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Is it really necessary to get permethrin clothing treatment and a product with 30 to 35% DEET for Tanzania in June?

Is it really necessary to get permethrin clothing treatment and a product with 30 to 35% DEET for Tanzania in June?

May 12th, 2008, 07:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 464
Is it really necessary to get permethrin clothing treatment and a product with 30 to 35% DEET for Tanzania in June?

Our travel medicine practice recommended that I buy "REPEL" with Permethri, and "FITE-BITE" for our safari in June. When I started looking online, I saw 1 customer review that said it only worked on ticks and mosquito's.. it's the tsetse fly I'm most worried about, but I understand there's not much one can do about those.... Plus, that REPEL seems to go pretty quickly. One can does only a pair of pants, one shirt and a pair of socks? For a family of 6, that'd be a lot of cans.. since we're all bringing more than one outfit each! Then I read something about electric fly swatters? www.sevendeals.com I'll check it out, but it seems sort of like a joke! And then about the colors of clothing. I bought a cute pair of pants that have pale yellow, pale blue and white in them.. however, I'm afraid, now, that the blue is going to attract the dreaded tse tse fly?! Or is it only dark blue they like? They say they're the size of a honeybee - YIKES! Thank you for whatever you can tell me.
teadrinker is offline  
May 12th, 2008, 08:17 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
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I can only respond with my experience. I was in Tanzania in early July last year and never used any bug repelent. I only went to the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. I wouldn't worry about the pants. On the day out in a very open vehicle, we drove into the Serengeti and I noticed these black and blue flags all around. When I asked what they were, we were told they were tsetse fly traps. I then looked at the other lady and my clothes and realized she had all black on and I had a royal blue fleece top. Was a little worried, but not a tsetse seen all day.

Have a great trip.
godmother_lr is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 12:14 AM
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Hi teadrinker

Quite a while since I was in Tanzania, but we were there in Jan/Feb after very heavy rains with mud everywhere and this is when they were everywhere. They have a nasty bite - like the horse fly we have at home.

So in my experience, more a summer pest. We ended up winding up the windows when going through the muddy areas and putting up with the heat. Once we left the mud behind and in the open areas, didn't seem to be so much of an issue.

Kind regards


KayeN is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 12:37 AM
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I have tried these products and they certainly do not stop Tsetse flies, but then again I have never found anything that does.
We bought an electric fly swatter here in SA, it is largely a bit of a joke, and to my mind would ne no use in swatting tsetse flies as they take a lot of swatting to actually crush!
I have no idea what the fly concentrations are where you are going, but definitely take some anti-histamine tablets and ointment.
May 13th, 2008, 04:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
I've been in Tanzania during June these past 4/years and haven't been bothered with mossies or other flying things where I needed to apply repellent, or use specially treated clothing.

In fact, except for time on the coastal areas, which are humid and with more flying things... here I applied regular off-the-shelf repellent to exposed skin during dusk/dawn only.

Nothing much you can do about Tse-tse, but for the electric swatter many have used with success. Best to simply flick them off clothing or out of vehicle. It's a nasty sting, but only lasts a few seconds... and they don't carry sleeping sickness. They're annoying and mostly found in wooded areas, where you should drive with windows closed. Also, avoid Navy clothing as Tse-Tses are attracted to this color.
sandi is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 06:54 AM
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It seems as if I don't need to worry at all about the tsetse flies or much about insects, then.
That's great.
Thank you!
teadrinker is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 07:05 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
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In my experience I have not found pyrethrum-impregnated clothing (i.e., the "Buzz Off" brand of clothing) to be very useful in significantly repelling mosquitoes and ticks (particularly ticks). So, I personally wouldn't spend the money to treat clothing.
Gritty is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 07:29 AM
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Like others, my experience for June/July in Tz is that I've never had to use insect repellent. Tse tse flies are attracted to dark colors - mostly dark blue and black. The nice thing about their size is you can usually see them before they bite and take defensive action.
Calo is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 08:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
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So what type of bug sprays and clothing treatments do you guys recommend in general for mosquitos and other annoyances?I am curious what your favorite brands are.

I personally HATE bug sprays that leave your skin super sticky and you feel like you are a walking chemical plant. Don't get me wrong, I am okay with the chemical DEET, I just hate being reminded I am wearing it when any breeze hits me.
poosaysmeh is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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I've avoided deet ever since my housemate in Dar es Salaam dropped some on the floor and it stripped off the paint. I use a product called Mosi-guard. It's a natural insect repellent and, in tests by the London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine, it gave 10 hour protection (longer than deet).
Londonres is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 11:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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I'm more worried about ticks than about any other insects. We'll be protected from malaria through medication, and the bites and stings of most other insects are at worst painful and annoying. But I've known people who have contracted Lyme disease from ticks in the U.S., and have been quite seriously debilitated. Are ticks a problem in Southern Africa in winter (June and July)?
isabel25 is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 12:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
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I like the idea of Mosi-guard. Do you know if it is available in the US? I am only seeing it so far through the UK.
poosaysmeh is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 02:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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You used to be able to get Mosi-guard through Spectrum Brands, but no more. Try and order online from the UK.
Londonres is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 05:38 PM
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I wouldn't get the clothing. I take Off in the little bottles or I take the wipe on kind. Never had any problems with mosquitos or ticks in the dry season in Africa (and I've never traveled in the wet season.) Tse Tses have been isolated, but I have not encoutered them in TZ in dry season.

I would consider that electric fly swatter in Feb in the Southern Serengeti, even though it is comical.

In June, forget it, you won't find anything to swat and the kids from the family of 6 will be using it on each other.
atravelynn is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 06:50 PM
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That was a cute comment about the kids using it on each other, the flyswatter, and I think you're right!
I wanted to recommend CACTUS JUICE as a bug repellent, which worked great when I went to Costa Rica. They make one with a sunscreen in it, but we bought the one that was just an insect repellent. It's natural, and smells GREAT and we never had a problem with pests while in Costa Rica.
They said to get a deet one for Africa, so that's why I asked.... but I think I'm just going to get some more of that cactus juice for this trip and I'll eliminate that Repel Premethrin product as well as that fly swatter for someone else to experiment with!
teadrinker is offline  
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