icon Insect Repellant


As posted on the Usenets by Bill Walters.

In the book Wildwood Wisdom by E. Jaeger ('47) it says:
An excellent repellent for mosquitoes, midges and flies has been developed
by the Canadian Entomological Branch. It consists of:
1/2 fl oz oil of thyme
1 fl oz concentrated extract of pyrethrum
2 to 3 fl oz castor oil
[Note: pyrethrum is an extract from dried flowers of chrysanthemums; C. 
cinerariaefolium, C. coccineum, or C. marschallii; and was used as an insecticide
hundreds of years ago]
Another good bug dope may be made as follows:
1/2 fl oz oil of citronella
1/4 fl oz spirits of camphor
1/4 fl oz cedarwood oil
2 oz white petrolatum
[Note: I think the petrolatum is just a base to thicken the oils - I don't think 
it is an active ingredient]
Melt the petrolatum and add the other ingredients, stirring the mixture well. 
Bottle and cool by placing in a basin of cold water. This makes a whitish, 
non-staining cream of pleasant odor, soothing and antiseptic. It may be used 
on hair or body.
A third kind may be made with:
1-1/2 oz pine tar
1/2 oz oil of citronella
1/2 oz spirits of camphor
1/2 oz oil of pennyroyal
2 oz vaseline, castor oil, or petrolatum
Heat the pine tar with vaseline or petrolatum and add the other volatile 
ingredients.
[for] Fleas ... some applications of turpentine are made.
Kerosene is a remedy for head lice and mercuric chloride for the crab lice.
A drop of kerosene or alcohol, a bit of moistened tobacco, intense smoke, or 
hot water will make [ticks] back out and drop off.
Before going afield, rub the wrists, neck, ankles, and abdominal areas with 
kerosene. This often discourages chiggers. Powdered dry sulfer dusted in the 
clothing is also a good preventative.
[for] Scabies ... a colorless mite ... mix 18% sulfer with a bland soap. Apply 
the lather and allow to dry. About 3 applications in 4 days may be sufficient.
[for] Bedbugs .. Kerosene with the addition of pyrethrum is used to destroy 
both the adults and eggs.
The crushed stems and leaves of the beautiful watery plant, the jewelweed or 
touch-me-not, was made into a poultice by the Indians and placed upon the 
wounds made by the stings of bees and wasps. This plant seems to have an 
antidote for the acid injected into the wounds by these insects. Ammonia or 
a solution of baking soda also relieves bites and stings.
[Note: we now know that these insects inject a protein based venom, not an 
acid. Enzymes such as found in meat tenderizer are very effective in reducing 
the pain of bee and wasp stings.]
Several sources tell of natives covered with grease as both an insulation against 
cold and a protection against insects.

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