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When exploring the wilderness, one of the most important skills to learn is how to get rid of mosquitoes and insect bites.

Repelling insects is one of the major concerns when you’re outdoors, especially if you’re in an area where there’s a grave mosquito problem.

RELATED: Homemade Mosquito Repellents | 3 Natural Recipes

In this article:

  1. Mosquito Repellent Plants
    1. Sage
    2. Lemon Balm
    3. Citronella Leaves
    4. Peppermint
    5. Catnip
  2. Other Ways To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes
    1. Apply Mud on Your Skin
    2. Mosquito Netting
    3. Smudge Fire
    4. Permethrin

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes: Avoid Bug Bites Outdoors

Mosquito Repellent Plants

1. Sage

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Sage is a popular choice for naturally repelling mosquitoes and other insects. There’s a high chance of finding sage in the woods and once you do, burn a bundle of it to get rid of those annoying bugs and prevent them from biting you.

2. Lemon Balm

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Lemon balm is another herb you can use to repel mosquitoes and other bugs. You can rub the lemon balm leaves onto your skin or throw them into your campfire to drive away unwanted visitors.

Lemon balm is common in the wild, but if you don’t want to go through the trouble of searching for one, there are also lemon balm in pots you can buy. Bring the leaves to your next outdoor adventure to help keep the mosquitoes away.

3. Citronella Leaves

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You probably tried burning citronella candles before to ward off mosquitoes from your home. How did it go? Burning the leaves of the actual plant while outdoors will also have a similar effect.

The aroma of burnt citronella leaves masks the scent in humans that attract mosquitoes. Thus, no enticing scent, no lingering mosquitoes.

4. Peppermint

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Due to its active ingredients, peppermint can help drive away insects including mosquitoes.

Bruise the peppermint leaves to get their natural oil and rub it onto your skin. Bugs like mosquitoes don’t like the peppermint scent so it helps ward bugs off. Plus, its menthol ingredient has a cooling effect on the skin which helps relieve insect bites if you have already got bitten.

Peppermint has an invasive nature that’s why if there’s a peppermint plant previously cultivated in an area, it will continue to populate for a number of years. This perennial plant can be commonly found growing wild.

5. Catnip

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Catnip is another plant we know to effectively keep bugs at bay. Just like the other plants listed above, you can bruise the catnip leaves and rub them directly onto your skin.

You can also infuse the bruised leaves in oil before rubbing them on the skin. But since it’s unlikely you’ll bring olive oil with you in the wilderness, you can just grab a handful of leaves to rub on your exposed skin.

You can also hang catnips around your survival shelter to help drive mosquitoes away.

RELATED: Vicks Vaporub | 15 Surprising Reasons To Keep It In Your Cache

Other Ways To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes

The dangers mosquitoes bring is a big cause of concern around the world and should not be ignored. We can’t reiterate enough wearing the right clothing is your first line of defense against those pesky bugs.

Apart from that, there are also other ways on how to get rid of mosquitoes and other insects while you’re exploring the wild.

6. Apply Mud on Your Skin

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While many may find this extreme, knowing all possible options is still the best when you want to survive the outdoors.

If by any chance you failed to dress up appropriately, you can cover your skin with mud as an alternative. This will help repel mosquitoes as well as biting black flies.

7. Mosquito Netting

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Mosquito netting can be easily packed in your bug-out bag. You can even conveniently carry it in a pocket as you head out into the wilderness.

Set up the net where you’ll rest or sleep, but make sure not to press your body against the netting since mosquitoes may be able to bite you through the small holes. You can also use netting hats to protect your face from insect bites while you’re wandering outdoors.

Wearing a netting hat may have a few blind spots though, so you need to be more cautious, especially if you are in a place where wild animals can be a threat.

8. Smudge Fire

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A smudge fire helps in repelling mosquitoes because of the smoke it produces. Build a smudge fire using moist woods. You can also use termite-damaged wood or tree smokes like pine.

Using sagebrush, wormwood, and cedar boughs for your smudge fire is also a great idea. Mosquitoes hate the aroma from these tinders, so it will effectively ward off those pesky pests.

9. Permethrin

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Permethrin is both an insecticide and repellent. You can treat your clothes, shoes, and survival gears with this to drive away and kill mosquitoes and other bugs.

One thing I like about permethrin is its long-lasting effects compared to other mosquito repellents. Plus, it doesn’t just repel those pesky bugs, it kills them as well.

What is permethrin? It is a synthetic insecticide with the same properties as the natural extracts of the chrysanthemum flower which helps kill mosquitoes.

Here’s another way to get rid of mosquitoes from Coyote Works:



Dressing properly is, without a doubt, your best bet to guarding yourself against mosquitoes and other insects. Wearing the right clothing is likely your best armor against pesky bugs.

But among these nine ways to get rid of mosquitoes, using permethrin would be my personal recommendation. I’ve tried treating my clothes and gear with this insecticide on one of my camping trips and it effectively did the job of keeping me bite-free!

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Do you have some tips for getting rid of mosquitoes? Share them in the comments section below!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on A1ugust 2, 2021, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

***Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.***

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