So you’ve forgotten the Aerogard!
After his resignation as medical officer at Peel Island’s lazaret (leprosarium) in the late 1940s, Doctor Eric Reye was literally stung into action to become an Entomologist by the pesky biting midges that resided on Peel Island …
For those planning trips down the bay, Eric offered the following tips: ‘Generally the midges are worst in spring and autumn (especially at Easter), they dislike wind, so shut up the leeward side of the house and open the windward side. If you have forgotten the Aerogard, use mossie coils (pyrethrins), or citronella oil, but really these are no better than plain vegetable oil. The Midges have small mouth parts and are unable to penetrate a film of vegetable oil on the skin.’
Finally, Eric offered the following lotion to the Bay enthusiast at their wits’ end from midge attack: ‘Half fill an empty beer bottle (freshly emptied) with a vegetable cooking oil, fill the rest with water and add a dash of Dettol from the first aid chest. Cap and shake the bottle vigorously so that an oil in water emulsion is formed (the Dettol acts as an emulsifier). Apply the lotion liberally to the exposed skin. You’ll probably smell like a hospital emergency department, but the midges will give you a wide berth!’