TIP #132 The Ultimate Midgee Solution....

Submitted: Monday, Nov 20, 2006 at 18:13
ThreadID: 123071 Views:8282 Replies:2 FollowUps:2
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Hello Boggers, The “Yachties” by force of NECESSITY, developed the answer to this about 20 years ago…. Now I have about 300 topics I would like to cover, and do not want to put on more than one per week or one per dozen Postings, but I do not want people given the wrong advice, so I am putting this extra one on now… A lot of this style of travel, "Land Yachts" comes from 20 years on large Cruising Yachts, ten full time and living aboard, and ten part time. There are places like the Gulf States, Florida, and the Caribbean, where the sand flies are so bad they can kill you....... As well as ruining some idyllic spots on South Pacific island, even places here like Frazer Island in the wrong time of the year you can see them rise up like a hazy cloud. In the Caribbean, on grass early in the morning, I have seen the foggy haze of them rise up to head height in swarms that you have to be careful or you even cough as you occasionally inhale one!!! I have had exposure to them for so many years, that I am actually allergic to them.

THE ULTIMATE HEALTHY ANSWER… All of the normal repellents have chemicals of dubious detrimental health consequences long term. The answer is Avon "Skin So Soft" bath oil. Now if they have not changed the formulae, (I hope not, but try one bottle before you buy a case)…. You will smell a bit like a French Madaam, but you mix it 50-50 with water, shake it up, and put it on like a sun tan oil. All exposed parts of the body, totally wiped down with liberal amounts. With this, you have a skin moisturizing body oil, sun tan oil, and we have literally walked around in a cloud of "Midgees" in a bathing suit with NO ill affects..... It feels good, and is good for your skin. I still have a couple of bottles at home, call your Avon Rep in your area, and I hope they still offer it as it works a treat! In the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s there would hardly be a Cruising Yacht in the Tropics that did not have a stash of it on board. You mix it 50-50 with water, and it separates oil over water, so you shake it before you apply it. It seems like the scent fends them off, and the mineral oil kills them if they do land. Even construction Crews would use it, landscapers, it was the universal standard.

Now a few comments on “Midgee screens… As there are always people KEEN to give advice but from limited experience or limited perspectives.. First of all Midgee screens are not a new idea, the head of Camec in Brisbane, when he built his own van himself, put the Midgee screens on his own van about 8-9 years ago. He did not leave them on, and was the first in our experience to sound the alarm about them cutting down air flow dramatically. He put normal screens back on his van. If they were so great, why would neither Director of Bushtracker have them on our own vans??? And Tracy LIVES TO FISH… So, if it is such a great idea, why are they not on the Directors vans? Tracy’s comment is: “Every time you open a window, it is because you want air flow”….

Secondly, in traveling around Oz since the 80's, while I have seen them collect around my interior lights, and had to clean them up off the ceiling with a wet paper towel a couple of times per night, in my experience I have not had them biting me on the interior of the van for some reason. I am not certain, but I think they are just not biting at that time, attracted to the lights, and when lights are out they migrate back outside, I am not sure why but I do not get bit up in my own van. They seem to be in the biting time peak, at dawn and dusk.

I am allergic to sandfly bites. While they are a nuisance and it bothers me to see 100 of them collected on the white ceiling around the light, and I have to clean them up a couple of times with the wet paper towel as I said, I do not have Midgee screens on my own van. Neither does the other Director of Bushtracker... We have not found them to be a problem in my own van and travels worth cutting down the air flow. If I did, I think I would sew on some Velcro, with the soft fuzzy Velcro tape stuck on around the window, and add on the midgee screens as needed. The same for the four seasons hatch, a surround of Velcro tape, and add on the piece as needed. But that is the point, me personally, I have not had occasion to feel it was needed yet. It is too hard to change out the screens on the windows themselves, a real battle, but I would think that the fuzzy black Velcro tape around the window and ceiling of the Four Seasons Hatch; would not be so bad if I found I needed it.

Regards to all from the Ranger,

Semper Fidelis
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Tuesday, Nov 21, 2006 at 00:30

Tuesday, Nov 21, 2006 at 00:30
I and a lot of other caravaners don't like the idea of having hundreds of small insects coming through the normal screens and after getting too close to the ceiling lights drop down into the nice evening meal that my wife has prepared. Whether they bite us or not is not relevant to us, we just don't want them in our food and all over the table and benches.

Some of the places in the country where we have stayed have had so many of these tiny insects that we have been forced to spray and shut all the windows then turn a fan on to circulate some air. If midge screens can keep the little buggers out then I am all for midge screens.

Just because I and a lot of other caravaners want to have Midge screens doesn't mean that they are not a good idea or warranted, the same as just because the BTi directors don't want something in their vans doesn't mean that the rest of us shouldn't have them in our vans.

We are all individuals and like different things in our vans, if we didn't there would only be 2 models of BT's built and they would be identical to what the 2 directors have.

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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Nov 21, 2006 at 01:17

Tuesday, Nov 21, 2006 at 01:17
We at Bushtracker disagree with this persons advice above, for the above reasons. According to him, there should only be one van, Brians van. We will continue to try and set the record straight, when someone makes a blanket comment like (quote) “have Midge screens fitted when you are having your new van built.” Telling people that they should all get midgee screens with they order their new van is just misleading when you do not tell them the factual bad side affects of doing this.. This is a blatantly one sided statement without telling the disadvantages involved.

But then, we do not believe this person offers advice from a well meaning stand, but often rather to take a position contrary to the policies and advice at Bushtracker just to entertain himself as a Stirrer. For this reason, we no longer will open his Email sent to Bushtracker. We will however try and set the record straight here. We will continue to provide the facts for the good of all…

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Reply By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Nov 22, 2006 at 02:29

Wednesday, Nov 22, 2006 at 02:29
Richard Tal***** just stopped in here to say Hi! Real nice Person, I hope you all have the opportunity to meet him, great guy.

Anyway, he showed me a Mortein plug in over morning coffee. It has a wafer that slides in each of the sides, and with a warming element it produces some scent that drives all the Midgees out of the van. He swears by it, and like me has an allergy to Midgee bites. He runs this in his 20' Bushtracker van when ever in the Midgee country..

I expressed my reservations to him about my concerns of unnecessary exposure to chemicals, and he seemed to think it was OK. While I still have reservations about excess chemical exposure, this may be an answer for some. His argument was it is the same chemical used as repellent in the home. While I have not done the research on it, one could search the chemical on the Net... Or send me the email of what it is, and I will research it for you..

He runs it on 240, and his Inverter, and has for quite some time in two different RVs... It is about the size of half a tennis ball, and plugs right in like a night light..It looks like a brown bee hive sort of thing... Some of you might want to give it a try... It looks like it could be a very good alternative solution.

Regards, lone Ranger...
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Follow Up By: Turist - Wednesday, Nov 22, 2006 at 02:44

Wednesday, Nov 22, 2006 at 02:44
There is a 12 volt version available from Whitworths Marine.
Most brands of wafers are able to be used. (According to Whitworths>

Had one on the boat.
They work.
Putting one on the van for the next rip.

So the choice as I see it Steve.
Die a long slow death (maybe) from chemicals excuded by this device.
Or scratch yourself to pieces, get infections, die faster.


PS.. The sub micron filters in the air con keep 'em out of the Chev.
"Do It While You Can"
Nobody is getting any younger.

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