How do you keep the bugs off when running in the woods?

I really like running in the woods so much better than anywhere else. It's cooler, more interesting, and I like running on dirt better than pavement. But OMG, even with the spray I've been using, the bugs are swarming, and I've eaten more than a couple now :-P I haven't had anything bite me, so I guess the spray I have is working for that. And I'm getting an arm workout swatting at them as I run. If I get high-test bug spray, is it going to help? I don't want to douse myself in poison if I don't have to, but I certainly will if it keeps the bugs away.


  • NerdyAdventurer
    NerdyAdventurer Posts: 166 Member
    I like running on the trails too. Way more fun for sure.

    I've found that as long as I'm moving fast enough they don't bother me, even when I'm running around this pretty still lake that is like Disneyland for mosquitoes.

    Curious to see what works for other people though.
  • techgal128
    techgal128 Posts: 719 Member
    What kind of bugs? I heard mosquitoes HATE orange scented anything.
  • loomatic
    loomatic Posts: 15 Member
    I'm not even positive exactly what they are. There's more than one kind, though. Some are small, like gnats. Others are bigger. There's one kind that I never actually see, but just hear that buzzes pretty loudly around my hair. Even when I'm running, they keep up with me.
  • margannmks
    margannmks Posts: 424 Member
    You can try a bug tamer suit ,we wear them in bow season when its hot and buggy, they are a really fine mesh ,camo of course but you can just wear shorts under it and stay relativley cool. Theyre kinda exspensive, maybe if you know a hunter ask them if they have one you could borrow to try out before you buy. They have face masks too but that might be annoying running.
  • margannmks
    margannmks Posts: 424 Member
    Oh forgot to add theyre probably attracted by your breath, carbon minoxide i mean , not much you can do about breathing.
  • Mighty_Rabite
    Mighty_Rabite Posts: 581 Member
    Genetics must play a role in it somewhere, because I've almost always been lucky enough to go virtually bug-free.
  • rybo
    rybo Posts: 5,424 Member
    I love trail running and most days I only get the occasional bug, but some days when they are out in full force and very persistent the only thing that works is letting them win and cutting my run short.
  • MSeel1984
    MSeel1984 Posts: 2,297 Member
    Trail running is so much better than pavement.
    Run faster? LoL-j/k. I actually tried this wrist band bug repellant that a neighbor let me use at our block party last weekend. It worked surprisingly well. I can't remember the brand name.
  • PennyVonDread
    PennyVonDread Posts: 432 Member
    I use Avon's Bug Guard Plus SPF 30. It's worked for me.
  • kristinegift
    kristinegift Posts: 2,406 Member
    I have a bug spray called Bug Soother; it's all natural stuff (lavendar, vanilla, water, mostly) and it works really well. Doesn't eliminate the possibility of running though a collection of bugs, but at least keeps them from being attracted to you!
  • bwogilvie
    bwogilvie Posts: 2,130 Member
    Short answer: you can't.

    Long answer: You can use a repellent. DEET is best, but it wreaks havoc on synthetic fibers, so if you use it, wash your running clothes immediately after you finish your run. (If you can't wash, at least rinse a couple times.)

    But when you're running or cycling in an area with bugs, most of the time you run into them, before they can avoid you. No repellent in the world will prevent that. I've eaten my fair share of bugs while cycling and running, and I've been stung a couple times by bees that I ran into. I can't blame them; they were just flying along across the path when my lip hit their stinger.

    If you want to keep them off your face, get a hat with bug netting, like this one:

    You'll look dorky but you'll keep bugs out of your mouth. Otherwise, learn to duck when you approach a swarm.
  • misskris78
    misskris78 Posts: 136 Member
    I live in the Adirondacks - home of the legendary black flies. They are so vitriolic, they even kept Hillary Clinton away :)

    If I run early, the bugs aren't too bad. By 7:30, they're insane. Deer flies are the worst this time of year and nothing other than a can of Raid and good aim will kill those bad boys. If you're looking to repel black flies and mosquitoes, good old fashioned Off works the best. Make sure you douse your hair as well as your body.
  • eaglelakebill
    eaglelakebill Posts: 120 Member
    When I'm up at my place in Ticonderoga in the Adirondacks and we go hiking if it's really bad we use a hat with a bug net.
    Also try not to take a shower before you run they seam to love shampoo and conditioner.
    I did a 15 mile hike a few weeks back and forgot my bug net hat and it got soo bad at times I had to break into a full sprint for relief.
    Deep woods off seams to work for me most times.
    The black flies eat big spray for a snack! lol
  • 3laine75
    3laine75 Posts: 3,070 Member
    Do you have Avon where you are? It's not intended for keeping bugs away, but their 'skin so soft' spray oil/moisturiser works a treat. One of those worst kept secrets type of thing, everyone orders it for that reason here. We tend to have midges though, not sure how it would be on Mosquitos etc.
  • likitisplit
    likitisplit Posts: 9,420 Member
    Most people run faster than mosquitoes. It's the walk breaks that kill you. I just suck it up and live with the bites - I'd sweat off any repellant. There are clothes that have repellent in them, if you live in a seriously bad area.

    The worst are the spider webs. I end up covered in them :(
  • JoRocka
    JoRocka Posts: 17,525 Member
  • elcave
    elcave Posts: 1 Member
    I wear those bug bands on my wrist or ankle. They are mainly to repel mosquitos. I use them whenever I do any sort of exercise outside (running, kayaking, etc.)
  • Laurenloveswaffles
    Laurenloveswaffles Posts: 535 Member
    Panty hose over your face, turtle neck, long pants, knee high socks, and gloves. Then run fast.
  • laurie04427
    laurie04427 Posts: 421 Member
    I live in Maine with 4 acres of woods surrounding the house and I agree with the others (no joke) that you just have to OUTRUN the suckers. I mow the lawn FAST lol or I get eaten alive.

    Edited to add: At outdoor shops they do sell this net thing you can put over your head. Looks ridiculous but works great to keep them off your face.
  • Snip8241
    Snip8241 Posts: 767 Member
    Little black flies were awful and they would bite. I used to use fabric softener sheets. In my hat or tied in my worked.

    Avon skin so soft....great for no see ums.