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!! diet to discourage bug bites?

 
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does anyone know of things you can eat that will make bugs less interested in you
 
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The marmite eaters in the family have almost zero bug bites.  
I think it's just an excuse to eat more marmite.

The chocolate eaters in the family have the most bug bites.  Bugs must have good taste.  
 
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I love marmite.. he hates it, I get bitten. Garlic is meant to work but it probably makes everyone less interested in you if you eat enough of it to have an affect.
 
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Skandi Rogers wrote:Garlic is meant to work but it probably makes everyone less interested in you if you eat enough of it to have an affect.



I can speak to this. When I was hiking a section of the AT known for heavy biting insect populations, I made a point of eating a clove of raw garlic with each meal. My sweat began to smell of garlic as I hiked, which made the bugs avoid me more than others, but also made everyone hungry for garlic bread. Also, eating raw garlic with every meal wasn't the best eating experience I've ever had. Depends on how much you're willing to sacrifice for it I suppose.
 
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bruce Fine wrote:does anyone know of things you can eat that will make bugs less interested in you



I've heard bananas will INCREASE your risk of being bit. I'm a super-attractor and have never noticed any correlation between what I eat and how many bites I get.

I've heard that if you rub the juice of a Jewelweed plant on your skin and clothes that will deter the little bastards, but I haven't tested it yet because I just love jewelweed.
 
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I don't know about ingesting it... but I once read that basil repels mosquitos. I misidentified a purple perilla as purple basil in my garden. Armed with this "knowledge" I rubbed perilla which is naturalized in my region, over my bare skin on hikes. I got a couple of bites, as opposed to 30. I now do this every hike when I pass it on the trail. I think both basil and perilla are in the mint family.

http://www.eattheweeds.com/perilla/
 
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Seems I'm a good case study for this topic, though we really only have mosquitos, tick and horse flies that bite around here.  

D.W. Stratton wrote:I've heard bananas will INCREASE your risk of being bit.


That's what I was always told about mosquitos growing up. But in the last 4 months, I've been eating between 5-12 bananas a day, along with various other fruits. I worked a lot outdoor this summer, and didn't notice any difference in bug bites, or more bugs flying around me.

D. Logan wrote:I can speak to this. When I was hiking a section of the AT known for heavy biting insect populations, I made a point of eating a clove of raw garlic with each meal. My sweat began to smell of garlic as I hiked, which made the bugs avoid me more than others, but also made everyone hungry for garlic bread.


I've been doing this for 6 years now, particularly once tick season starts. Though I go heavy on it, eating somewhere between 3-7 cloves a day. I've met people who also eat 1 clove a day and in car trips I can easily smell it - I can't imagine how obnoxious I must smell to some people lol

From what I've noticed, tick bites are basically down to 1-2 bites a year at most - and I must find at least 50-80 of them crawling on me per year (especially if I go for hikes in the pastures)

D. Logan wrote:Also, eating raw garlic with every meal wasn't the best eating experience I've ever had. Depends on how much you're willing to sacrifice for it I suppose.]


I used to pop the clove in my mouth and eat it raw, and you are right, that isn't a very good experience. But if it's wrapped in a piece of bread and chewed on, it's not that big of a deal to do a few times a day I find. Some freshly cooked ground beef works well to.

I simply can't have a good nights sleep if I'm itching all night, and a lot of my work is seasonal, so I don't mind the sacrifice. (Although, I have heard stories about wives threatening to move out if their husband continued this garlic regime though lol)

Joylynn Hardesty wrote:I don't know about ingesting it... but I once read that basil repels mosquitos. I misidentified a purple perilla as purple basil in my garden. Armed with this "knowledge" I rubbed perilla which is naturalized in my region, over my bare skin on hikes./



I've done that with sage brush and gotten similar results. (certainly wouldn't ingest any of it)

---

And just as a thought experiment, not to distract from this topic: Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton have talked about how old stories/myths usually had valuable information weaved into them. I wonder if the stories of vampires being warded off by garlic has some origin around preventing blood-sucking organisms, or maybe the transmission of some disease they carry.
 
D.W. Stratton
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Jarret Hynd wrote:Seems I'm a good case study for this topic, though we really only have mosquitos, tick and horse flies that bite around here.  

D.W. Stratton wrote:I've heard bananas will INCREASE your risk of being bit.


That's what I was always told about mosquitos growing up. But in the last 4 months, I've been eating between 5-12 bananas a day, along with various other fruits. I worked a lot outdoor this summer, and didn't notice any difference in bug bites, or more bugs flying around me.

D. Logan wrote:I can speak to this. When I was hiking a section of the AT known for heavy biting insect populations, I made a point of eating a clove of raw garlic with each meal. My sweat began to smell of garlic as I hiked, which made the bugs avoid me more than others, but also made everyone hungry for garlic bread.


I've been doing this for 6 years now, particularly once tick season starts. Though I go heavy on it, eating somewhere between 3-7 cloves a day. I've met people who also eat 1 clove a day and in car trips I can easily smell it - I can't imagine how obnoxious I must smell to some people lol

From what I've noticed, tick bites are basically down to 1-2 bites a year at most - and I must find at least 50-80 of them crawling on me per year (especially if I go for hikes in the pastures)

D. Logan wrote:Also, eating raw garlic with every meal wasn't the best eating experience I've ever had. Depends on how much you're willing to sacrifice for it I suppose.]


I used to pop the clove in my mouth and eat it raw, and you are right, that isn't a very good experience. But if it's wrapped in a piece of bread and chewed on, it's not that big of a deal to do a few times a day I find. Some freshly cooked ground beef works well to.

I simply can't have a good nights sleep if I'm itching all night, and a lot of my work is seasonal, so I don't mind the sacrifice. (Although, I have heard stories about wives threatening to move out if their husband continued this garlic regime though lol)

Joylynn Hardesty wrote:I don't know about ingesting it... but I once read that basil repels mosquitos. I misidentified a purple perilla as purple basil in my garden. Armed with this "knowledge" I rubbed perilla which is naturalized in my region, over my bare skin on hikes./



I've done that with sage brush and gotten similar results. (certainly wouldn't ingest any of it)

---

And just as a thought experiment, not to distract from this topic: Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton have talked about how old stories/myths usually had valuable information weaved into them. I wonder if the stories of vampires being warded off by garlic has some origin around preventing blood-sucking organisms, or maybe the transmission of some disease they carry.



Be careful with how much garlic you eat raw. I had a professor friend pass out and hot his head after eating a whole bulb raw. Some compound in raw garlic can drop your blood pressure pretty quickly. Other than that, carry on.
 
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My husband knows if he eats garlic or onions I'm sleeping on the far edge of the bed for the next week. It doesn't happen often😄

For the first 25ish years of my life, I got almost no bug bites. One evening, changing my tires in the mud without the right jack and getting very grouchy, I started getting bitten. Mosquitoes were swarming me. This led to loud cursing. My husband came out to help but I was too grouchy, so he stood and watched, presumably trying to exude sympathy. He didn't get bitten at all. Ever since then, I've been his best bug repellent. All he has to do when the mosquitoes or black flies are out is keep close to me and I'll get all the bites.

I had made no change in diet or anything else I can think of. My husband is super sensitive to my pheromones and he didn't notice a change. Not sure what the bugs are going on, but I think it's more complicated than diet.
 
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Granted this does not fall under "food" for medicine, but my Grandfather, whom grew up on Gulf Coast island, swore a teaspoon of sulfur taken orally would keep the mosquitos off a person.  Now he was a depression era child.  I have no idea where one would find edible sulfur today (maybe at the Chemist on the corner); or if it safe, frankly.   But that is how they survived the squadrons of mosquitos before products like "OFF!"  
 
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I use grapefruit peel. The peel contains an essential oil (nootkatone) that repels bugs and kills ticks and fleas. I steep the peels in rubbing alcohol and spray it on me when I go out in the woods. No bites.
 
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I have found a difference if I'm taking a vitamin with excessive amounts of the B vitamins.  You know the kind that makes your pee a fluorescent greenish yellow?  If I'm over-fortified to that extent, I think the B vitamins are exuded in my sweat as well as my urine and it changes my scent.

I go from being the first person bitten in a group to being among the last.  I still get bitten, but not as much.
 
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Jack Edmondson wrote:Granted this does not fall under "food" for medicine, but my Grandfather, whom grew up on Gulf Coast island, swore a teaspoon of sulfur taken orally would keep the mosquitos off a person.  Now he was a depression era child.  I have no idea where one would find edible sulfur today (maybe at the Chemist on the corner); or if it safe, frankly.   But that is how they survived the squadrons of mosquitos before products like "OFF!"  


Seems to be a bit of a connection to what others are saying, as Garlic (and other alliums) has a lot of sulfur in it.

D.W. Stratton wrote:Be careful with how much garlic you eat raw. I had a professor friend pass out and hot his head after eating a whole bulb raw. Some compound in raw garlic can drop your blood pressure pretty quickly. Other than that, carry on.


Yeah, if I don't eat enough carbs while working hard+eating 5 cloves a day, I get fatigued more easily. That blood thinning compound is sulfur apparently.
https://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/drugs/pharmacology/msm
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4266250/

Sulfur-containing foods include cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower (these are all known as cruciferous vegetables), sunflower seeds, garlic , onions, asparagus, avocados, beans, peas, mustard, horse-radish, lentils, soybeans, and yogurt....snip...MSM has blood thinning effects



Jd Gonzalez wrote:I use grapefruit peel. The peel contains an essential oil (nootkatone) that repels bugs and kills ticks and fleas. I steep the peels in rubbing alcohol and spray it on me when I go out in the woods. No bites.


I used neem oil on my skin a few times this year as an experiment, but didn't really like how oily it is or how it smells - not sure on the results either. I'll give grapefruit a try next spring - thanks

(sorry for off-topics, OP, but at least we seem to have identified 1 plant that repels bugs by eating it.)
 
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It's not really a food but Brewer's Yeast tablets works a treat for us. It's the smell of vitamin B that discourages bugs, it comes out through your sweat and makes your pee quite strong smelling too.  I give it to my cats and dogs during the fleas and ticks season, they love to munch on the tabs and think it's a treat.

I guess that's why Marmite works so well, because it is made with brewing residue and contains lots of the B vitamin complex.

I found out about it many years ago, when a friend of mine in India had to take large amounts of vitamin B for a medical condition.  She was never ever bothered by any bugs.

Bugs don't like me much but they seem to looove my husband!  A course of brewer's yeast during the season works wonder, I go just a little higher than the recommended dose.

Adding garlic to the diet can only improve matters.  In France we eat a lot of raw garlic, but not by the clove by itself.  We use finely chopped raw garlic in salad dressing, on sautĂ©-ed potatoes, even on a fried steak.  We make a garlic sauce called aioli, which is mostly garlic emulsified with olive oil and it goes well with fish and all sorts of other things.  I also chop a fair bit of garlic, put in in a jar and fill the jar with olive oil.  I spoon some of that stuff on toast instead of butter when I want a quick savoury thing to munch on - sometimes add a bit of chili to it, but I guess that's a personal taste!  If you want to neutralise the bad breath, just eat some parsley or mix parsley in with your garlic.

I am not advocating the use of Brewer's yeast tablets, I am just saying that this is what works for us.  I hope you find a solution, this s a terrible spot to find yourself in.  Good luck!

Oh, neem oil as mentioned earlier works quite well but personally I can't stand the effing smell!!

 
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Olga Booker wrote: ...
Adding garlic to the diet can only improve matters.  In France we eat a lot of raw garlic, but not by the clove by itself.  We use finely chopped raw garlic in salad dressing, on sautĂ©-ed potatoes, even on a fried steak.  We make a garlic sauce called aioli, which is mostly garlic emulsified with olive oil and it goes well with fish and all sorts of other things.  ...



Years ago already I discovered I am not the one insects (in general) like.
My first husband was always the one attracting the mosquitoes, and he hated them so much, he could spend hours in the night chasing them in the bedroom instead of sleeping (while I slept through that).
My second husband was also attracting mosquitoes, but he didn't chase them. He preferred the mosquito net (and even mosquito repellent, those terribly smelling smoking coils).
So I found out the mosquitoes always went to someone else, not me. Then I remembered in my childhood the mosquitoes did bite me, and it itched. And I remembered one holiday we went to Norway, to a region with mosquitoes everywhere, like clouds of them. We had to wear long sleeves  and hoods and long trousers and high boots to cover as much of our skin as possible ... and still I had many of those itchy mosquito bite spots. But, then I thought ... in fact that was the last time I got those itchy spots, as far as I remember. My conclusion was: if you have plenty of that mosquito-bite-poison in your body, they don't want to bite you anymore. Of course this isn't science, it's just my idea.
It's also possible I started eating more garlic since then. Because the year after this experience I went to live on my own (I was 19). I love eating garlic and onions, in the French way as described in the quote (chopped through salad or in any meal).

I read somewhere lavender is a bug repellent. So I harvest my lavender flowers as soon as they start too bloom and make small bouquets of them, with a piece of string around. These I hang everywhere and I even put them in bags to have them with me wherever I go. I think it even works against ticks. I can't really proof that, because as I told, insects seem to not like me ...

 
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