Protective clothing to prevent bug bite, poison ivy, etc.

garedneckJune 4, 2010

If it was a perfect world i could do my gardening in bare feet, shorts and a T shirt, but the pests would eat me alive! In the last 30 days the pest have become very active, and I have to wear as much covering as possible ... long sleeve shirt/pants, boots and long socks overlapping, etc. I even use 8 mil nitrile gloves so not only will my hands not get bitten, but I don't have to wash my hands of dirt after gardening.

I would prefer not to use chemicals like Off on my skin, spraying malathion each week, inscent burning pots, etc. I do keep over growth and weeds to a minimum with no ponds or standing water.

What is your approach to keeping the bugs off your skin? Any special clothing or netting?

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opal52(z7b GA)

I wear long pants and long sleeve shirts made of light cotton with a tight weave and always wear socks/shoes. I spray the repellent on the clothing (cuffs on pants and shirt, cuffs and collar of shirt, shoe tops and socks) instead of directly on my skin. I also spray repellent on the inside brim of my hat. This works for me most of the time, but not 100%.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 9:44AM
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wohlibuli(7)

Just like opal52 I have to wear long pants and long sleeve shirt with crocs which I have sprayed with repellent. I hate the smells of the repellents so I try not to use them if I can avoid it. I will have to try the hat brim trick, sounds like a good idea.
I have noticed that we have had a much smaller population of mosquitoes this year after getting new gutters with covers last fall.
People say that you can control them but I have found that it takes a lot of spraying and I don't want to harm any of the birds etc. not to mention my own dogs.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 2:16PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

I tried the clip on mosquito repellent last year and it worked quite well (ironically, there is an ad for it on the side of the screen. Well, maybe that's targetted). But usually I spray at least my legs/ankles that get bit the most.

I'm a mosquito magnet, so if we sit outside we do the candle thing. I have to wear sunscreen, and I wish they would make a sunscreen/bug repellent combination. I have heard there are natural garlic sprays that control mosquitoes but don't harm other wildlife.

And how do you guys do long sleeves in this heat! I wear a hat which helps, but if I could be out there in a bathing suit, I would.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 2:21PM
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esh_ga

I just swat.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 2:50PM
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woody_ga(7a GA)

Me too. I sweat and swat!

But there is a part of my yard that is off limits unless my wife is home. I get stung there too often, and she wants to be there when I come in screaming!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 4:36PM
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nwgatreasures(7)

For the past two weeks, I've used the clip on fan that Off is putting out and I personally think it's working wonderfully.

I like it that I don't have to spray anything on my skin.

Dora

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 9:48PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I used to wear long sleeves and pants and only spray my ankles and neck. But I would sweat so much I always had to take a shower afterward.
Now, I wear shorts and a tank top and deep woods 40. I still sweat as much but it feels a little better and I still take a shower after gardening.
I don't like the chemicals on my body either but I get giant welts that last for days and days. I can go outside for 2 minutes unprotected and have several bites.
Mosquitoes can smell people like me, 160 feet away, as I am a mosquito magnet. 1 in 10 are a magnet.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 8:26PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

bumble, I am like you. Once I had so many bites on my torso and thighs I had to get steroids from the doctor. She swore it had to be poison ivy, but it was just mosquito bites.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 10:29PM
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opal52(z7b GA)

Bumblebeez, I'm a mosquito magnet too. I'm also sensitive to Deet. The long pants I wear have draw strings to tie snugly at the ankle. I had a tick bite already this year (YUCK!). I get outside early morning and this helps with the heat a little.

Dora, I'm thinking of trying the clip on fan from Off. Is the repellent orderless?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 11:37AM
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esh_ga

I forgot that this topic included poison ivy exposure - for that I do two things: use Ivy Block on my arms before potential exposure, and afterwards, wash all my clothes right away, including gloves.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 11:56AM
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nwgatreasures(7)

Yes, the Clip on made by OFF is oderless.

I am a huge fan of the Ivy Block.

Dora

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 2:46PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I have not used the clip on repellent yet but was looking at it recently. It does state that if you move around SOME, to give a minute or two to reestablish the protection field in each area.
To me, that implied that if I wore it for gardening and was constantly moving, it would not work effectively.
I didn't buy it for that reason. However, if I were to ever want to read a book outside ( never happens) then it would indeed be a handy device.

I am so sorry to see more people like me.
Poor Buford and Opal!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 5:47PM
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nwgatreasures(7)

I was concerned about the moving around too.
If you are walking around the yard, the clip on won't work for protection but I was moving around withint 10-15 feet and it worked wonderfully.

I sat outside on my swing for over 4 hours looking at landscaping/gardening books and didn't have the first bug on me...I usually would kill 10-15 within that time. I liked it, for what it's worth :)
Dora

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 10:08PM
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pam_3(GA 7b)

Buford,
I think they used to make a sunscreen/bug repellent at one time. The only problem is one needs to reapply sunscreen, but not supposed to reapply the repellent.

I'm interested about these Off fans. I've seen them for sale and thought they were pricey. We have a very moist area in our backyard with trees. Just the sort of place mosquitos love. Anyone know of mosquito repellant plants? Do Pitcher Plants eat mosquitos?

I wear long pants/sleeves if the weather's not too sticky or I'm not out for long. Otherwise, I use Off.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 10:56PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

They are pricey, but you only have to buy the whole thing once. Then you just buy the refills.

I just want to warn some of you about wearing crocks, flip flops or being barefoot all the time. I am currently suffering from a bad tendon in my ankle that the foot doctor says was from wearing shoes with poor or no support. He could see the tan line from the flip flops on my feet and told me not to wear them. I now have to wear sneakers with inserts. Which kills me,because I love being barefoot or just flip flops. But if I don't wear the shoes/inserts, my ankle is unstable. I hate to say it but it mostly bothers me when I'm in the yard gardening.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 6:54AM
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buford(7 NE GA)

They are pricey, but you only have to buy the whole thing once. Then you just buy the refills.

I just want to warn some of you about wearing crocks, flip flops or being barefoot all the time. I am currently suffering from a bad tendon in my ankle that the foot doctor says was from wearing shoes with poor or no support. He could see the tan line from the flip flops on my feet and told me not to wear them. I now have to wear sneakers with inserts. Which kills me,because I love being barefoot or just flip flops. But if I don't wear the shoes/inserts, my ankle is unstable. I hate to say it but it mostly bothers me when I'm in the yard gardening.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 7:00AM
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wohlibuli(7)

Sounds like I need to look into these clip ons, I have to count myself amongst the group of magnets also unfortunately, and it can be a big problem sometimes. My husband likes to joke that he sends me out as bait so he never gets bitten. I always carry an Off towelettes package and a pack of Benedryl any time we go anywhere that we will be outside.
I have to do all garden stuff in the mornings so the heat isn't too bad, but it is still hot!
About the Crocs, They were actually recommended by my orthopedic surgeon who says that as long as you buy the real thing made out of a patented polymer they can help, but that most people buy a knock off made out of cheaper plastics and that can be a problem. My husband works in a hospital and these are very popular with staff and nurses who are on their feet all day. The doc also told me to wear knee pads for gardening so I'm sure the neighbors get quite a laugh when they see me all geared up to go out and do something in the garden. I just leave it all hanging on the hooks by the back down and then change back into shorts and tanktop when I get back inside!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 9:37AM
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garedneck

I have found newbalance running shoes are lightweight, well ventilated, excellent arch support inserts and their very robust cushioning allow me to be on my feet all day... if they get wet or muddy I just hose them off, take out the inserts and let everything dry overnight in the garage.

Don't laugh, but i change from my clean clothes to my garden clothes in the garage, work in the garden, hose off outside, remove all the dirty garden clothes in the garage and change back into the clean clothes before going inside. Just wish I had installed a sink and shower in the garage!

I never tried it , but as a boy scout was told eating the tips of blue-tip matches would help keep the bugs away (something about ingesting the sulfur and the subsequent odor via perspiration). Maybe I will look for something like long sleeve surgical scrubs that are lightweight cotton that can be sinched at the wrist or ankles to keep the bugs out and yet still be comfortable in the heat .

I have noticed my raised bed garden close to the house has fewer bugs than the garden area further away or closer to the tall grass/woods areas. The raised beds are easier to garden as you don't have to bend down all the way!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 10:56PM
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aletheia33

re: problem with feet. i have found that walking on grass (in the large cemetery next door) for about 10 minutes a day for about a month got rid of the pain in the arches in my feet that i used to get when walking around the house barefoot. i was walking barefoot just because i enjoyed doing it at the end of my exercise walks on pavement and was surprised by this result! i did this about 3 years ago and the pain has not returned.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 5:08PM
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