Naturally Repelling Insects
If you plan on hiking, camping, or even taking your dogs for a walk in the foothills, it is important that you use both common sense and insect repellent to deter insects from coming close to you. Not only can insect bites be obnoxious, they can be detrimental to your health. Ticks and mosquitoes carry illnesses such as Lyme Disease, Malaria, and the West Nile Virus. Many individuals don’t wear insect repellent because they don’t want to apply the commonly recommended pesticide “Deet” or “Picaridin” to their skin. For those individuals, i say “Don’t Worry there are alternatives!”
Things to Eat
There are a few things that you can eat which will actually repel insects. Drinking a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar seems to do the trick. Eating lots of garlic helps as well. Incorporating the vitamin B1 in to your daily diet will also help.
Natural Herbal Repellents
There are many different natural herbal remedies that you can use to deter insects. Some of these herbs include: lemon grass, citronella, marigold, catnip, lavender, basil, peppermint, horsemint, ageratum, bay leaves, geraniums, pyrethrum chrysanthemums, lemon balm, garlic, rosemary, eucalyptus, tea tree and many others.
Natural Doesn’t Always Mean Safe
Keep in mind though that just because a herb is natural, it doesn’t mean that is can’t be harmful. For example, oils derived from the clove herb can repel mosquitoes if applied in large quantities. Unfortunately, if large quantities of clove oil are applied to your skin it will burn your skin severely. It is your responsibility to do research and identify the proper dosage or usage of each and every herb that your apply to your skin.
Applying the Plant
Using these plants as insect repellent is quite easy. Simple crush the leaves with a mortar and pestle in order to release the natural oils within the plant. You can add a little bit of water to the oil in order to have enough insect repellent to cover your body.
Limit Exposed Areas
This may not be very shocking, but wearing long pants and long sleeve shirts will help limit insect bites. Ticks like to wait on the tips of branches and shrubs along trails with lots of traffic. As a person brushes against a branch or shrub the tick will cling to them. Wearing long pants and shirts is very important since these are the areas that are most likely for ticks to grab to. I recommend that you wear light clothing so that you will be able to quickly identify ticks before they have embedded their head in your skin. Tucking in your clothes is also a great idea since ticks like moist areas, especially the folds in your skin.
About the Author:
Tyler Tebbs is an avid outdoors man. He particularly enjoys hiking, fishing, and camping. He now shares his passion with others through his company “Excursion Outfitters”, a company that sells premium lightweight hiking and camping gear from brands such as Jetboil or Mountainsmith.