|When paddling and actually on the water more than a few yards away from the shore, one seldom has problems with mosquitos. But tight in the marsh or right around dawn or dusk or when coming ashore, they can be a real scourge.
Some people aren't bothered by them. Most mosquitos seem to ignore these fortunate few. Some people do not react strongly to a mosquito bite while others are sent into a paroxysm of frenzied scratching.
Most commercial preparations contain an effective but potentially dangerous substance, DEET. DEET is a known to be bad for humans so prolonged use of high concentrations of DEET in probably harmful. I prefer to spray or dab it on a piece of cloth like a kerchief and wear that instead. DEET in highly reactive to nylon and many types of plastic, so never transfer your DEET to another container as the DEET might melt the container. Avoid getting any on the gaskets of your dry suit.
In addition to DEET there are many other effective preparations and home remedies that can assist the battle against the flying drill rigs. They work to varying degrees and if used in combination can be very effective. In order to avoid the bad effects of DEET it is worth considering these remedies.
Some commercial insect repellant are based on Citronella oil or eucalyptus oils, not DEET. They are not as effective as DEET but can be applied more liberally and more often.
Bounce Fabric Softener sheets intended for the drier can repel mosquitos. You simply wipe them over exposed skin.
Avon Skin So Soft lotion has been reported to defend against mosquitos, but my luck with this has been marginal.
Light clothing is said to discourage mosquitos and dark clothing to attract them.
Don't eat bananas. The skin excretes banana oils that attract mosquitos.
Consume a daily B-1 vitamin pill and a spoonful of brewers yeast. Then do not wash regularly. The skin will build up a natural smell that mosquitos don't like. You tent mate might not like it much either.
It has been reported that mosquitos do not like the smell of Vick's Vapo Rub. But then who does?
Likewise the smell of real vanilla - not artificial extract of vanilla - seems to push back the little varmints.
Finally - a mesh head net and long sleeves and pants help limit the size of the feast you offer.