Mosquitoes are pesky disease carrying bugs we all want to avoid. Knowing a few key plants that are easy to find could make any situation more bearable.
All these plants will help repel mosquitoes by smell. Crush them up till they get juice and then rub them on your body. Typically, the effect will last a few hours. You can also dry them and light them on fire or get them smoldering to create bug repelling smoke.
Sagebrush, Wormwood, and Mugwort are in the same plant grouping and are easy to find in most dry climates. All of these species can be used as an aromatic smudge that is known to be a very effective mosquito repellent. Crush the leaves and rub them directly on your skin. These species grow in the drier habitats of the west, including the plains, deserts, and mountainous regions.
Vanilla Leaf (Achlys triphylla) is a plant native to the northwest and Japan. It grows most often in shady and moist areas. The plant can be rubbed on the skin fresh or dried. Indigenous peoples were known to hang bundles of the dried plants in and around their homes to keep mosquitoes and other insects away.
Pineapple weed (Matricaria matricarioides) is a common weedy species that grows all over North America. The aromatic crushed plant can be applied directly to your skin. You can also dry the leaves to make an interesting tea.
Nodding onion (Allium cernuum) is found in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It grows in dry woods, rock outcroppings, and prairies. Grind or blend the leaves to extract the juice and then apply to skin.
Wild Begamot (Monarda) is a wildflower that is part of the mint family and is native to much of North America. It has unmistakeable purple flowers and green leaves. Crush or grind the peddles and leaves and apply to skin. It is also used to treat colds and make tea.
Snowbrush (Ceanothus velutinus) is a shrub tree generally in mountain areas in the United States and Canada. It has white blossom balls that are easy to identify. The natural scent of the planet repels bugs, rub it on your skin or carry some with you. You can also place it around your camp to help keeps bugs from area.
Peppermint (M. balsamea Willd) is indigenous to Europe, but may be found elsewhere through human cultivation. Generally found near streams or wet areas.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) is native to the Mediterranean area. Fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and multi-colored flowers. Grind the leaves and apply to skin or place some around your camp. Rosemary can also be used to make herbal tea.
Tea Tree (Melaleuca) is native to Australia. It has very strong and distinct scent that is strong enough repel bugs when rubbed on the skin. It can also be used as topical solution for bug bites.
NOTE: Always ensure you have properly identified the correct plant and that you are not allergic to it. Many wild plants can be dangerous.