If you read my previous post on the possible hazards of DEET and Permethrin, you’re probably left wondering what you could use to stave off the hordes of mosquitoes that are out to drink your blood in the summer months.

Cigar Smoke Folks who like the taste of cigars may find some relief by sitting in the middle of a cloud of cigar smoke. Any smoke will help keep bugs away, and cigar smoke seems to be more effective than most other smokes. But the big question on this one is whether the cigar smoke or the DEET is more hazardous to your health. Natural Herbs There is a long history of using garlic and other herbs to get rid of many insects. Garlic in particular has a reputation for protecting people from mosquito bites, which may have been the origin of the belief that vampires are scared of garlic. There are a number of commercial garlic sprays on the market, but depending on the mosquito species you are fighting (and your body chemistry), these may or may not produce a significant mosquito barrier on your skin.

Citronella Citronella sprays can be good, but they also need to be reapplied often, as they lose a significant amount of their bug repellency after 45 minutes.

Mud And what about in a survival situation? How do you keep the skeeters at bay when you have no cigars or natural bug repellents? The best trick I have is not a pretty one. It’s a suit of mud. That’s right, cover your exposed skin with a good layer of mud. The bugs won’t bite through that, if you don’t mind looking a fool and using a wire brush to scrub it all off when you get out of your survival emergency.

Got another way to beat the bugs? Please share it in the comments section below!

Related: Best Mosquito Repellent