Obviously said by someone who doesn’t live in Minnesota where the mosquito is laughingly considered our unofficial state bird. People who don’t travel much outside of the state don’t believe me when I say that other states don’t have this problem.
We also have a significant problem with deer and horse flies. I went years ‘not minding a few bites’ but it appears I have developed some kind of reaction to various bug bites and they can get angry, red, swollen, inflamed and prone to develop into cellulitis. Just as I’m wanting to spend more time outdoors, I almost see it as an enemy I need to ward off.
So, no matter how hot it is, if I wish to be outside where bugs are present, I wear long pants (or trousers to the Europeans among us!). We spray them with permethrin (not while wearing). You let that dry and you can wear them for a certain number of washes and/or weeks with maintained efficacy. We have dedicated pants for this and they come off immediately upon getting home and put somewhere away from other clothing or living areas (precaution against ticks).
I find wearing a hat helps a little (and we always wear one in the sun) and we often spray our hats with repellent. Long sleeves also help as do neck gaiters if the flies are biting.
If it’s too hot to be outside in these clothes (and today’s projected heat index is 105C), I don’t go into buggy, natural areas.
@ catttailsandcobwebs , I know you don’t want to use deet or regular repellent so this doesn’t address your question. But I wonder if spraying dedicated clothing with permethrin outside (on a non windy day) and treating the pants with care, could be some kind of compromise? Perhaps not. And I will say, we only use permethrin on our clothing… on our skin, we use other commercial insect repellents.
For parts of Minnesota, one can buy specialized gear for people who want to be out without getting eaten alive (as we call it here). like this:
But I don’t know what kinds of bugs you’re hoping to avoid. I doubt this kind of gear works for sandflies. :-) I’ve often considered leg gaiters (for ticks) and headnet (for swarming flies and mosquitoes - not sure they’d work on midges and gnats. Depending on the bugs you’re avoiding, there may be similar gear that provides a physical barrier rather than a chemical one. I might have worried about looking silly when I was younger. Now, I care quite a bit less. I’m already the odd person prowling around in vegetation looking for spiders and moths and drone flies. I might as well embrace the nature geek.