Natural Ways to Avoid Bug Bites
How NOT to be the Lord of the Flies (and other insects) when in survivalist mode
When you begin to prepare for wilderness survival there is a great deal of planning revolving around your essentials (that being your food, water, shelter, heat, and clothing).
However, as a prepper/survivalist you will need to go beyond the essentials and look to other threats which may arise. True, you will need to ensure that the essentials are covered first.
However, once these have been addressed it is critical that you are able to sustain your survival by avoiding preventable injuries. As you will be in the wilderness, one of the primary risks will be bug bites and infection. Here are a few natural ways in which you can avoid bug bites.
Mosquitos are by far an insect of abundance and a nuisance to the survivalist. The CDC has reported that there is no real way to tell if you have West Nile, which is the fear associated with this insect.
However, the CDC does state that 1 in 5 who have west mile will not have any symptoms and that only 1% of all people bitten by a mosquito with west Nile will develop serious or fatal effects from it. This being stated, it is better to side on caution.
To prevent mosquitos from attacking wear light and lose fitting clothing. Where this will not keep all mosquitos from you, it will divert a great many. Mosquitos are attracted to darker colors. Lose clothing will keep the stingers from penetrating the skin. As an additional method, use garlic to keep the bug away.
To keep spiders away is to make a perimeter of peppermint and water. If you are in a wilderness situation, boil the peppermint to make a natural tea.
Once the liquid has cooled pour the liquid around the outer camp. You can use lemon and cinnamon as alternatives to the peppermint.
Keep in mind that you will be in the wild and that spiders do not only travel by the ground. Most often you will find the spiders in trees and off the ground.
It is advised that you apply a repellant to your person as well. Use vinegar or one of the other natural elements to keep spiders away.
Like mosquitos, ticks prefer to attach to darker colors. Lighter colored clothing will help to keep ticks away. Tuck your pants into your boots to keep ticks off of your legs.
As ticks stay in areas where the moisture is high as well as in densely vegetated areas, avoid such areas when you can. When you have to travel in such areas, take a bath afterwards using oils and citrus to remove any ticks which may have attached.
A natural repellant for ticks is mixture water with basil, cinnamon, lemon, peppermint, or eucalyptus. You can also use garlic as a repellant.
Bees and Hornets
One of the easiest ways to attract bees and hornets is to have blood near your campsite. To keep bees, hornets, and flies away from your bug out spot, keep your game dressing away from the site. You will also want to discard any rotted food and meat well away from the area.
If you have a clean site and still are having problems with bees, hornets, and yellow jackets you can do the following:
- Seal their entry hole – be sure watch them early in the morning to find the entry point. You will also want to seal the hole during the coolest part of the day. Be careful. If there is more than one entry point you may just be ticking them off.
- Do not smash the bees – when you smash bees, hornets, and yellow jackets they release a chemical in the air that says attack.
- Do not smell sweet – use scents which do not make you smell like a flower. As the main purpose of bees and hornets is to pollinate, you will want to ensure that they do not think that you are a target.
- SMOKE – You can use smoke to remove nests. However, you will definitively want to ensure that all the insects are neutralized before attempting this.
Your best method for keeping bees, wasps, and hornets away is to remove the food source and avoid contact.
Smoke will discourage nesting (you don’t have to remove the nest just keep them dazed and they will move on in most cases). Just don’t try to go to battle with them.
Ants are fairly easily avoided. Ants are looking for food. You need to remove the sugar or food source from where ants can accumulate.
This means that if you have a rub or oil, that you do not make the substance with a sugar base but keep the oil pure. You can further repel ants with vinegar and water, with garlic (for large ants) and cinnamon.
Keep the spices and oils to a minimum
Where you could pack a ton of oils and natural spices into your bug out bag, a prepper has to allot space for the essentials while minimizing the unneeded elements.
If you have to choose which elements to add to your bug out bag, choose peppermint, garlic, and cinnamon. These three components will be enough to effectively combat and repel most insects.
General rules for avoiding insects
These are just a few ways to avoid bugs and getting bitten. There are a few things which you should keep in mind which will minimize your chances of attracting bugs:
- Wear loose fitting clothing
- When you can wear clothing that is not dark. The majority of pests are attracted to darker clothing
- Keep blood away from your site as well as rotting vegetables and meat
- Areas that are dense and moist breed numerous insects. Stay away from these areas
If you happen to be bit by a bug do not rush to your first aid kit. Use aloe to sooth the area and do not scratch. If you are stung remove the stinger and sooth. Only use the first aid if you are showing signs of infection or if you are allergic to the insect.