Mosquitoes, black flies.

Newsgroups: alt.folklore.herbs
Subject: Bug repellant?
From: (Todd S. Andrews)
Date: 17 May 1995 15:45:51 -0400

hi there!
pardon me if this has been brought up recently... i'm going to be a counselor at a summer camp starting this june, at a camp that's infamous for it's mosquitoes and black flies..i'd like to not have to deal with the chemicals (and smell) of modern bug repellant. i'd heard rumors of vitamins and herbs that naturally repel insects, though i'm not sure what ones...any help is greatly appriciated, here or e-mail if this is an inappropriate thread..

thank You all =)

From: (Aine Maclir)

>i'd heard rumors of vitamins and herbs that naturally repel insects

There are a couple of things that I know of.

  1. Wear Citronella essential oil (which isn't the greatest smelling stuff around, but I guess it beats Off).
  2. Take the equivalent of 1500mg of fresh garlic clove (a 15mg capsule of garlic powder or 3 5mg capsules) orally every day. Taking garlic will cause your skin to secrete a natural insect repellent.

For best results, do both. Don't wear perfumes or scented deordorants and wear light-coloured clothing as darker colours attract bugs...this is particularly true of blue denim jeans. To make sleeping more comfortable, burn either an insect coil or a couple of sticks of citronella incence in your cabin before going to bed, making sure that all the doors and unscreened windows are closed, so no more of them get in.

If you do get bitten, applying a small dab of ammonia to the bite immediately after being bitten can help ease the itching. And there's always the old favorite...calamine lotion...if you're not going to be anywhere that being coated in pink polka dots will be unfashionable <g>. Aloe vera and witch hazel will also soothe insect bites.

If you are going to be in an area that's also known for tics, just be on the lookout for them whenever you've been in a wooded area and if you find one stuck to you, use rubbing alcohol to make him let go and carefully remove it with a pair of tweezers. Salt applied to a leech will get rid of it (in case you're around water that has any of those "suckers" <g>).

I think that should about cover every blood-thirsty creature you're likely to run into at a summer camp, recalling my own experiences. I've been on canoe trips through Algonquin Park, Ontario (known for having some of the biggest and thirstiest mosquitos, blackflies and leeches in Canada) and I live in Saskatchewan, where we could make mosquitos our provincial bird!

Hope that helps. Have fun!

From: (amethyst)

>>i'd heard rumors of vitamins and herbs that naturally repel insects, though i'm not sure what ones...any help is greatly appriciated

I've had good results taking b-complex supplements daily. Seems the bugs like the odor of B-1 about as much as I like the taste of it ;P