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Thread: Best homemade musquito repellent

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    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    Default Best homemade musquito repellent

    If you were out in the woods, and forgot the Deet, what could you use to make repellent from what mother nature provides. These are the things I have heard will work, but I haven't tried some of them.

    mugwort, sage, lavender, tea tree oil, lemon grass, alligator armpit oil, and citronela. In the movie, " The way back " They had someting wrapped up in raw hide, but I dont know what it was, and being in a movie, who knows if it was a real deal or not. I have used citronela but after dark, I'm not so sure how well it works because I was still being bitten!

    So have any of you used any of this stuff?


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    Senior Member Daniel Nighteyes's Avatar
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    True Citronella should work -- be sure that you're using the real thing, though, as true Citronella only grows in greatly-limited areas.

    Other than that, and lacking anything more -- ah -- proven, my suggestion is to wrap yourself up in fabrics that are thick enough to prevent effective "bite-throughs". Headnets, designed to be worn over full-brimmed hats, are rather effective at keeping the critters away from face, nose and etc. On the other side, in northern Minnesota and while wearing a headnet, I was bitten several times through my Polarfleece shirt...

    -- Nighteyes
    Last edited by Daniel Nighteyes; 03-19-2012 at 08:06 PM. Reason: Additional Information

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    I have heard wax mertle, beauty berry leaves and dog fennel. I take Bug Tamers, Thermacells and DEET.

    I have tried all three of the plants above and I am not leaving the latter three at home. The bug tamers are awesome except when you sit back on a camp chair and compress the net. Then DEET. Thermacells are great for clearing your tent before going to sleep. I have forgotten my tent being open and had many mosquitoes in the tent. I threw the thermacell on my cot and 15 minutes later every mosquito in the tent was dead.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    You can rub the leaves of pineapple weed on you. Another that works is a tea made from the leaves of Black Walnut.

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    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    You can rub the leaves of pineapple weed on you. Another that works is a tea made from the leaves of Black Walnut.
    I have a black walnut tree in my back yard, now do you drink the tea or rub it all over you?

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    You apply it to the skin. This is one I HAVE NOT tried. I have to believe the walnut will stain your skin so I've never tried it. It has been used for years to kill bed bugs and to repel insects. You can find it listed in a lot of folk lore.

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    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    I hear the alligator arm pit oil works really good, but I'm too far north for gators. Maybe some of the southern WS'rs will try that and report back to us!

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    What the hell is alligator arm pit oil?

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    Senior Member wtrfwlr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildthang View Post
    I hear the alligator arm pit oil works really good, but I'm too far north for gators. Maybe some of the southern WS'rs will try that and report back to us!
    The big problem anymore is finding a gator that doesn't use deororant/anti-perspirant! I guess they have all seen the Old Spice commercials!

    alligator-feeding-frenzy.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batch View Post
    What the hell is alligator arm pit oil?
    Alligator secrete an oil from a gland in their armpits, it keeps parasites from entering that soft flexible area, and will repel any insect as well. But you gotta be a mean SOB to milk those glands to get the oil! It's the best insect and parasite repellant in the world if you can only get it!

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    I think you are pulling or collective armpits! I have never heard of this aligator armpit repellant in any form and I lived in the south and heard about every home remidy that exists for my whole life. Neither can I find reference to it in any scientific sturdy, journal of the folk arts or any outdoor magazine or comic book I have read.

    There is historic reference to the Indians suffering with the misquitoes and building smokey fires to keep them at bay. The early settlers also mention their bug problems often. Misquito borne miliria and yellow fever were major killers right up until 1914 when the misquito eradication programs began. About 40% of the new immigrant population was expected to die in the first year from water and misquito borne disease.

    No one ever found a way to keep the misquitoes away, they actually found ways to eliminate the pests.

    You are looking for something that does not exist. The "holy grail" of the camping and outdoor world.

    If it existed the Indians and/or early settlers would have found and used it.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 03-23-2012 at 10:13 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildthang View Post
    Alligator secrete an oil from a gland in their armpits, it keeps parasites from entering that soft flexible area, and will repel any insect as well. But you gotta be a mean SOB to milk those glands to get the oil! It's the best insect and parasite repellant in the world if you can only get it!
    I have skinned out more than my fair share of alligators and the only gland you'll find like that is by the jaw. Its a musk gland.

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    Alaska, The Madness! 1stimestar's Avatar
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    Eat lots of garlic and take your B12 supplements. It really helps. Our state bird is the mosquito so deet is my friend.
    Why do I live in Alaska? Because I can.

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    +1 on the smoke. I burn lawn clippings because they smolder for a while and I can set up a few smoky piles in a perimeter around us. The smoke can be a little aggravating to the eyes and nose, but it's still better than being sucked dry by all these blessed vampires!

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    The only time I have ever been "run out of the woods" was by misquitoes. Neither rain nor snow nor flood nor bigfoot nor wild vampire chupacabra has sent me home, but a cloud of misquitoes once did. They were biting us through our blankets!

    I remember distinctly when two of them landed on the ridgepole, which sagged a bit with their weight, and began discussing the benefits of eating in or take out. One prefered to have his meal right there in camp and the other wanted to carry me back home for latter. The first one won out due to the fear that if they took me back home their bigger brothers and sisters would take me away from them.

    Before deet and Deep Woods Off I remember my grandad smearing his clothes with kerosene "coal oil" as he called it.

    The pioneer hunters used all kinds of concoctions to fight misquitoes. Most involved mixtures of animal grease, usually bear oil or goose fat, with sulphur and/or camphors. If you have ever smelled bear grease you will wonder that that alone did not repel the swarms. They still wound up depending on smoky fires as the most effective deterrant. They complained when they could not use the normal cloud of smoke due to Indian threats and the smoke giving away their positions.

    Many hikers/campers have found the fabric softener sheets you place in the dryer effective deterrants. They stuff them in pockets and hang them from the packstraps. They do work to some extent.

    Most home remedies only work in the absence of the pests. If they are bad they will ignore any chemical around and bite you through a class 2 kelvar vest.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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    And most folks don't realize that malaria was once as prevalent in the U.S. as anywhere in the world. Especially in the Midwest's Tennessee Valley and the Southern US. Today's CDC was first developed to combat malaria in the brand new military bases built in southern swamps (well, almost swamps) during WWII. Then, they were called the Malaria Control in War Areas (MCWA). There was a huge eradication program here in the States in the late 40's and early 50's. Otherwise, we'd still be dying from the scourge just like elsewhere in the world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyratshooter View Post
    I think you are pulling or collective armpits! I have never heard of this aligator armpit repellant in any form and I lived in the south and heard about every home remidy that exists for my whole life. Neither can I find reference to it in any scientific sturdy, journal of the folk arts or any outdoor magazine or comic book I have read.

    There is historic reference to the Indians suffering with the misquitoes and building smokey fires to keep them at bay. The early settlers also mention their bug problems often. Misquito borne miliria and yellow fever were major killers right up until 1914 when the misquito eradication programs began. About 40% of the new immigrant population was expected to die in the first year from water and misquito borne disease.

    No one ever found a way to keep the misquitoes away, they actually found ways to eliminate the pests.

    You are looking for something that does not exist. The "holy grail" of the camping and outdoor world.

    If it existed the Indians and/or early settlers would have found and used it.
    Man I wouldn't bull crap you guys! You are my brothers of the Wilderness

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    Junior Member Girly's Avatar
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    Excellent information!

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    And most folks don't realize that malaria was once as prevalent in the U.S. as anywhere in the world. Especially in the Midwest's Tennessee Valley and the Southern US. Today's CDC was first developed to combat malaria in the brand new military bases built in southern swamps (well, almost swamps) during WWII. Then, they were called the Malaria Control in War Areas (MCWA). There was a huge eradication program here in the States in the late 40's and early 50's. Otherwise, we'd still be dying from the scourge just like elsewhere in the world.
    Absolutely correct. Milaria and yellow fever wer major killers. As late as 1873 Memphis,TN was quarenteened by the National Guard for yellow fever with "shoot to kill" orders for anyone but Doctors and nurses allowed in or out of the city. Between 40-60% of new emmigrants died due to Misquito and waterborne disease. Misquitoes were espically hard on the northern European population. Germans going into Texas and Missouri were nearly wiped out before they reached their settlements during the mid 1800s. In Colonial days the labor contractors counted on losing half their new labor force in the first year.

    We do not now remember what a blessing the "horrid" DDT was after WW2. That single chemical and air conditioning allowed the development of todays modern south as we know it. As a child I remember the city health department pumping DDT spray into any wet area they could find. We were still being cautioned against allowing standing water to collect in puddles, old tires and buckets. It was not until they stopped the use of DDT that the present plauges like West Nile Virus, and all the pet names it is given, could gain a foothold.

    Around 2001 one of the nationwide camping organizations I belong too started a phone in poll of everyone in the group that had been hit by West Nile Fever. Among our national group we had more confirmed/diagnosed medically treated cases in that one year than the CDC was reporting for the whole nation. The CDC was refusing to give true figures to avoid panic.

    And we were bathing in DEET.


    The Panama Cannal had to wait for Yellow fever to be conquered before it could be built after several tries were stopped by the insects.
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    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    hookworm was bad in the south at one time.


    Sometimes a smelly cigar helps keep the mosquitoes at bay. A mosquito bar may be a good option for sleeping comfort.

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