Does anyone else notice that DEET does not work anymore to repel biting insects

DEET used to work great but I would say that for the past decade or so, DEET is just not doing it for me anymore. Mosquitoes and black flies are peak horrible in my area around this time of year but unfortunately this is also the best time for stream trout fishing and it is pretty hot to be wearing full cover and a head net. Anyone have any magic potions or solutions?


Kerosene. Just try not to smoke too much.

Oddly enough, vitamin B12, either in pill form, or in Marmite.

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Marmite is the British cure-all. Disgusting stuff. We have it here, and it’s saltier than theirs.

I grew up hating it, then some taste buds switched in later life and now it’s great, - spread thinly on toast…!

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Great for keeping bugs away…and everything else…

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That’s not the real Marmite… :slight_smile:


DEET is toxic and has been banned in Europe as far as I know. It was indeeed used liberally in the 80’s.
Edit: i made a confusion. was thinking of another chemical.

Anyway, I had great results with lavender oil mixed with mint oil: mix them, rub them into the skin. Reapply after 3 to 4 hours. For good measure you can add lime or lemon oil into the mix. I think you could have great results with any of the three oils mentioned, but for good measure I like to mix them all.

Smell is a bit strong, and the sensation might not be your preference (it’s cooling and a bit stingy), but you can at least live. I have used this in the Danube delta, a hellish place mosquito-wise. At precise hours clouds of mosquitoes would envelop you. When I say clouds, I mean it effectively affects visibility.

I’m not aware of any problems with DEET, but I haven’t
t tested it’s effectiveness lately. Unfortunately the cottage went away a number of years ago…

DDT, on the other hand, is a toxic mess that has been banned for years!

Edit: At certain times, under water or in a netted hat are the only way to survive. It’s not the bites, it’s the clear air to breathe!

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yes, I was thinking of DDT.

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Confusing that there’s only 26 letters in English… and then people go and reuse them too soon! :grin:

Thanks everyone. So I combined the advice of everyone here and rubbed a mixture of Marmite, Vegemite and essential oils all over me and went fishing this morning (see photo). It seemed to work but I found myself distracted from the fishing by the need to liberate an imaginary country from a tyrannical dictator and then save his daughter: caught only 1 trout.


I love Marmite, but the real stuff. I have not tried this Australian version.

When I visit my friends in the UK, I always have it for breakfast on buttered crumpets. Unfortunately, you can’t get those frozen supermarket crumpets in Croatia, so here I have it on buttered toast.

Also, I like it with mayonnaise and vintage cheddar cheese. And I add it to the sauce for my vegetarian lasagna (it also goes well with meat, but for vegetarian dishes, it really adds that missing umami flavour).

Delicious stuff, one of the best things that ever came from the UK.


And here’s me, finding that stuff so revolting I’d rather top those crumpets with DEET. Or DDT, for that matter.


Back on topic, regarding repelling biting insects… The Egyptian king Pepi II (whose name was “Beautiful is the life force of the Sun”), who reigned during the Old Kingdom of Egypt, around 2250 B.C., he also hated biting insects, especially flies…

His solution was genius: he always had two servants around him, who were always covered head-to-toe with a paste made from faeces and honey, which attracted the flies to them, and so left the old Pharaoh alone. It was very effective, Pepi lived to be over one hundred years old (his reign lasted 94 years). It is lost to history how long his servants lived, and how often he had to replace them…


So Pepi II invented Marmite, then?


This is partially a reason to bring your son fishing with you. Of course it is difficult balance between being an attractor in generally vs a local distraction. You need them close but not too close or far but not too far.


same same :wink:


From holidays in sweden i know that this Anti insect agents are specific for the artea where you want to use it, and it can change what works and what not by evolution kind of changes on insects :wink:

Essential oil blends working good in soime areas … but different which ones …

cedar citronella lavender bergamot eucalyptus peppermint

but never use essential oils pure :wink: needs to be mixed in alcohol or neutral oil they are corrosive


The only sure cure for mosquitos is hot, dry weather! That, and (where possible) clearing out/drying stagnant water in your locale (in your car tire swing - empty and scrub the birdbath - and similar places etc etc). They can carry too many diseases (West Nile around here a while back) to be left to flourish… I won’t speculate on other things…