Natural Bug Repellents
As a devout camper and real character lover I don’t want to be regularly in fear of ticks or other bites which can transmit diseases like the West Nile virus. We all just want to enjoy late-summer and fall outdoor gatherings, camping, hiking, and hunting without sharp bugs.
At the time when I was done with those bothersome insects that ruined my every year’s holidays I tried all kinds of methods how to get rid of bug bites. Since then I discovered a bunch of effective natural ways and a few storage bought repellents that really worked out for me and which at the end saved my vacations. If you’re at your wits end with this nuisance pest, take a few minutes to read these tips for getting rid of bug bites.
Natural bug repellents:
Homemade bug repellents are very effective and can be made inexpensively and naturally at home. I have been using these self-made alternatives regularly for many years and I have tested them in lots of different countries. Below are the few natural repellents that I found worked best for me:
1) basic oil
You will need 10 to 25 drops of basic oil, witch hazel and distilled or boiled water.
1) Fill a jar ½ complete with distilled or boiled water
2) Add few drops of witch hazel oil
3) Add 10-25 drops of basic oil of your choice (the more oil you use the stronger the spray will be). I prefer rosemary oil, lavender oil, citronella, clove and peppermint oil. It works efficient and also smells good!
4) After that, you will need to add one tablespoon of aloe Vera and two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Blend the elements and pour the combination into an open glass.
5) Apply a few drops of the content to your pulse points to deter insects when outdoors. Reapply as needed.
This preparation is appropriate for adults and it is advisable to be aware of the contra-indications for each basic oil. It worked very efficient for me against ticks, mosquitos and sharp flies.
2) Fresh or dried herbs
Again you will need distilled or boiled water, witch hazel and herbs (lavender, citronella, clove, peppermint, lemon-grass)
1) Fill a jar with distilled or boiled water
2) Add 3-5 TBSP of fresh or dried herbs in any combination. I usually use lavender, citronella and some mint herb.
3) Stir the combination well, cover it and let it cool
4) Add 5 TBSP of witch hazel oil
5) Remove the herbs and apply the combination on your skin as needed.
It is working very efficient and it is also uncommon for your skin. It has a very delicious smell! It used to worked on ticks and mosquitoes for me.
The vinegar combination is a super strong and effective bug repellent. It works incredibly well though, and this is the one I use when I’m going to be camping in the woods or in tick infested areas.
You will need apple cider vinegar, 5 TBSP each of rosemary, lavender, thyme and mint and a glass jar with airtight lid.
1) Put the vinegar and the dried herbs in a glass jar with airtight lid
2) Mix or shake the combination every day for at the minimum 2-weeks
3) Remove the herbs and store the combination preferably in fridge
4) Before using it dilute it by half with water
5) Use it only if you need extreme bug control.
Warning: This combination has a strong smell when it is wet but it is making wonders. After being applied it loses the strong odor. It worked out for me on any insects!
Store bought repellents
If you don’t have the proper resources for homemade repellents or if you prefer to buy bug repellent in the store, then you should make sure that you get one of the most effective ones. Below are my favorite repellents that I tried on different camping trips around the world:
This kind of repellent is recommended by many experts. It is especially good for repelling insects in very wet and wooded areas. It is also very effective for long-term use and has been shown to ward off insects for up to 12 hours. One of the reasons that 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent is so effective is because it contains DEET. DEET is a kind of yellow oil that is found in most of the store-brought bug repellents. Some people claim that the asset is dangerous and that it would cause skin damages and rashes. Since I am not an expert in this field I just want to proportion my experience with this product. Ultrathon was working very good in wet and moist conditions in Indonesia and Taiwan. It didn’t smell so bad as other products and I just apply it twice a day( in the morning and before going to bet). I haven’t got bitten once!
Bite Blocker Organic Extreme
As an good different to 3M Ultrathon which don’t contains DEET I was totally impressed of Bite Blocker Extreme. I was using it during my camping holidays and I didn’t get any mosquito or tick bites (mostly in the woods and by the sea). This repellent is not only very effective, but it is safe because it only contains plant-based elements. It can ward off insects for up to 3.5 hours. You will have to reapply the spray frequently. To my taste it smells a little bit.
How to Apply Insect Repellent:
Insect repellent is any kind of substance that is designed to ward off insects. All you have to do is apply it directly to the exposed skin and clothing. Avoid putting any repellent on cuts or skin abrasions. You should make sure that you wash the skin as soon as you come back indoors. All the same, if you haven’t already used basic oil products on your skin, do a skin patch test before using and it is recommended to talk to your health care specialized before using it as a bug repellent.
Pregnant women can use repellent because there has been no evidence to suggest that it can harm the mother or baby. The safest types of repellent for pregnant women to use are the natural ones and the repellents that contain DEET. Children can use insect repellent, but parents should avoid putting it on a child’s hands because children often put their hands in their mouth. The repellent should also not be used around the mouth or the hands.