I spend plenty hours wildcrafting and gathering in the wild lands of Pennsylvania, and over the years I have become quite aware of the potential diseases from tick and mosquito bites. Just this week I had to remove a tick from my calf muscle, prompting me to become even more proactive. Instead of resorting to chemical repellents, I have found Mountain Mint to be a native plant that is particularly helpful for banishing all kinds of pesky bugs. Its leaves are filled with the tick repelling compound pulegone. Like many folks, I prefer the scent of mint to commercial bug sprays; plus, it's free and easily available...of course, you need to know how to identify the plant so here are a few reliable tips:
All plant varieties of the mint family, such as Mountain Mint, Peppermint, Spearmint, Lemon Balm, Bee Balm, and Penny Royal, can be identified by their square stems and pungent fragrance.
To apply: Simply crush the leaves into a paste and rub it onto your ankles, wrists, legs, and arms.
I will be using this method throughout the summer months. You can also grow this herb around your patio to repel insects. The earth provides endless healthy solutions for everyone.