Insect Repellent

黑金剛 photos from National Science Council of Taiwan

Summer is here and almost over, so when you were outdoor, what was the worst insect you encountered in Taiwan... Mosquitoes? Flies? Hornets?....No...No, our worst encounter was 小黑蚊 (xiao hei wen) aka 黑金剛 (hei jin gang) up in Nantou County. These insects will sting you but you will only notice after they done so, you might feel the itch for weeks or even months and later a scar. So far I have not encountered any in Southern part of Taiwan. Now back to the topic, what is the best insect repellent?

Lists of Insect Repellent
Smoke does get most insects out of the way, they can be mosquito coil or making a fire. One method is you smoke yourself over the fire however this method is only temporary. Burning certain kind of wood that produce smell or fruit skin is also effective.  

Inspect chemical comes in many forms, from spray to lotion application. Most of these chemical effectiveness is only 4hrs. We have tried many and there is only one brand we felt it is good, "OFF!" by SC Johnson. It has been a very effective insect repellent better than most other product and it could even repel Leeches. To be effective apply the chemical on your clothing and exposed body.

Be a Ninja but the mosquito has a better Samurai sword, their sting can penetrate through a pair of Jeans however not for the 黑金剛 (hei jin gang). 

There are few gadgets in the market that repel insects like mosquitoes, they come in form of smell or sound. However I did find sound gadget are less effective or totally ineffective. 

Smear yourself with mud, find a plant with a certain chemicals. OK.. we are not SAS but these are the methods they used. You can find type of Mosquito repellent plant Here. Another method I always do since I like the Sun, stay under the Sun, mosquitoes have problem sensing heat when you are out under the Sun. Also under windy condition, you will get them off your back. 

Fooling Mosquitoes Senses
Mosquitoes have 3 senses, heat, colour and smell. They are very sophisticated smeller, in our body we give off a certain smell and they are attracted to it. Some perfume also attracts them. When we breath, we give off CO2 and these attracts them. Sometimes after a night's drink, the next day, I noticed some Bees will come around me. Our breath does play a big part in attracting these insects.

Blue is not the colour you want to use when outdoor, they are colour blind but somehow they can see blue very well. 

Theses insects are heat seekers, that's why my partner always get the mos bites and not me because women generally gives off more body heat. So keep yourself cool most of the time.

Our Protection
The best protection for outdoor would be fully clothed and a bottle of "OFF!" If you are RV camping, throw in mosquito coils. For me I am use to insect bites, in away I am immune to it, been in  SE Asian forest for a while.   

There was one time we camp in Saijia somewhere in Pingtung. We noticed mosquitoes will come out in the morning between 5 to 8am, then it's the Flies turn, they will be out from 8am till 4pm after that the mosquitoes will take over from 4pm till 8pm. Guess the mosquitoes and the flies had corroborated with each other. 

Worst part to get bitten are our tiny toes or anywhere that is less fleshy. It will itch like hell so cover these area up. 

The circled areas were bite marks from the worst insect.....黑金剛 (hei jin gang). Family members were amazed how I endured these bite. Told them I am a sadist, I like to control mind over body :)