Biting bastards


No I’m not sorry for this swear word because I totally have reason for it and when you have read this post you will understand why.

I tend to be eaten alive when it comes to any kind of blood suckers, gnats, mossies etc. The best way to describe it is that I’m everyone else’s insect repellent. For some reason they just love me. It’s like one smells me and then calls its extended family around for dinner. Yes, and long lost uncle Bob who lives on his own is invited too.

It is not really the biting that annoys me, yes I get bitten (though way more than others) and it doesn’t itch that bad. What the main annoyance is, is that they swell up like no tomorrow and then become very warm, really burning. And then there is the oozing of what ever it is, looks a bit like amber on a tree, but it is not nice to look at either.

Years ago I was on holiday in Sweden with me old folks, while my dad was setting up a picnic my mum was busy applying protection on me. She first sprayed something on me and then she used the wet towels, while she was moving up my arm with the wet towel the BB’s just jumped over her hand to land again. Needless to say that that picnic got cancelled double quick.

I have been bitten on my my face next to my eye and it looked like I had a massive shiner but without the colour. And I couldn’t see anything for the best part of that day. And when I get bitten on my hands they are out of action for up to 12 hours.

Monday just gone I got a bite on my ankle and I couldn’t bend my foot because of the swelling and it was oozing for the King and Queen.

If the Church of Parasite Warding has a holy water, that holy water is DEET. DEET was developed by the US Army during World War II to assist with jungle warfare and keep soldiers from being eaten alive by aggressive hordes of mosquitoes and other jungle lovelies.

Around 20 years ago I was InterRailing around Europe for a month with my best mate. After one night in Greece I woke up the words “what the *beep* is that” from my mate. And then we started to count and gave up counting at 96 bites on my back alone. Lucky for me the army of BB’s who had a staff meeting with free buffet didn’t have what ever it is that causes me to ooze from the bites after. We gave up counting bites on me but started on my mate and the grand total was four bites in a month, I think.

And so I could go on.

Most people swear by Jungle Formula but it does not even help on me, ok I have never tried the extra strength ones, 50% DEET, as I have just learned about it today. I have tried eating extra garlic which didn’t work, even tried the battery powered ultra sound things, still go bitten.

The only stuff I have found working is something that contains a high level of DEET. Yes there is some side effect with it like it can melt plastic and remove paint. But when it come to the choice of getting eaten alive or a bit of paint falling off, Long live DEET.

Over the years I have only tried two repellents that have worked, one from Australia and one from Sweden, but for the life of me I can’t remember what they are called and how much DEET there was in them. I must pay more attention when it comes to stuff that works since I get bitten so much. have a good article about how to make your garden BB proof, with a good clean up and plant some plants that have mosquito-repelling oil in their leaves, read more here. They also have a article about how to avoid getting bitten this summer and what to do when you got bitten by a biting barstard, read more here.

I need to find something that really work, since I would love to do more cycle touring, camping and that we are going to Australia and New Zealand in a few months time. Yes I have read about the sand files in NZ and I will be bringing chemicals to that war, Geneva Protocol or no Geneva Protocol.

I was in the local pharmacy the other day and was told that antihistamine would help on the swelling and the itching, why haven’t I heard about this before. The pharmacist also gave me (well I paid for it) some Herbal Insect Repellent from A.Vogel which contain stuff from the Neem tree. The pharmacist said that he have had good success with it, so let us see how it works on me the next time I’m out and about.


  1. A small tip: get a sweatband and spray well with Deet (100% if you can) and allow to dry. Then, as you wear it the sweat reactivates the deet. Don’t spray onto clothes as it tends to do nasty things to them, and I’m not sure I would use the technique on a headband, perhaps if I confined the spray to the sides. Jungle Formula from Cotswold and the like is at least 50% deet, Khatmandu used to do a 100%.

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