Camping season has come, but if there’s one thing that can ruin a great trip, it’s those pesky bugs. They’re virtually everywhere and they leave itchy bug bites that will keep you scratching for days. Skip the bug sprays filled with chemicals, and instead look in your pantry for things you might already have. Here are a few natural insect repellents to try on your next trip to the great outdoors.
Garlic has been one of the one of the most popular natural remedies to prevent bug bites. According to an article published on The Daily Meal, garlic releases a sulfur gas called allicin when attacked by insects, and allicin emits a strong smell when consumed that wards off bugs. Several days before your trip, try consuming a clove or two and continue throughout the duration of your trip.
According to an article published on Best Plants, lemongrass has been found to contain an oil called citronella that repels mosquitos. Add a heap of lemongrass to your soups and curries (try this recipe) before your trip.
Chilies contain an generating compound called capsaicin which has been known to act as both a natural insecticide and as a remedy to stop the itchiness of bug bites.
A few bites of this fresh fruit could save you from some annoying bug bites later. According to an article published on NPR, nootkatone, a compound found in grapefruits, has been known to repel mosquitos.
Beans and lentils are a great source of protein, and better yet, they are high in vitamin B-1, also known as thiamine. Thiamine produces a smell that is known to ward off bugs, so add hummus to your camping shopping list (or find out how to make some yourself here).
According to an article published on SF Gate, there are sulfur compounds in onions that produce a smell that bugs don’t like, so rubbing some over your skin can help to keep away those pesky mosquitos.
Like beans and lentils, tomatoes are also high in thiamine, so try adding some to your salad or eating a little extra spaghetti on your next camping trip.
8. Orange and Lemon Peels
If rubbing onion all over you doesn’t sound so enticing, try something fresher like orange and lemon peels. Mosquitos and gnats both have a great distaste for this scent according to an article published on Reader’s Digest.
9. Apple Cider Vinegar/White Vinegar
Here’s an old army trick that you need to try out. Consume 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar three times daily three days before your trip and then continue throughout the duration of your trip. If apple cider vinegar is not your thing, try moistening a cotton ball with white vinegar and rubbing it all over your exposed skin.
Mix 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract with 1 cup of water and wipe the mixture all over your exposed skin. You’ll smell like a bakery, and mosquitoes, ticks, and flies will stay clear of you. It’s a win-win.