Mosquitoes suck! Literally. The little blood suckers are not just an annoyance, mosquitoes can carry diseases and, at the least, will leave red welts all over your body. These bugs tend to be especially bad while fishing. Drawn to water, mosquitoes are always looking for a warm body to munch on. Unless you have a strong breeze, they will convene around you and ruin your fishing trip. While you could cover yourself in bug spray, there are plenty of other ways to repel mosquitoes while fishing.
Some people think bugs and flowers go together, but not all flowers are created equal. Chrysanthemum flowers, usually known by their common name, mums, are a natural bug repellent. So I should carry a pot of flowers with me on my boat? No. But you can harness the power of the mums in other ways. The active chemical in mums which repel mosquitoes is called pyrethrum. The synthetic version of this chemical can be found in a number of commercial bug repelling products, but you can also use the oils from this flower directly on your skin.
Bug repellent clothing
You can buy bug repellent clothing. The clothing contains permethrin, which is the synthetic version of the bug repelling chemical found in chrysanthemum flowers. These clothes will cost a bit more than their non-bug repelling counterparts, but it may be worth the investment. Something to keep in mind is that these clothes are only potent for 70 washes. If you’re like me, that’s not a problem. By the time my shirt is washed 70 times, it’s ready for the rag pile anyway. If you don’t want to trade in your trusty fishing duds, you can also buy permethrin clothing treatment. It lasts for about 6 washes, and can be used on the clothes you already own.
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus
This natural oil is actually recommended by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) for preventing West Nile virus. To apply the eucalyptus oil, you mix 10-25 drops of the oil with 2 tablespoons of a cooking oil such as olive oil. You can also mix it with an alcohol, such as vodka, but I prefer to save my alcohol for other things.
Wear Light Colored Clothing
This is not a foolproof mosquito repellent, but wearing light colored clothes can go a long way in preventing mosquito bites. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark clothing and plants, so don’t wear them. As an added benefit, light colored clothes help reflect sun rays, which can keep you cooler on a hot day out on the water. Being cooler will also help you cut down on sweating. Perspiration is not only uncomfortable but also attracts mosquitoes.
Cinnamon is not just for baked goods, it is a safe and natural mosquito repellent. To apply cinnamon oil, you mix it with a carrier oil, such as olive oil and apply it to your skin and/or clothes. The good thing about using cinnamon oil is that you won’t smell fruity or flowery. Cinnamon has a great smell (to humans) and will keep you fishing instead of slapping bugs.
Jeff Stevens writes and edits the Hunting and fishing website Huntersguide.org. He enjoys hunting, fishing, spending time with family, and writing. He recently published a piece on items every fisher can use.