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Mosquitoes are a real problem no matter where you are, but if you are stuck in the woods with no way to get away from them, it is really bad. I know a lot of people use Deet, but I really hate that stuff. Deet is dietltoluamide, and I know that it is considered safe, but there have been rare cases of toxicity. The following information is reproduced, in part, directly from http://druginfosite.com/202749.html

Deet

Pregnancy: Diethyltoluamide has not been studied in pregnant women. However, studies in animals have shown that diethyltoluamide is passed on to the offspring. One animal study has shown diethyltoluamide to cause death of the fetus. Before using diethyltoluamide, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.

Avoid breathing in diethyltoluamide.

Side Effects of This Medicine
Side Effects of This Product
Along with its needed effects, diethyltoluamide may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Rare
Changes in facial skin color; clumsiness or unsteadiness; confusion; convulsions (seizures); fast or irregular breathing ; loss of consciousness; mood or mental changes; muscle cramping; puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes; reddening of skin; shortness of breath, troubled breathing, tightness in chest, and/or wheezing; skin blisters; skin rash, hives, and/or itching; slow heartbeat; slurred speech; tremors; trouble in sleeping; uncontrolled jerking movement; unusual tiredness or weakness


Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

And this was also included in the information:

Do not keep the repellent on your skin any longer than necessary. Once it is not needed, or after you return indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water.

Now, I don't mean to step on any toes, but I bet not 1 in 100 people have any idea about what I just posted, and yet ... everyone thinks it is great stuff, buying into everything the companies that make it, tell them. My herbal mentor, Margarette, always told me that I had better learn to paddle my own canoe, because no one else was going to do it for me. It made me start to look a lot harder at the products that I use, and what the other side of the coin was. I like to make my own bug spray, and it works great. If you are interested, here is the recipe:

Take: ----- 2 cups of rubbing alcohol

Add:
------ 15 drops of Citronella Essential Oil
------ 5 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
------ 5 drops of Lemon Essential Oil

Put mixture into a spray bottle, like you can get for pennies for use with plants, shake well, and spray yourself. I wouldn't suggest getting it into your eyes, but I just close mine, and spritz my face as well. I've never had a problem, and it has always worked great.

Now, any of you that are interested in natural products and such, will immediately know that rubbing alcohol is a solvent, and studies have shown a possible link between solvents and cancer. My thinking usually goes, humm ... rubbing alcohol .... diethyltoluamide ... yeap ... rubbing alcohol!

Another thing most people don't know is that mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors. Did you ever notice that if you have one dark spot in your back yard, when evening comes, that is where most of the mosquitoes are? So even if you wear camo, pick lighter greens and tans.

I have never considered just using the Citronella Essential Oil by itself, because for one thing, most pure essential oils will burn your skin if used uncut. I know most of the folks on this site are guys, and you probably didn't think the post I did on "Harvesting Herbs, Making Tinctures and Syrups" was something you were interested in, but there is some valuable info on the essentials that you should be aware of ... like not putting them in direct contact with your skin. I have never tried putting a drop or two of the Citronella essential oil on a cloth, and then keeping the cloth on my person, so that might work if you have no way to mix it, or nothing to mix it with. You could also possibly, take the cloth with oil, and rub it lightly on the back neck hair ... NOT SKIN, of your dog, to keep them free of flies and skeeters too. I imagine a drop or two on a rock placed close to a fire, would spread the citronella scent around the campsite, possibly enough to keep the mosquitoes away for the evening. (Caution here ... never use river rocks or damp rocks with a fire ... the water combined with the heat, will cause them to explode ... NOT GOOD!)

I guess I should repeat myself here (see Harvesting Herbs ... ), but herb companies produce what they call carrier oils, like almond oil, sesame, grapeseed, etc. that are used to cut the essential oils, but here is the catch ... the carrier oils are essentials also. It's just that they are mild enough that they don't harm your skin. The problem here is that some companies will sell you a bottle of 100% pure essential oil, but it is made up of 99% Almond Oil and 1% Citronella Oil. That isn't going to go very far or work very well. You need to make sure that it is 100% Citronella Essential Oil, or whatever oil you are planning to use. Essential oils do cost a bit, like maybe $10.00 for a bottle, but they are VERY concentrated, therefore, they can put a lot in that little bottle.

As far as herbs go, I have heard that Anise plants are something mosquitoes don't like, and at one time, I had a pot on each side of the back door, but even though they were suppose to get about 2 1/2 feet tall, mine were about 5' tall and really got bushy. Miracle grow potting soil is awesome!!! It was a pain, cause I had a praying mantis take up residence in each of the two "shrubs", and install nests, so I had to leave them there all summer and well into the fall. It was like two little sentries stationed at my back door, and we had many interesting conversations, but I digress! As far as it working, I think it helped, but once I planted them, I really didn't notice the mosquitoes. Maybe that's because it worked! Not sure, cause I was a bit stressed at that particular time in my life, to the point that I think the praying mantis' came as animal totem helpers to guard me while I worked through the difficulties. ... it's a Native thing, but animal helpers will come when you have need of them!

Pennyroyal is another herb that works well on some insects, one being fleas. I use to make tea with it
(... you know, put the herb in a bowl, pour boiling water over it, let it steep, strain ... see Harvesting Herbs ... bla, bla, bla!), and spritz the dogs and their beds. Fleas don't like the smell. Pennyroyal is a cousin in the mint family, and although I have read that it can be used internally on people, I have also read where it wasn't an herb that should be ingested. I would think that applied to dogs and cats as well. It does seem to discourage fleas though, and it might work on mosquitoes as well. I will have to do a bit of digging to see if I can find more on the subject.

Hope this helps, and that I didn't bore you too much!
Howl Happy,
Graywolf
 

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This should help those who cannot use DEET.
I will say, I've used it, over time, by the gallons and it does work.
Not a good ideal, in a closed wall tent, I found out.
Acouple of old (then me) timers, I used to hunt an camp with, swore by garlic.
They'd start eating it a week before we went out.
It may have made life in the woods better, but I'd guess other areas suffered..
 

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My friend on the coast that has a bayhouse planted citronella plants all around her patio. When we set outside at night and the skeeters get active she give the bushes a kick. Seems to work,...for a while at least. When anyone gets up for another drink we usually tell themto kick the bushes.:D
Deepwoods OFF! is still the most popular down there,....it's referred to as Surfside cologne.
I've got a picture that I can't find right now of a SUV whose interior is totally covered in skeeters,....very skeery!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This should help those who cannot use DEET.
I will say, I've used it, over time, by the gallons and it does work.
Not a good ideal, in a closed wall tent, I found out.
Acouple of old (then me) timers, I used to hunt an camp with, swore by garlic.
They'd start eating it a week before we went out.
It may have made life in the woods better, but I'd guess other areas suffered..
I imagine that would work pretty well. When you eat garlic, eventually it starts coming out of your pores, which is okay. Garlic is an herb, so even though the smell might be a bit strong, it would still smell like woodsey, oniony scents, so the wildlife would probably be okay with it. Might even mask other human scents that animals detect when you are hunting.

I also read this evening that Lemon Grass, which grows about three or four feet tall has a high concentration of citronella oil in it, and that it repels mosquitoes. It grows well near water, and is a good landscaping plant.

Graywolf
 

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That's why you Learn how to make bat boxes by had so when you bug out you can make a **** ton of bat boxes in your bug out location. Let's see how the mosquitos like it when you have 200+ bat boxes littering the trees of your chosen location.
 

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That would be great if White-Nose Syndrome doesn't wipe out your entire bat population. Where I am it is a 96% collapse of the major species of bats. Way back, we had flocks of bats flying all over, loved the little guys.

I use the Off Eucalyptus stuff as well with good results.
 

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@ Graywolf, post # 4. I have had the chance to try the garlic way when I lived up in Fairbanks, AK. I was in the service and the Deet i was issued kept eating different parts of my uniforms. I was a SP at Eielson and mostly worked the Swing/Grave shift. Best time for them to feast on me. So I tried the Garlic and after about 2 weeks I could just stand my post and they would fly around me like I had a force field on me. Of course other people stayed away from me also. I didnt mind. That being said I would like to ask your permission to copy your post # 1. It is for my own notes and I will not post it anywhere else. Just putting together a Kindle book with lots of Good info to have if needed. Thanks for your consideration.
 

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Mulberry bushes planted around your house also helps.

Something I've used on boats is dryer sheets. Place several on the A/C air intake. Working on the Louisiana coast, we would leave the hatches open at night and they would be in clouds outside, but almost never come inside.
 

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That's why you Learn how to make bat boxes by had so when you bug out you can make a **** ton of bat boxes in your bug out location. Let's see how the mosquitos like it when you have 200+ bat boxes littering the trees of your chosen location.
Bats do a great job but in our area there is a very high, something like 95%, die off going on.
 

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In the BWCA if your not using DEET you will go insane. I am serious, the mosquito's there are serious, and you had better be as well or you will be drained of blood in the morning. :eek:

It's most effective to spray your clothing before you get dressed. Allow the DEET to dry then suit up. My personally experience with natural repellants remedy's is that they are fine on the porch when the mosquito's are just a little or very mild.

Skin contact is not needed for DEET to be effective, and with the new time release formulations 30% is just as effective as the 95% used to be. The OP has some really good ideas about suburban picnicking and mosquito's on the deck. However, in the back woods you better have a back up plan, DEET just plain works every time.:thumb:
 

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Home grown recipe from the West Coast of south island New Zealand. Equal quantities of olive oil and Dettol, apply as needed. There were cases of early settlers in the area actually going mad because of the biters....
 

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Mosquitoes can be lethal or just plain horrible - the right clothing and nets make a huge difference, I avoid a lot of the repellent sprays because of the chemicals but every now and again many aren't too dangerous - I'm a big fan of a citronella lamp or candles on the patio or around camp
 

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Skin contact is not needed for DEET to be effective, and with the new time release formulations 30% is just as effective as the 95% used to be. The OP has some really good ideas about suburban picnicking and mosquito's on the deck. However, in the back woods you better have a back up plan, DEET just plain works every time.:thumb:
As a visitor of our own mosquito-hell, i second this :thumb:
Its nice to be able to fall back on smoke of any way shape or form, or cleaner concoctions, or any one of many products you can find at the local store, or draping a shemagh over your head and hoping they dont find their way in (i jest :) ), but it really doesnt take up much pack space to have something you can rely on incase your preferred repellant goes awry.
 

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The garlic works as a repellant to other blood suckers as well i.e. ticks and fleas.
So I give some to my dogs once in a while and they never collect any parasites.
Not sure if it is relevant but I keep my bird feeders well supplied and have good count of birds all the time here that seem to have a positive effect on keeping the bug populations down significantly. I haven't seen a misquote in years.
 

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