Insect Repellent Clothing

The driveway at the camp is partially in! We were able to park at our camp, for the very first time. That is the good news. The less exciting news is that the driveway will cost almost twice as much as originally anticipated. Sounds wrong, we know, but the estimate was given before the township listed their requirements for the driveway. They insisted it be almost twice as wide as is usual, which requires more culvert, a lot more crushed stone, and more work than anticipated. So we are going ahead with it, but have to decline any further spending in 2014, maybe even 2015.

Still, we are just thrilled to have the driveway. Today was sunny, breezy and warm. We ate our first meal at the camp today, seated on our lawn chairs, looking out at our wonderful view; it was heavenly, quite literally.

We both worked Saturday. In the evening we drove over to Harriet and Hogan’s cottage for a visit, and were delighted to find that Ariel, her special friend Arnie, and her daughter and daughter’s boyfriend were also visiting the cottage for the weekend. We shared a meal of moose burgers. The moose burgers were compliments of our Ariel’s daughter’s boyfriend, who hunts. Since we didn’t know the exact ingredients, I had a carefully cooked chicken breast. By all accounts the moose burgers were delicious!

After our meal, Hogan took us all out on the lake for a boat ride. Ariel’s daughter and her boyfriend fished from the back of the boat, as we slowly toured the lake. Arnie took a turn fishing as well. The fish weren’t really biting, but everyone had a lovely time.

The grand finale of the evening was a campfire by the lake, with a breathtaking view of the sunset across the lake.

Harriet and Hogan are warm and indulgent hosts; one feels very well looked after!

We left late, tired and very happy.

Sunday Attila and I headed to the camp, which is when we discovered that the driveway construction was under way. I dropped Attila off at the camp, and proceeded to Harriet’s cottage for a bit of a visit. I had a chance for a chat with Ariel, and with Harriet; good for the soul.

Then I was off to visit the local dump. I had a few items to drop off at the “dump store”, perfectly good items that someone else might well need. I did not see anything there though, that I thought we could use. It was “slim pickins” at the dump store.

When I returned to the camp, our contractor was there explaining the increased expense to Attila, and we amicably gave the go ahead to complete the job as he suggested.

After we ate a lovely lunch at the camp, we walked down the road to Granny and Grandpa’s house; Attila with his chain saw and come-along, and me with loppers and gloves. While Attila felled the last three dead elms, I began to remove brambles and weeds from my Granny’s gardens. We finished our respective tasks just as Ariel and her crew pulled into the driveway, to have a look at Granny’s house, before driving back to the city. We had a nice tour of the house, and walked down to the camp to have a look at it as well. Then they were waving goodbye, as they drove off into the beautiful sunny evening.

Attila and I continued to work on the garden, until we were both tired. Slowly we returned to the camp, walking down the road with chain saw, loppers, and assorted gear in tow. We had a cold drink, then packed the car and headed into the beautiful sunny evening ourselves.

Now I would like to share a discovery that I made, one of great import to Attila and I. Attila had a birthday in the first weeks of June. I wanted to get him a present that would make his life more pleasant. I looked at bug shirts, and different types of insect repellents. I rejected special netted clothing immediately; Attila would not tolerate cumbersome clothing. Insect repellents work temporarily, until the hard work begins, and sweat carries most of the protection away.

Then I discovered insect repellent clothing! Who knew! Intrigued, my research began. I found shirts that claimed to repell mosquitoes! The reviews of such clothing seemed to support the claims made by the retailers. However, the price of the shirts are prohibitive for persons of average income; particulary if the shirts are meant for working out of doors, rather than for recreation.

“Back to the drawing board!” I found that the chemical used to create these bug repellent shirts is available for the DIY enthusiast. A company, Sawyers, in the USA manufactures the chemical in a spray bottle, which can be used to treat a piece of clothing, rendering it “bug proof.”

So, that is what Attila got for his birthday.

On Saturday I arrived home from work a few hours before Attila. We had pre-selected clothing, a set of shirt and pants, for both Attila and I. The clothing was hung on the line, outside, and the spray was applied to the outer surfaces of the clothing. I took great care not to breath the mist, or to allow the mist to touch my skin. Mist, of course, was safely tucked indoors and well away from the area where I worked. After thoroughly spraying the clothing, it was left to dry overnight.

Please note: This chemical, in its liquid form, is very dangerous for cats. Read the instructions that come with the chemcical carefully, and follow them meticulously!

When we arrived at the camp on Sunday, we donned our mosquito repellent clothing and began our tasks. It was warm. We were working hard, sweating, and attracting mosquitoes, deer flies, black flies, and no see-ums. And… the mosquito repellent clothing worked! Not one bite through the thin cloth of our shirts, or our trousers; not one bite.

And… there was a magical side to the experience. The mosquitoes and flies were attracted to us, but would not land, or come close to our clothing. As we worked, and we sweated, more and more insects honed in on us, and more and more dragonflies darted around us, enjoying a feast as they consumed the hovering and hopeful biting insects. The dragonflies perched near us when we sat to rest, and sprang into action if an insect came near us. I love dragonflies! One even settled on Attila’s shoulder, resting until a mosquito buzzed around Attila’s head, and then swooped in to the rescue.

We were able to sit relatively undisturbed, at the camp lot, in the bush, with the dragonflies keeping watch over us.

My only disappointment for the weekend was, I forgot my camera!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 8:00 PM EDT Sunday 22 June 2014
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 23.8°C
Dewpoint: 8.4°C
Humidity: 37%
Wind: W 5 km/h


“Whenever I dwell for any length of time on my own shortcomings, they gradually begin to seem mild, harmless, rather engaging little things, not at all like the staring defects in other people’s characters.”
Margaret Halsey

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Your insect protective clothing sounds like a godsend. I was a bit worried about the chemical but I just looked at the MSDS and it sounds very safe for human beings, with only a recommendation of using safety glasses with the liquid. Good job in finding that, Maggie!

Sorry to hear about the expense of the driveway. I hope you’ll still be able to make improvements on your camp.

Glad you had such a lovely visit with friends and family. Those are the kinds of days that warm your heart.

Irene Bean

Sounds like a full and entertaining weekend. Dragonflies even by name are touched with magic. I watched one today as it danced on the brick steps in front of my home. When I was very young I was led to believe they had stitching powers and I was frightened by them for a long time. Now I smile as I watch their loopy grace that darts and dashes.


TopsyTurvy, I was surprised to find that the bug repellent clothing existed. It sounded too good to be true. But it is indeed true! It is a fussy thing, treating clothing, but well worth the effort if you have to work in the bush. It was such a pleasure to wear only a lightweight long-sleeve shirt while working, one gets so very hot wearing thick layers of clothing to protect from biting insects. Next to treat, a pair of light socks to wear while resting and cooling down; those heavy duty rubber work boots get very hot!

The expense of the driveway has certainly thrown a wrench in our finances! It will slow down our progress, but that is probably a good thing, with three properties to care for (and doing a bit of work at my Granny and Grandpa’s house), we need to pace ourselves!


Reenie, the dragonflies were a delight! They gravitate to sunny areas, and often bask lazily on logs, even on the ground.

I am curious about stitching powers, having not heard the phrase before; what are stitching powers?


I am curious about this spray – doesn’t is wash off the clothing when it is laundered? Do you have to spray all your clothing every time you wear it? I would also be very scared about getting it near the cat (or dog) – by accident. I am paranoid about pets getting into things that might hurt them.

Now I’m wondering if the spray ATTRACTS the dragonflies (which we always called “darning needles” – thus possibly Reenie’s mention of “stitching powers” ?) who in turn eat the other flying pests… whatever it is, it’s good to know. You have good stuff in here to learn!


Bex, the spray is only dangerous to cats when it is in liquid form, once it has dried on the clothing it is safe for cats.

What I gathered from the literature, is that the chemical bonds with the fabric as it dries, and that bond breaks down through friction. The upshot is that the repellent remains intact through sweating, and washing, but will eventually break down from the friction of using the clothing and the agitation of the washing machine. I would not dry treated clothing in the dryer, although I haven’t read about any problems with doing that, I just wouldn’t do it. We will be experimenting to see how long a treatment will remain effective.

I just had another thought, in addition to a pair of socks, I am going to try treating my cobber ( It would be great to keep cool while working, and keep biting insects away from my neck at the same time! Oh yes, and I need to treat my work hat too!

Irene Bean

Bex is most likely correct with the dragonfly darning needle reference. As tots we thought they would sew our lips shut. Hmmm, wonder if it was a ploy of weary parents. :)) I don’t think so. Most likely we young ones created the fear because young ones do stuff like that.


LOL Reenie, yes young ones do do stuff like that! Thanks for the morning smile!