We will all agree on this one – mosquitoes are incredibly annoying creatures. There is nothing worse than a dozen mosquito bites while you’re trying to sleep in your tent on the camping spot you were always looking for. Also, there are many times in life when you get attacked by mosquitoes in places you wouldn’t expect, and in such cases, you probably didn’t carry any repellent spray with you. Fortunately, there are many plants that can help you get rid of all the unwelcome bugs during your stay in the wild.
One thing you can do with before heading to the forest is NOT shower. The soap takes away all the natural oils from your skin that are actually protecting you. Also, wearing light-colored clothing will save you from mosquito bites because these insects are more attracted to dark colors. Of course, personal protection includes wearing long sleeves and pants, and when things get really bad, also wear a head net. It’s not comfortable at all, and you will likely get too hot but it will stop mosquito bites on your face, especially around your eyes. Besides such personal protection, here are some plants that will help you prevent mosquito bites in a natural way.
French mulberry, also known as American Beautyberry, can be found in many parts of the country, from Florida to Texas and Oklahoma, up to Maryland. Its leaves release a strong odor when crushed, and its purple fruit is easy-recognizable and a favorite among more than 40 species of birds, as well as raccoons, opossum, rodents and white-tailed deer. The way to use this natural repellent is to crush a few leaves between your hands and rub them on all the exposed parts of your body. However, it doesn’t provide long lasting protection, so you’ll have to repeat the action as many times you need.
Wax Myrtle grows as a small tree or a big shrub. It can be used in the same way as the American Beautyberry, by simply rubbing it into your skin.
The Paw Paw is another insect repellent plant that mostly grows as a shrub. There are various types of Paw Paw, and all of them are good to use as a mosquito repellent. Like all the other plants mentioned so far, this one has a distinct odor when you crush the leaves, which is not unpleasant. If you’re using natural bedding materials, you can collect a dozen leaves and place them in your bed to repel mosquitoes and other annoying bugs at night. If you do that, plus rub the leaves on your skin before going to bed, you won’t be attacked by insects during the night.
Bracken Fern is not as effective as the other plants, but it does cover your body scent. You can rub the leaves on your skin or put a leaf in your hat so you won’t get bothered by mosquitoes while hiking in the woods.
The leaves and the green husks of the hickory nut can be very fragrant and will protect you from mosquito bites. Again, this plant works quite well if you put a few leaves in your bed at night.
These are some of the best plants that will protect you from the pesky mosquito and can be found across the US. Not all of them grow in every state, but at least you can find some in every part of the country. If you are an outdoorsy person who spends plenty of time in the wilderness, memorize these plants and try to identify them every time you go hiking. Good luck!
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