunately there are several ways to beat the bugs.

One way is with specialized clothing. Several companies offer loose-fitting mesh suits and head nets that prevent biting insects from having their way. One – Rynoskin – is an ultra light-weight (9 ounces), skin-tight breathable fabric designed to be worn underneath the clothing. It’s breathable, wicks moisture away from your body and is virtually bug-proof, at least to ticks, chiggers and black flies.

The handy ThermaCELL unit goes with me, keeping the biting bugs OFF!

Another way is to treat your clothing, or purchase treated clothing. Several products, like Robinson Outdoors’ No stinkin’ Ticks are permethrin-based. Instead of spraying your body, you spray your clothing; let it dry and it will repel insects for a week or more, depending on use and conditions. BUZZ OFF is a line of apparel that comes from the factory already treated with insect repellent. It’s EPA tested and approved, and remains effective through 25 washings.

A great day in the field hunting and not one bite thanks to ThermaCELL.

Last but not least is the ThermaCell – one of the most revolutionary insect repelling devices on the market. It’s a hand-held device roughly the size of a GPS unit. Inside is a small propane cylinder and a burner element. Outside is an insect repellent pad. Light the burner with a switch and this warms the pad, which releases repellent into the air, creating a bug-free zone all around you. It can last up to 6 hours, and its odor will not alarm game like deer and bear.