Flying insects

If you know of a way to help save our planet, even just a small part of it put it here. Also if you want to ask how to help, or even if you want to promote your environmental organisation. All goes here.
Post Reply
User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8736
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Flying insects

Post: # 291555Post Green Aura
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:14 am

As most of you know I live on the north coast of Scotland - otherwise known as midge central.

This year, due to the extremely dry weather we've been having they're much depleted in number and we've had some very pleasant evenings sitting out without swarms of the little b*ggers ruining everthing.

Well, for about 10 minutes anyway! Nature abhors a vacuum, so into the gap left by the midges have arrived vast swarms of clegs. I'm not sure if that's a recognised name but it's the local one certainly. These are big vicious horse fly type things and their bites hurt and itch like mad. My OH got two bites close together on his thumb and it swelled up all the way down to his wrist.

There are various contraptions for distracting and despatching them which we'll investigate further but in the meantime I made a salve to help with the bites. It would probably be good for whatever bites you in your areas so I thought I'd share.

I can't give you specific quantities - it was needed too quickly to be accurate I just chucked in the ingredients and slapped them on. :lol:

Cocoa butter - not something I use regularly but I put it in to keep the salve semi solid in this heat and it is lovely for skin. You could use beeswax instead but I hadn't got any to hand.
Olive oil
Coconut oil

Put all those in a pan and melted them gently on a very low heat.

Then allowed them to cool a little before adding some Vit E oil - again not absolutely necessary but is great for skin and helps slow the rate the other oils become rancid.

Essential oils
Lavender
German chamomile
Peppermint

I have to say for something thrown together in desperation it works extremely well.

It also works very effectively on hands that had cleared a big patch of alkanet, without gloves. Don't ask me how I know. :roll:
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

User avatar
Odsox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5162
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:21 pm
Location: West Cork, Ireland

Re: Flying insects

Post: # 291560Post Odsox
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:14 pm

It's the same down here, funny how opposite ends of the British Isles can be so similar.
Your Cleg is known as Doctor Fly here, but is the same nasty vicious beastie. I am a magnet for them and a quick bite causes a nasty blister which takes ages to heal and you can still see the red scar 3 months later.
Midges on the other hand do bite me, but don't affect me, just annoy me.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8736
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: Flying insects

Post: # 291561Post Green Aura
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:44 pm

Yes, I've still got a lump on my forearm from a cleg bite from our first visit here in 1999 - we were so overwhelmed by the clouds of midges that I barely noticed this thing eating me.

One thing that occurred to me about the salve. Not everyone has the essential oils but the plant matter could be infused in the olive oil for a few hours, then strained off. Not as strong, or as quick, but effective nonetheless. And of course you could then just use the oil instead of making it into a more solid salve. It wouldn't keep so long though, so make only small amounts.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

User avatar
MKG
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5134
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:15 pm
Location: North Notts.

Re: Flying insects

Post: # 291568Post MKG
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:33 am

I've just done my cleg research. Apparently, they're not like horse flies - they ARE horse flies. Amazingly (I think) I've never met a horse fly in my life - at least one that fancies biting me. Hornets and wasps, on the other hand, think I'm target practice.
The secret of life is to aim below the head (With thanks to MMM)

User avatar
Weedo
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 362
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:47 am
latitude: 35.0886S
longitude: 147.1289E
Location: Collingullie Australia

Re: Flying insects

Post: # 291577Post Weedo
Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:17 pm

If you can get it try Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia ) This is not an essential oil so it can be used directly on the wound. This is my go-to cure all for cuts, bites, burns and so on: at least since Rawleighs changed the formula for their "good for man or beast" ointment.
The winner of the rat race is still a rat!

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8736
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: Flying insects

Post: # 291578Post Green Aura
Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:42 am

Yes, we have tea tree, although we have it as an essential oil. Splendid stuff but I didn't have any to hand. Fine to add to the concoction. Or rub a leaf on. :lol:
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

User avatar
Weedo
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 362
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:47 am
latitude: 35.0886S
longitude: 147.1289E
Location: Collingullie Australia

Re: Flying insects

Post: # 291587Post Weedo
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:46 pm

Have fun rubbing a leaf on, they are only about 15mm long X 1mm wide. An old bush remedy we used as kids for bites and stings was to rub on the juice from a bracken fern crozier - I'm now told there are some issues with this as parts of bracken fern contain carcinogenics?
The winner of the rat race is still a rat!

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8736
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: Flying insects

Post: # 291588Post Green Aura
Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:53 am

Weedo wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:46 pm
they are only about 15mm long X 1mm wide
I think I knew that, somewhere in the brain recesses that hold my aromatherapy training.

We were always told bracken was poisonous when we were kids, but then they told us that about most plants so we wouldn't just indiscriminately munch on things, I think. It is a bit of a problem when you encourage your kids to graze on the products of the veg patch and then panic when they go near anything else, I suppose.

As for being carcinogenic, it seems most things are these days. I'm fairly certain a bit scrubbed on a bite wouldn't cause problems though.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

Post Reply