Pros: It really does repel mosquitoes
Cons: Contains 25% DEET
You won't believe what I was able to get, absolutely free! An entire case (9 cans) of Muskol Insect Repellant! A friend of mine gave me a tip, and I wish I had known about this 5 years ago when the program started. Anyone can visit the local landfill and go into their "hazardous materials" section and shop for a variety of products - for free.
We were looking for white indoor paint, and I asked the employee if they had any bug dope, and he came back with an entire box (unopened) of it, asking me if I wanted all of it. Any items that are brought to the dump that are considered hazardous go into this room, and you can take what you want for free. They want you to take it off their hands!
Anyway, back to my Muskol review. My husband and I worked out in the yard all day today, and the mosquitoes were horrendous - very thick and very annoying. I was making a walkway with octagon shaped pavers, and I had gloves on my hands and was working with sand to level the pavers. It was very difficult to swat at mosquitoes under these conditions. This morning I received numerous bites, and then we went to town and stopped by the landfill on the way, coming home with the Muskol.
I sprayed the Muskol insect repellent all over my body, legs, arms, ankles, etc, and went back to work. This bug dope started working almost immediately! I did notice that the mosquitoes were still flying around in my general area, but I didn't have any of them land on me and bite me. If I hadn't had this insect repellent on, I would have gotten many more bites, but honestly, I don't think I have any more than the few I received on my arms earlier in the morning before I applied the Muskol.
The can doesn't say how long the Muskol will repel insects, but I worked in the yard for three hours, and it was effective the entire time.
This comes in a 6 ounce yellow can, with a green cap. There's no separate cap, the sprayer is built right into lid, which tells you to "shake well" before applying.
The can says that Muskol is a "Canadian Tradition". The front of the can bears the picture of Col. C Coll, a Canadian outdoorsman, who developed the repellent in 1951.
It works on more than just mosquitoes, it also repels biting flies, gnats, ticks, and other insects. Now, Muskol does contain DEET, 25% to be exact, which is an ingredient that many people are avoiding for health concerns ... especially on children. However, we have found that DEET works better than any other bug dope on the market.
The can is an aerosol, but the spray didn't come out strong like a can of hairspray, which really made this nice, as it was easier to apply where I wanted it without worrying about getting too much on. It also sprays upside down!
Muskol also has a pleasant scent, which reminds me of evergreen trees. Not the chemical smell that I expected with a product like this.
There are numerous warnings on the can, such as being careful not to spray near the eyes and mouth, and not to use in an enclosed area (so you won't breathe the vapors by accident). Don't apply to children's hands, and use just enough to cover desired areas as over application doesn't improve it's performance. If you purchase Muskol be sure to read all of the precautions.
A 6 ounce can of Muskol, with 25% DEET, usually retails for around $8.00, and can be found in a variety of stores. I am very lucky that I was able to get all of mine for free, and shared my good fortune with my neighbors. The bottom of the can has an expiration date of July 2008, so I think maybe a store gave this away to the Anchorage landfill. I was told they had about 150 pounds of the stuff!
Our mosquitoes have been really bad all week long, and one of my daycare parents sent a can of Off! Skintastic for them to use (per licensing rules, I can't apply any such products on the kids unless the parents send it from home) and the kids were getting all bitten up anyway. I see that the Off! still has DEET in it, but only 7%. In observing how well that worked compared to how well the Muskol worked, I have to say that Muskol was ten times better!
If you need a good, heavy duty insect repellent for camping, hiking, or simply enjoying an evening outdoors, I can honestly tell you that Muskol worked amazingly well for me. I'm not crazy about the DEET, but I am less crazy about getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.
I rate Muskol 5 stars.