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Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:30 pm
This is mainly for 'ishers in Scotland but suggestions from anyone gratefully received. Are there any plants I could grow that might deter midges, and has anybody heard of a natural insect repellent, preferably one I could make myself? My plot that is well sheltered from the wind and has a stream down one side seems even more appealing to midges than it is to me!
Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:42 pm
we have our share of midges, as the locals say here they would eat the face off ye. I used some of that Avon skin so soft that everyone was banging on about, but didn't find it worked that well. I have found that a few dabs of neat teatree helps, keep the bottle in your pocket to refresh, round the hairline in quite usefull, a few weeks ago, it was thick with them and I got bitten really badly and was quite ill for a couple of days, don't know if it was the midges. When I was in Morocco, I used a spritzer spray of teatree, lavender and eucalyptus oil mixed with water, seemed to keep sandflies off, everyone else was bitten but I seemed unscathed
Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:24 pm
Citronella can help with midges and other biting insects. I can confirm how good Avon skin so soft is. We have loads of midges here on the plateau as well and skin so soft works (They are French midges so they will run away a bit quicker than British ones ;-)) I assume that you can make a spray with citronella or Lemon Balm apparently in the same way you make tinctures or sprays with any other plant.
Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:21 am
Lavender plants are pretty good at keeping away flies and such. Ive found any pungent herb (thyme, rosemary, lavender etc) good for insect deterrent. I scar very badly when bitten so use all sorts to keep mozzies away.
Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:01 pm
i have used elder leaves rubbed straight on in the past, but these days i just try and bear it, and while it is still extreemly iritating i no longer swell up
Midgies gota live too
Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:26 pm
out here in Nepal you have wire meshes on the windows to stop the mosquitoes getting in when the windows are open.
Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:20 am
Thanks everyone for those suggestions it gives me a few things to try. Like the 'French midges' comment from Clanpowell.
We do have some lemonbalm growing already in an area where we don't seem to get midges, had just thought it was the location in the garden but maybe the lemonbalm helps. Might have to move some of it to another part of the garden and see if it helps there aswell.
Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:43 am
The traditional Scottish herbal midge repellent is bog myrtle, aka sweet gale.
Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:38 pm
I have southernwood in my garden, and make insect repellant from that (mush up leaves in olive oil, then strain, heat and mix in a little beeswax to make a balm). It's moderately effective against Welsh midges, of which there are many. I've started growing an insect repellant hedge of southernwood, mugwort and lavender. It remains to be seen how effective it is, but they're all attractive plants.
I like the location of this thread!
Posted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:25 pm
I make a midge trap from an old plastic bottle. Cut the top off and invert it into the bottom bit.
For the trap liquid, hot water, sugar and yeast. Dissolve the sugar in hot water, let it cool and add the yeast. The yeast feeds on the sugar and produces CO2, which attracts the midges (they think it is breath). I find this works pretty well, although you need to replace the yeast mix every so often
I believe Elder is good and it seems like Avon have changed the formula for Skin So Soft and it seems much less effective.