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Insect Repellent
The necessity of a good insect repellent should not be underestimated. Not only are flies and mosquitoes bothersome, but these parasitic insects also pose potential danger to humans. There are 300 species of horsefly and deerfly and 600 species of blackfly. Horseflies and deerflies inflict bites that swell, itch, and bleed freely. These species are known to drain up to a pint of blood from an animal in one day. Blackfly bites are painless, but bleed freely and are followed by a welt that intensely itches for several days. Furthermore, ticks and chiggers also transmit a variety of diseases.

There are various methods for producing effective insect repellents from several wild plants. A summary of useful plants and methods for preparation follows.

Cattail

burn dried cattail heads near your camp to keep bugs away

oil derived from the bark makes and effective insect repellent

Black Locust

bruised foliage mixed with sugar attracts and kills flies
Buckthorn

use crushed leaves to produce insect repellent
Knotweed

use as a trap crop for Japanese beetles
Sassafras

place leaves in your shelter to keep bug away; black fly repellent (see recipe below)
Black Fly Repellent Recipe
  1. mix 10-25 drops sassafras essential oil, 2 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil, and 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel (optional) in a baby food jar
  2. stir and place a few drops on skin or clothing

Home Help Glossary About
Uses Name Characteristics