There’s nothing more annoying on a hunting trip than getting the perfect opportunity to make the perfect shot and just as your finger begins to squeeze the trigger, you get a sharp prick in the back of your neck.
Your shot missed and your prey runs off.
You slap the source of pain and find a tiny smudge of blood on your hand. Your blood.
No, you haven’t been shot by another hunter. Well, not a human hunter.
You have been bitten by a Mosquito.
While you were stalking your prey, you have been stalked yourself by a carnivorous blood-sucking insect that has been on this earth for millions of years, outlasting the dinosaurs, and that will almost certainly outlive humans as well.
One Mosquito might be a tiny pain in the neck, but several Mosquitos, or a swarm of them, can turn your hunting trip into an annoying, itchy mess.
1.Disgust them with DEET
DEET, or diethyltoluamide, was developed by the U.S. Army in 1946 to protect soldiers located in insect-infested parts of the world.
Most insect-repellent products include DEET. Experts are still unsure exactly how DEET works. It doesn’t kill Mosquitos, instead, it is believed that DEET interferes with their ability to detect the lactic acid in our sweat, and the carbon dioxide we breathe out.
DEET is a chemical and can cause harm if not used properly. So, make sure you follow the instructions on the packaging of your insect-repellent. The main thing to avoid is applying the repellent on open cuts and scratches, or under clothing.
2. Stop sweating
With humans, the more you sweat the more repulsive you generally become to other humans. But with Mosquitos, it’s the opposite.
Mosquitoes are attracted to the scent of lactic acid which is secreted from your glands when you break into a sweat. One whiff of body odour and they’ll be all over you.
If you’re in the outdoors hunting, sweating can be hard to avoid.
You could try stopping to cool down regularly, finding a single spot to shoot from, regularly drinking water to keep yourself cool, or not exerting too much energy by covering difficult terrain.
3. Stink them out
If you have a fear of vampires, this strategy “kills two birds with one stone”.
Myths tell us that garlic will keep vampires away. The same is said to be effective against Mosquitos, perhaps because both are bloodsuckers?
By eating garlic (preferably not on its own), the odour of your breath masks the smell of the carbon dioxide you exhale. The sulphur compounds from the garlic are emitted through your skin to provide added protection.
There are no studies that give definitive proof that this works, and as a side-effect, you might end up repelling more than just insects. And it’s never wise to hunt alone!
4. Go hunting on windy days only
Because of their tiny wings, Mosquitos struggle to fly in winds above 5mph.
If you keep an eye on the weather, avoid those hot windless days, and instead hunt when there is a bit of a breeze about.
Another idea is to have a small battery-operated hand-held fan with you. This can be used to create your wind. Though it will be difficult to wave around the hand-held fan in one hand while keeping the other hand deadly still to line up your shot!
5. Cover Up
If none of your skin is exposed, then the Mosquitos will be unable to find any blood-filled flesh to feed on.
It’s unlikely you will be hunting in shorts and a t-shirt. With long trousers and long-sleeved tops, the main areas exposed are likely to be just your face, neck, and hands.
Consider purchasing a head net. This can go over your hat, covering your entire head. The mesh is so fine that midges have no way of penetrating it.
There are a range of hunting gloves available that you could purchase to keep your hands covered.
6. Wear Mosi-off bands
These adjustable bands are treated with dry micro-encapsulated DEET. You can wear them around your wrists and ankles, and they slowly release a repellent vapour seven hours a day, for up to 14 days.
They are ideal for a long day out hunting as you are not having to constantly stop to spray insect repellent.
Now that you have a guide to scare away Mosquitos, here is one last tip for that next hunting trip.
Don’t eat bananas.
Just like the smell of bananas that have been over-ripened in a hot room, when you eat bananas, the scent comes out through your body and is a sure-fire way of attracting Mosquitoes.
That is something you are wanting to avoid.