Welcome to the Atlantic ICW Kayak Expedition
Keeping insects, snakes, alligators, raccoons and other pests away
⇐ This is 98.11% DEET and will dissolve plastic. After you have applied it, wash your hands thoroughly as even a trace will leave a fingerprint on any plastic you touch. DEET is the main active ingredient in commercial insect repellents products such as OFF, Cutter, and Sawyer range.
If you plan on walking anywhere on Matagorda Island, you need to be ready for these painful insects. Also known as "sand fleas," no-see-ums can make a morning or late afternoon at the beach unbearable—especially in the summer and early fall. They are nearly invisible and their bite or sting really isn't a bite or sting—it is the sensation you feel when the acid in their bodily fluid hits the skin. Sand fleas are actually a gnat (Culicoides furens) that are sensitive to temperature and humidity. Compared to their Scottish cousin, the midge, or even the horsefly, they will feel like a love-bite. They will have you hopping, swerving, and jumping until you get out of their range.
This is an insecticide and repellent of odorless Permethrin which is applied directly to clothing, gear, and tents. Clothing needs a reapplication after approximately six washes. ⇒
⇐ You might want to make up your own solution by buying bulk Permethrin SFR (36.8%) and diluting it down to 0.5% (74:1).
Permethrin has been at the forefront for mosquito control for years but is now becoming less effective as the latest generations of Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) are showing Permethrin resistance. Unfortunately, the consequences are dire as this is the mosquito carrying Dengue (DFV), Chikungunya (CFV), Yellow Fever (YFV), and the Zika (ZFV) virus. However, its effectiveness at controlling other mosquitoes and pests makes it invaluable.
Snakes, spiders, raccoons and alligators
If you are in a wooded area with sufficiently dense trees, then a suspended tent or hammock may be a solution for you. Make sure you have tree straps that match the weight you are going to put in the hammock such as these LiteSpeed Hammock Tree Straps. Don't forget to spray everything with Permethrin.
Raccoons are very intelligent, resourceful and tenacious nocturnal pests. The least they will do is disturb your sleep at night. If there is any food that they can smell, they will go to great lengths to get to it. They can open ice chests, they will rip trash bags with their sharp claws (they will reach on their hind legs so trash has to be high) and that includes you if you are in a suspended tent or hammock, and they hang about in gangs (called a nursery) and will intimidate you with their hisses.
Pepper-based liquids ⇒ and granules can be effective (or make your own spray by diluting liquid pepper such as Da’Bomb—The Final Answer ⇐ which has 1,500,000 Scoville Heat Units [SHU]). Be careful! Pepper sprays are likely to be just as harmful to you.
Alligators will usually be in the edges of water where they can hide in the reeds or head for deeper water. While they are fresh-water creatures, they have occasionally been spotted in the briny water of the Intracoastal Waterway and even in the Atlantic Ocean.