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 petrolatumHeat 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.