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Mosquito Repellents for Hunters: Old vs New

Both the summer and hunting season months add up to one thing: the need for mosquito repellents that work.

Few species are as universally hated as mosquitoes. They can find a way to terrorize every bit of visible skin you have and fly circles around your ears as you try to line up a shot. So what can hunters use to stop these pests from ruining a perfectly good hunting trip?

You can't cover yourself in bug spray without creating a scent. You can't wear a bulky head net without sacrificing silence in the brush. If these thoughts have you worried aboutbecomingthe hunted during mosquito season, don't let it. We've got some new and old techniques that are sure to keep you focused on your hunt.

Old: Mud

That's right, regular old mud. Native Americans often used it to reduce their interaction with mosquitoes. It seems the biting pests get discouraged when they have trouble getting to your skin. Aside from needing a shower after slathering yourself in the stuff, mud can be great for hunting. As long as you're not rubbing a concoction from a different region onto yourself, you'll get a great scent mask that the animals will be used to.

New: Thermacell

Few products on the market are noiseless, odorless and movement free. This is what makes Thermacell a great addition to your hunt. Clip the item to your kit, your stand or your blind and enjoy a 15' by 15' mosquito-free bubble for your hunting pleasure.


Old: Sulfur

One of the oldest methods for repelling bugs of all sorts is sulfur. This natural element has the ability to remove everything from spiders to chiggers, and mosquitoes fall somewhere in between. Fill a sock with powdered sulfur and beat it against your clothing. The only issue is the scent of rotten eggs that will follow you. Stay downwind from your prey and use it in light doses. It's rumored that soldiers would bite the heads off matchsticks to ingest sulfur, giving them a short immunity from mosquitoes; but keep in mind, this method has never been proven to work in a lab.

New: Permethrin

Why repel bugs when your clothing can passively kill them? Permethrin is an insecticide designed to treat your clothes without leaving an odor. The chemical can survive multiple wash cycles, too. As a bonus, it can't penetrate your skin. So if you forgot to spray your clothes before leaving, you can apply it in the field.

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Old: Garlic

Nothing can beat the old garlic clove to repel mosquitoes trick. For an unknown reason, potentially because of the allicin that garlic releases, mosquitoes can't stand the smell. You can purchase sprays or consume the plant directly, either way, the smell will be sure to drive bugs and vampires away. The only downside is the scent it gives off. Plan accordingly when on the hunt.


When American boots hit the jungles during World War II, they found a problem. Mosquitoes.

Their solution? DEET.

Although it's not as new as some of the others on the list, DEET became a commonly known product because of its usefulness. Select a bug repellent with a lower concentration of the chemical to save your skin from irritation, but be mindful that some prey will grow weary around the scent.

Choosing the technique that works best can be filled with trial and error. As many hunters have found out, what works in one area may not in others. The old methods do work and have withstood the test of time, but newer forms of bug repellent are taking center stage.


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Mosquito Repellents for Hunters: Old vs New