I think we have all experienced being pestered by bugs and insects, been bitten by little sand flies or the mozzie. Had the flies trying to carry your food away or the ants that won’t stay out of your kitchen. It can be bad enough when you are trying to have a family BBQ or picnic but go camping in the outback; well you really experience the little suckers.
The first time we experienced bad flies was when we did a trip to the snowy mountains, climbing Kosciusko with all the little flies hitching a ride on our backs. When we were at corner country last year the flies were out in force, from sun up to sun down they never left us alone. Trying to crawl into the corners of our eyes or our mouth, leave a wet cloth out and it would be covered within minutes. A glass of water would have flies in it before you could get it to your mouth. We would make lunch quick and jump into the 4wd to eat it. We met some guys at Mt Moffatt this Easter who said they had just been out to Birdsville and the flies well they said they were nearly carried away, hundreds on their arms, had us in fits of laughter with their stories of the pesky buzzing things.
First time we tried fly nets was when we went horseback riding in the Snowy Mountains and the lady leading the ride handed us some, ever since they have been a part of our kit.
Our first ones were stiff like wire and always sat out from our face, we thought they were a good idea as they never blew into our face; trouble is they left big gaping holes for the flies to get in and get trapped. Many a time Chris would jump into the car with his fly hat on and I would look at him and say your net is full of flies, quick get out. So we have found the soft nets that sit on top of your hat work the best they also fold up nice and small. I also have a hat that has the fly net attached that works really well. Just remember to lift the net when you have a drink, Chris has forgotten a few times 🙂
Now when it comes to fly repellent, I think we have nearly tried them all, we carry an assortment with us. Aerogard doesn’t work, think they drink the stuff. Don’t like the ones with high DEET so haven’t tried them. Ya Mate Fly Stuff works pretty well, made from natural, organic ingredients. Find you do have to reapply it every few hours. A local at Birdsville shared with me what the locals used, he said it works, it stinks but they all wear it so they all stink together 🙂 It’s called Nature’s Botanical and it’s in a tub, all natural ingredients. A bit sticky but it really does work and stink.
And to really get away from the flies I bought a large mozzie net you put over a bed, sewed fishing sinkers along the bottom to hold the net down and in place and throw it over a beach umbrella, held in place by some velcro on the top. 2 seats can fit under and it works a treat, quick to set up and gives us a reprieve from the flies.
Mozzies and sand flies – grr my favourite, not! They really like my blood; if they are around they will find me. Sand flies have me itching with big red welts for weeks. In this situation it’s a case of being diligent, any insect repellent works well. Not a fan of insect repellent so I don’t put it on straight away, I have to learn to put it on at dusk and wear it around my feet and ankles at any time. I prefer to use natural ones but they don’t work for more than a few hrs. But I do use them after I have had a shower at night so I am not wearing some chemical to bed. Ya Mate also make a mozzie repellent, quite like the OFF brand of insect repellent, smells ok, rubs in well, also lasts a while, just bought the new tropical one that supposed to last for 6 hrs. Mozzie coils also work really well. Some people use Dettol and Baby Oil, don’t like it personally and has to be reapplied regularly.
Ticks – have found Aerogard Tropical works great at keeping ticks off; make sure you spray your clothes as well.
Ants – we now carry Borax sprinkle this around your site or where the ants are. Talc powder is also supposed to work, just starting carrying that, haven’t tried it yet. Of course Ant Rid also works.
Bugs at night – well we certainly attract lots of them. Some people say led lights don’t attract them; well they haven’t been where we go. If we sit outside at night we usually have to turn the lights off due to the bugs, unless we are on the coast. We have just bought a dual led light strip, same make as the light we were using so can do a straight swap on the camper. One strip is the white led, the other yellow, with a dimmer to control which colour strip is on. Yet to try is so will update this when we have. We carried a small bug zapper with us for a while but it was pretty useless.
We have had bees, fuzzy caterpillar things, spiders and plenty of other crawling, flying insects; since we never know what we will encounter we always carry insect spray and surface spray with us. Some are easier than others to deal with but it’s all part of camping in the great outdoors and we wouldn’t stop camping for quids. Sure we could do with a few less flies in the world though 😀
If anyone else has any tips on dealing with the flying insect or creepy crawlies drop us a line.