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Insect Repellent, Sunscreen in Belize?

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Feb 16th, 2010, 07:31 PM
  #1
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Insect Repellent, Sunscreen in Belize?

I have read lots of stuff on Insect Repellent and Sunscreen to use while in Belize, but I want to know what the people who have actually been there think.

Insect Repellent-- What concentration of Deet would be sufficient? Give me some ideas of exactly what product(s) would be best.

Sunscreen-- Same thing. What SPF (we are pretty fair-skinned persons)? Any certain products you recommend?

Thanks
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Feb 16th, 2010, 08:14 PM
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I like the REI line of sunscreens (30 or 50 spf depending on use); I apply it in the morning and on my face again after diving or snorkeling. I often wear a shirt while snorkeling to avoid burn - watch the back of your legs, too.

For mozzies I like both Sawyer's and Ultrathon Controlled Release Deet products. Controlled release deet products work well but aren't as creepy as higher concentration products. For sand flies, a coating of baby oil or vegetable oil will keep them from biting, I've heard; we've been lucky with breezes and haven't had a problem with them.

I like to travel carry-on only and will leave things like toothpaste and shampoo out in favor of good quality sunblock and bug stuff which is difficult to find in CA in my experience.

Have a great trip and please tell us all about it when we get home!
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Feb 17th, 2010, 05:55 AM
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I've read in several places that the concentration of DEET products has more to do with how long it lasts than how effective it is. So, I go with the lowest percent possible and reapply if needed. Here on Ambergris, the mosquitos have only been bad a couple of days since the first of the year. Same with sand flies, the breeze usually does keep them at bay.

Most of the beach bars have a can of OFF available for customers to spray their legs with if the mosquitos do get bad.

Even with using sun screen, after six weeks here, I'm so dark I don't use much sun screen unless I'm going out on the water.
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Feb 17th, 2010, 07:35 AM
  #4
kja
 
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Some of us prefer Picaridin to DEET - see
http://www.fodors.com/community/mexi...ica/deet-1.cfm
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Feb 18th, 2010, 09:17 PM
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Here's what we picked up at Bass Pro Shop. Let me know if this stuff will be good enough.....

Sawyer Premium Insect Repellent for Clothing-- o.5% Premethrin, Inert Ingredients 99.5 %

Sawyer Insect Repellent Premium (for the skin)-- 20% Picaridin, other ingredients 80%.

We can always buy something additional. I know we still need sunscreen. Any recommendations on that, too?

And in which order to you apply the different stuff? Sunscreen, then insect repellent? Or insect repellent then sunscreen?

Thanks
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Feb 18th, 2010, 10:03 PM
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Apply sunscreen first, let it settle, then apply repellent as needed. That looks like a good combination, though we'll stick with the Sawyer product with deet when the bugs are really horrible. I have a shirt and a scarf that are factory impregnated with permethrin and work really well.
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Feb 19th, 2010, 06:16 AM
  #7
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Some of the stuff on here and other Web sites kind of scared us away from the Deet products (even as little as 20 percent, and the recommendation is at least 30 percent).

I'm just hopeful this will work. We've never been in a region that can be this mosquito-infested.

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Feb 19th, 2010, 07:10 AM
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We actually have only run into mozzies in a few specific areas of Belize, mainly Sittee River Village and Cockscomb Reserve. We haven't really had problems with them on the islands (in our case Caulker and Glover's) or the the Cayo district.

Looks like you made great choices and you can include your findings in the trip report I'm already looking forward to.
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Feb 19th, 2010, 07:42 AM
  #9
kja
 
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The CDC web site has information about the proper use of insect repellents:

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/west..._repellent.htm
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Feb 19th, 2010, 08:09 AM
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We didn't find the need for any special strength insect repellents. In the cayo district we did not have any issues with mosquitos or any other insects. We didn't use any bug sprays. In Ambergris we found that once the sun went down there were a lot of mosquitos, everywhere we went. As Jean mentioned, most of the restaurants and bars had a can of off sitting there for guests to use. We used Deep Woods Off before leaving our room and then if we needed anything else, we'd use whatever the restaurants had there for us. We were told the mosquitos were particulary bad the week we were there - which was the end of August 2009.

For sunscreen, we just used what we'd use at home, a good waterproof sunscreen, put it on before going out in the sun and reapply as needed. Especially on your back and back of your legs when snorkelling!
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Feb 19th, 2010, 08:14 AM
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I'm not real good at trip reports but I will give it my best shot.

Believe me, we are looking so much forward to this vacation. Our jobs are highly-stressful and need the break.

We have gone to not-so-tropical regions during vacatios in March before (Myrtle Beach- weather was awful, not much better than in Missouri at the time-- and others).

We're hoping to have the time of our lives.

One other thing.

Would you recommend us renting a golf cart? We are situated about 2 1/2 miles south of San Pedro. We are not afraid of walking, as evidence we walked 14 miles one day in New York City and 50 miles in a 5-day vacation in November-- (Vacation was fabulous, by the way). This is just going to be way different than we've done in the past.

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Feb 19th, 2010, 10:40 AM
  #12
 
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I've found sand flies to be more of an issue in Belize than mosquitoes. I really have seen very few mosquitoes. I haven't found anything except a good breeze to be that effective for sand flies but that doesn't stop me from continually deluding myself by putting on more insect repellent

Will try the baby oil next time, thanks hopefulist!
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Feb 19th, 2010, 12:26 PM
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I'd wait until you get here to decide about the golf cart. I'm a mile south of town, and walk everywhere, but you're much further out.

I can get a cab from town for US$5.00, I'm guessing it would be at least twice that for you, but wait and see what they charge. It's going to be really dark walking down the road at night when you get that far south.

Since you like to walk, you may find yourself walking into town while it's still light out, then catching a cab home.

It's also an easy bike ride, but once again, wouldn't be that safe at night, since I don't think any bikes here have lights. In fact, some golf carts don't......
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Feb 19th, 2010, 03:04 PM
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You probably already know this but it gets dark around 6 or 6:30 that close to the equator.
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Feb 23rd, 2010, 03:29 AM
  #15
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So, you're not saying it's unsafe after dark, other than it's too darl to see very well? Or is it just unsafe, period?

I just want to try to get a handle on what we're going to be facing.
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Feb 23rd, 2010, 05:32 AM
  #16
 
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I'm sorry to say I no longer walk the beach at night unless I'm with a group. There have been a few purse snatchings, although I've not heard of any recently.

There is lots of pedestrian/bicycle/golf cart traffic on the road after dark, until you get almost to Victoria House. After that, it's pretty darn dark and deserted.

Also, once you get past Victoria House, if it's been raining, the road will be muddy and full of puddles.

I don't mean to make San Pedro sound dangerous, I stay here by myself and feel safe. I also walk home alone at night (but not late). When are you coming down?
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Feb 23rd, 2010, 10:26 AM
  #17
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We will be there in March, just my wife and I.

I was under the impression that it was very safe. I guess I will have to rethink what we will do each night.

I guess one good thing is my wife doesn't have to carry a purse. She carries what she needs in her pockets or a fanny pack.
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Feb 23rd, 2010, 12:41 PM
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I think your biggest danger walking on the street at night is getting run over, probably by a bicycle. They go really fast, and like I said, it's dark south of town. Carry a flashlight and you should be fine.

Close to town, or in town, you're fine on the beach.

I'm not exactly how far south you are, if you're south of Pelican Reef, you can't walk on the beach all the way anyway, you'll run into mangroves.
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Mar 2nd, 2010, 05:50 AM
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After many years of no wearing much sunscreen and tanning naturally, I can say is skin cancer is not fun. Having surgery done 4 weeks ago I can honestly say that it is painful and it has definitely caused a interruption in our life and lifestyle. We were supposed to be in CA for the rest of the winter right now. So PLEASE WEAR PLENTY OF SUNSCREEN and don't be stupid like me. As for bugs I never had a real bad time with them even in the jungle. Different times of year they might be worse. I have a lot of good info in this blog so there is no need to put my 2 cents worth other than some bugs carry disease so protect yourself.
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Mar 2nd, 2010, 12:26 PM
  #20
 
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Lots of people on an amgergris board swear by Avon Skin So Soft with Picaridin pump spray or aerosol. I bought some for my trip but didn't end up using it as we had a good breeze on the coast.

Avoid being out right at dusk to avoid noseeums -- people have told me they're a bit worse further south (and north) of town -- i think due to less development. Many places rake the sand so the sun kills the eggs or something like that.

Anyway, skin so soft doesn't stink and is a deet alternative but I haven't personally tested its effectiveness -- all second-hand reviews.
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