The first time I use ‘Off” insect repellent was in Taman Negara National Park. Then it wasn’t the mosquitoes that bother us but leeches. We would spray our ankles with them to stop the leeches from crawling up our legs.
The mosquitoes in Ubin can be torture. The solutions we tried include burning egg cartons, coconut husks, mosquito coils, smoky benzoin incense which bomohs use, ingesting vitamin B and vitamin E tablets. Nparks even set a high tech mosquito killing machine once.
In the interest of science, I took vitamin B pills for one month and went into the bush without repellents. It seems to be working initially. Then all of a sudden the mosquitoes were all over me. Its 4 days since and I am still scratching
Nothing beats the convenience of using spray repellents containing DEET. My eight year old nephew is allergic to insect bites and he has to be sprayed all over. For face and neck, just spray them in your palm and rub to avoid stinging your eyes. No point spraying until wet. They are expensive and soon empty fast. Spray a little mist and repeat a few hours later.
They costs S$8.50 at major outlets. Some provision shops sells them for S$7.50 each. They are a lot cheaper in Indonesia. Autan is also a popular brand there.
Update: 21 Apr 2009. Prices of “OFF!” repellent seems to go up all the time. Its now $8.50 at Guardian pharmacy. I am going to switch to 3M “Ultrathon”, which is also used by armed forces worldwide. Although it costs nearly the same, it contains 25% DEET, which won’t get washed away quickly when you are sweating in the jungle heat.
Update: 1 Apr 2010
Watson’s price for Off! and Ultrathon repellent is most reasonable so far at about $7.50 for Off! and one dollar more for Ultrathon.
Update: 23 Jun 2010.
Ultrathon is now ridiculously priced $9.60 at Watson.