Recently, my family and I went camping at beautiful Maumee Bay State Park near Toledo, Ohio. It was one of those beautifully hot and incredibly humid Ohio summer weekends. I was able to cool off in the lake and ride along the well maintained bike trails near the lake so the humidity didn’t bother me much. What did bother me were the gazillion mosquitoes that resided in the park. It hasn’t been since my high school days, hiking in Algonquin Park (Ontario) that I have been assaulted and bitten so many times by these winged assassins. I typically don’t like wearing repellents, but if I was to be hanging around the campsite enjoying the lake, bike trails and nightly fires, I had to be covered head to foot in a strong mosquito repellent product.
In my job, I am always testing novel products for everything gardening and it just so happened I had about 7 different natural and mechanical pest controls packed away in the trailer. We also bought citronella candles, placing them near our feet whenever we sat down. My son, who is an avid fisherman, had a big can of a well known 25% DEET product. This would be what I would test against. So the testing began….
Now this was testing that DID NOT follow the scientific method, but I figured it was the kind of testing a customer would do. I put on the first repellant, sat in a chair in the middle of the campsite and waited. But not for long! Ten bites in 1 minute (or so)! I clipped a personal sonic mosquito repellant to the chair. Ten more bites in 1 minute (or so)! I changed repellants. Ten more bites in 1 minute (or so)! You can guess how this went on. I went through all the rest of my test material and ended up putting on the DEET to get them to stop. I was very disappointed because I would much rather use a natural product over DEET to solve the mosquito problem.
Luckily, I found our Gardens Alive! standard; Sting Free! I waited a while before adding the Sting Free! I wanted an hour or so of peace before trying something else. The DEET lasted for about and hour and a half before I started getting bitten again. I sprayed on the Sting Free repellent, which is a Soy Oil repellent and happily I was not bitten for just over an hour.
Full disclosure, I was hoping very hard that Sting Free would work. But there is no fooling the mosquitoes; it was very easy to see what worked and what didn’t. Under extraordinary mosquito pressure, Sting Free did work and lasted over an hour. The DEET product lasted about a half hour longer under this pressure. I believe that under normal conditions, you would only have to apply either product a couple of times in a day/evening. I was okay with sacrificing the ½ hour difference with the knowledge that I was covering myself up with an all natural ingredient.
I paid heavily for this testing; I HATE mosquito bites, but anything to make sure that the products we sell work!
Happy Gardening and Camping!