Someone was telling me about US educational programme “The Walking Dead” the other day from, which they gleaned this great little tidbit for walkers (hill walkers, not zombies): wild leek is a great natural mosquito repellent. We’re not quite at the worst mosquito and midge time just yet but it’s on the way soon and they’ve already started to show up with the warm weather we’ve been having in the last couple of weeks. You simply pull up a bulb of the wild leek, crush it in your hands and rub it on your hands face and neck. Just be sure to test it on a small patch of skin first in case you have a bad reaction to it!
Most insect repellents are based on a chemical called DEET. Suffice to say, it’s not good for you having been linked to damage to brain cells and changes in behaviour . It also stinks in an industrial way and tastes vile when it inevitably gets into your mouth. Wild leek may smell too, but at least it’s an earthy natural scent. Wild plants are a real alternative to DEET, though they won’t last as long, and you can use more than the wild leek. Wild garlic is another one that’s in season for the next few months of spring and early summer and people who’ve eaten a lot of garlic or onions get bitten a lot less too. Keep an eye out on your walks over the next while!