What have you found works for you?

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I always carry 5 ml of Clove Bud, 5ml of Lavender and 10ml of 'Thieves oil'. They are all essential oils. These oils are the most effective - for a number of ailments, and precautions - in my opinion, and for space and weight economy I choose them from a large selection.

AS an insect repellent, Clove Bud oil is superior to any oil, or typical product off the shelf.
The oil is useful as both a repellent and a treatment to relieve the sting/itch.
Also, a powerful antioxidant, analgesic, etc. Great for toothache, burns...

Eucalyptus and cypress are successful repellents, but that knowledge is of little value in NZ unless one is hiking/camping amongst a Euc' stand. I think about 7% of NZ forestry is in Euc's.

I'm keen to find some native sources. Experimentation thus far has unveiled nothing.
Fascinating. I will have to try the Clove bud oil out, mozzies drive me crazy.

How do you apply it and how long does it last? I expect that it would be sweated off but perhaps it could be applied to clothing and it may last longer?
Good question. Lavender oil is the only oil deemed 'safe' to be applied undiluted. I do not have sensitive skin, so dilution is not paramount. But in saying that, clove bud oil is waaayyyy to strong (in scent) to want to apply neat, so in this case a carrier oil such as olive oil should be used. Almond oil is of a good (watery) consistency, but any cold pressed oil is fine.

It is merely the scent you are after, so quantities are on little importance. Say, couple of drops per tsp.

2 Hours maximum protection. Clothing is a good idea. Nice smell when diluted.

Yeah, mozzies at bedtime and Lewis Pass sand-flies make me cry.
Have not tried this, but just came across it on a site. Apparently rubbing the inside of Orange peels on your skin will keep mozzies away.
Interesting. I know that orange peel can work against cats in a garden too.

Would be a cheap thing to try out, a web search revealed that there is such a thing as orange essential oil. I also found a formula for the "base" of a essential oil recipe, and you can substitute (or mix I assume) different essential oils for different insects

http://chemistry.about.com/od/healthbeautyprojects/a/naturalinsectr...

On this particular site, which doesn't look like the most reliable source, it recommended:

- cinnamon oil (mosquitoes)
- lemon eucalyptus or regular eucalyptus oil (mosquitoes, ticks, and lice)
- citronella oil (mosquitoes and biting flies)
- castor oil (mosquitoes)
- orange oil (fleas)
- rose geranium (ticks and lice)

The "base" recipe might be a good start to tinker with Benjamin's suggestion though.
The other beauty of some of these oils is that they are also used as Possum lures, so these oils along with the glow tags will be multi-use.

Rosemary oil also works well.

Hi, good old fashioned DEET works for me. It can be hard on the skin if worn for extended periods and you must keep it away from plastic, esp. glasses. The higher the deet % the better... I have found the Stewart Island sand flies ignore some 15% wipes I thought would be nice to take. It took about 5 layers to make a difference - then go through it again after washing. I did find some repel in a sports shop years ago that was awesome as you didn't need 100% coverage but I have never seen it again.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insect_repellent has a lot of info on natural repellants.

 

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