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Jo Fitzsimons is a freelance travel writer who has visited over 60 countries. is the place where she shares destination details, travel itineraries, planning and booking tips and trip tales. Her aim: to help you plan your travel adventure on your terms and to your budget.

29 Responses

  1. Theresa Osborne
    Theresa Osborne at | | Reply

    Thank you for the review, I too an a magnet for any type of bite. Especially bad are the sand fleas. When I was in the Bahamas I was sold Abaco Neem Insect Repellent. Now I cannot claim that it held off the bites, but it sure was effective on the bites. It’s the best product I found for bites. The red welts from sand fleas that I usually experience never amounted to much. Every time I felt the need to scratch I put on the neem and it took away itch and pain. No redness and they went away within 2 days. Yay, I could still wear shorts. Abaco Neem is indeed the best for bites, but since reading your article I will test it as a repellent now. Thanks again.

  2. David Taylor
    David Taylor at | | Reply

    I believe it could’ve been any DEET product, but a friend offered me Bushman after my luggage was stolen with all my Incognito in it! So I used it… and similar to my Aussie friend got a few bites. I read that more mosquitoes have built up immunity to DEET, nearly everyone I’ve asked says it’s not as good as it used to be. Apparently Incognito has this pure PMD in it – which you might already know about – which is as strong as any chemical insect repellent. They put this special ingredient into their new sunscreen mosquito repellent, which was in my purloined luggage, so I haven’t tried it yet. I’m still feeling weak but am on the mend, thank you.

  3. Amy
    Amy at | | Reply

    I am a mosquito magnet, just take me with you and you’ll be alright!

    I’ve recently tried something that works! Travelling in rainforests of Borneo and didn’t get a, single bite. Honestly amazed. So try Bushman… It’s high in DEET… But so much more effective than other brands that are comparably high.

  4. Ahaana Shishir
    Ahaana Shishir at | | Reply

    Natural mosquito repellents are effective but very tedious to use. You have to mix them with water place it in an oil diffuser or apply it directly on the skin. They camouflage the human skin odor to mosquitoes making human invisible to mosquitoes.

  5. David
    David at | | Reply

    I remember this thread fondly as it turned me from DEET to natural via Incognito – thanks for the tip Jo. Ive read your update and think it’s my turn to reciprocate…my gf also got a few bites using incognito in SE Asia, but less than she did with the repellent she used to use. Anyhow she bought a whole lot of new Incognito anti-mosquito products: a Hair & Body Wash (HBW); a Room Refresher (RR) and their Roll-on & tried them out this January in Thailand. For the first time in her life Zero bites! The HBW is a citrus repellent wash that apparently reduces your attractiveness, she showered with this every morning, I also used it over there & found I used less spray. We put the RR on the floor of our hut & it kept out nearly all the critters, except for some ants. I read that Incognito have also reformulated their products, so you may want to reevaluate them, especially as products containing more than 50% DEET are now banned in Europe!
    Keep up the good work.

  6. Peter Halbert
    Peter Halbert at | | Reply

    I forgot to add a tip I was given in Greece.
    One night in Greece I was being bitten to death (not literally).
    An elderly Greek gentleman walked across the road and took some leaves from a tree. He returned and told me to crush the leaves in my hands then rub my skin.
    I couldn’t believe it, no more bites and the mosquitoes all disappeared.
    The tree was a Eucalyptus tree. He told me that you will NEVER see a mosquito in a Eucalyptus tree and he is right.
    Unfortunately there is not always one handy.

  7. Peter Halbert
    Peter Halbert at | | Reply

    I also spend a lot of time travelling, usually 6 months every year. Also to the far east and Africa. In fact I am going to west Africa next month. I am now 67 years old and I have travelled all my life. The products that I have found most useful are,
    As a repellent I use ” Avon, skin so soft original “. This product is supplied to and used by many park rangers and military forces.
    If I do get a bite, I use. “After Bite”. This product stinks of ammonia, but instantly stops any itching and the following day the bite has virtually disappeared.
    But as you say we are all different.

  8. David
    David at | | Reply

    Really good article. Thank you! Is the correct Incognito website? I’ve seen a few sites selling it

  9. Shifali
    Shifali at | | Reply

    Thank you very much for telling us about these mosquito repellent products. These products helped a lot..

  10. Shantanu
    Shantanu at | | Reply

    Writing from an area in Eastern India with enough mosquitoes to disturb your sleep, I find this article useful. I have tried a few other remedies with mixed results, none of them proved a 100% winner though.

    1) Use camphor blocks floating in water in small glass containers around where you sleep.
    2) Wash your exposed body (legs, arms, face, throat etc) thoroughly before going to bed to remove any kind of sweat/ body oil smell; they tend to attract the M’s
    3) Burning dry tea leaves/ tea bags in some safe way in the room keeps away the M’s, but it is not predictable how long; depends on the strength of the M’ army perhaps.
    4) Spraying the outer side of the curtains in an open window with any standard DEET product before switching off the lights creates a first level of fire-wall for the M’s;
    5)Burning some Neem/Nishinda leaves in the room an hour before going to bed is a good deterrent for the M’s, but like INCOGNITO or Deep Woods Sportsman branded products not available in India, these herbs will not be available in other countries.
    6) Put around 10/12 cloves into a half cut fresh lemon and keep at your bedside;I’ve tried this for a month or so, but still not sure how effective it is, as success rates vary from 50-80%
    7) Avoid black/dark coloured objects around the bed, as the M’s love such places for hiding.

  11. Howard
    Howard at | | Reply

    I am the founder of incognito & enjoyed your reviews. I thought you’d like to know that I’ve reformulated incognito this year and in testing carried out by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, only a small amount (0.4ml) was required to give 100% protection from mosquitoes. Furthermore, I took on board what you said about the smell and took out the citronella, replacing it with bergamot, which is a whole lot better.

    For Fiona, we now have a roll-on too & here’s other news & offers: in our Small Bites newsletter.

    Happy travels!

  12. IndianaJo
    IndianaJo at | | Reply

    I know what you mean – I’m not a fan of DEET and have seen it burn its way through plastic! But, for the possibility of avoiding malaria! I once had a really strong DEET (nearly 100%!) but I used to mix it with body lotion and that gave amazing coverage plus dilution, but I picked it up in Miami and have never seen it since. Often the way when you find something that works! Good luck on your trip. I recently got my bag down to 8.8kg all in, but it was a challenge. Blog post coming on that…at some point 🙂

  13. Fiona
    Fiona at | | Reply

    Thanks, Jo – that’s really helpful:-)

    I think I’ll probably stick to the DEET as I can get it in a roll-on and that will be more economical for our our piffling 15kg total weight allowance (curse those internal flights on balsa-wood planes!)

    I just really hate the stuff – something that melts my nail varnish cannot possibly be doing good things to my skin! But I think it’s a price worth paying if I can keep the critters at bay.

  14. Fiona
    Fiona at | | Reply

    Hi, Jo – how did you get on with incognito in Asia? I’m going to Tanzania soon, and I can’t decide whether I’m really brave enough to ditch the DEET!

    1. IndianaJo
      IndianaJo at | | Reply

      Fiona, good question – and so a bit of a post update by way of answer: I got bitten in Asia using the Incognito 🙁 Not more than I got bitten using DEET, but it didn’t turn out to be any better. I suspect it ultimately comes down to my lazy application. As I get bitten using both, I would still opt for the Incognito over the DEET but in a country with serious risk of malaria, I’d probably take some DEET, if only for greater peace of mind. And, of course, if the DEET works for you, I’d stick with it. Let me know how you get on if you try the Incognito!

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