Survival Russia - tick repellent

Discussion in 'General Bushcraft Discussion' started by Black Jaque Janaviac, May 13, 2019.

  1. Black Jaque Janaviac

    Black Jaque Janaviac Scout

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    Just watched a Survival Russia episode recently posted where he puts a rag on a huge anthill then collects the rag after the ants have had a chance to attack it for some time. Shakes off the excess ants, dampens it with a bit of water, and rubs it all over to repel mosquitos and ticks.

    That is almost too cool to be true. Has anyone ever used this method and can confirm its effectiveness?
     
  2. Beyond the Firelight

    Beyond the Firelight Supporter Supporter

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    Never heard of it, but it would be fantastic if it works.
     
  3. mtnoutdoors

    mtnoutdoors Prov 27:17 Supporter

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    It would be something to look in to.
    Prov 27:17
     
  4. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Is it a specific type of ant?
     
  5. wallflash

    wallflash Supporter Supporter

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  6. Sosteve

    Sosteve Scout

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    Interesting guy Lars
     
  7. ReallyBigMonkey1

    ReallyBigMonkey1 Supporter Supporter

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    Everywhere ants go they leave behind trail pheromones. I guessing ticks wouldn't want anything to do with an army of ants so I bet this is a pretty legit idea.
     
  8. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Yeah, not sure how mossies would care though... also I've picked up ticks only feet from huge ant hills in transmission right of ways, which is why I was wondering if it was a specific type of ant.
     
  9. ReallyBigMonkey1

    ReallyBigMonkey1 Supporter Supporter

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    I have no idea what type of ants they have but you're right about mossies, they fear nothing
     
  10. highlander

    highlander Veni Vidi comedit lardum Supporter

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    I’m guessing it may have something to do with the formic acid ants excrete when they are stressed or in danger.
    It’s the stuff that gives them a lemony tang and numbs your tongue when eaten
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  11. Duncsquatch

    Duncsquatch Heed the call. Supporter

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    Exactly when ants attack things formic acid is the result. We mostly have those large red ants around where I live I wonder how it would work.
     
  12. Black Jaque Janaviac

    Black Jaque Janaviac Scout

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    Wow. A piece of woodcraft knowlege that doesn't appear to have been known by Bushcraft members. I'm not sure whether this is sort of like a snipe hunt or if it really works.
     
  13. MAD Punty

    MAD Punty Supporter Supporter

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    Yes, Formic Acid acts as a repellant.

    https://www.researchgate.net/public...icidae_Against_Amblyomma_Ticks_Acari_Ixodidae

    However, it isn't the best because it is very volatile, and therefore is only effective for a short time...minutes rather than hours.

    You don't need to play in anthills if you can find stinging nettles...if Formic Acid is the only major factor...but some kind of ant pheromones may be at play.
     
  14. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    The article MAD links says it works 100% at concentrations above 50% for about 10 min... after 30 min it's totally useless. So not what I'd call effective.
     
  15. Gii shi kan dug

    Gii shi kan dug Guide

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    There is a type of ant that emits formic acid to discourage predators. They taste terrible when collecting them with an aspirator.
    Makes sense it may discourage certain insects.
     
  16. denizen

    denizen Tracker

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    I must say that is an interesting idea. I guess, if you were really tough, you could just put the ants on your neck and skip the handkerchief.
     
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  17. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    Never knew that it was the Formic acids that taste so good.... in small doses anyway!!
    I’ve never experienced the numbing, just the tang.
     
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  18. Paul Caruso

    Paul Caruso Being all that I am. Supporter

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    I always wondered why the French call ants fourmi, now I know.
     
  19. Jon Foster

    Jon Foster Guide

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    Holy cow! If that actually works I'm doing it!

    Jon.
     
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  20. highlander

    highlander Veni Vidi comedit lardum Supporter

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    I wonder if he kept reapplying it after he soaked it. Could be the key.
     
  21. Code of The West Survival

    Code of The West Survival Scout

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    Yes. It works. However, you have to be careful. Some people maybe allergic to it. Try on your skin a little...see if you will have a rash or skin will be burning. Try it first before using that.
     
  22. dreamin

    dreamin Scout

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    If purple pigs started flying backwards and I was to make an appearance on Naked and Afraid I would be crushing up some mad ants and making myself a body balm. 10 minutes of relief would be a God send in some of those places.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
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  23. Black Jaque Janaviac

    Black Jaque Janaviac Scout

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    I don't think crushing ants would do it. It is something (formic acid?) that is in their bite, or "sting". Crushing the ants may be like killing the goose that laid the golden egg.
     
  24. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    It may not be necessary to put it on youre skin but merely to use it as a neckerchief so the aroma in the atmosphere does the trick .
     
  25. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    hello,
    simple but effective & no harm to the Ant colony. :) win win!!
    Regards
    David
     
  26. NJStricker

    NJStricker Supporter Supporter

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    But apparently makes for an appealing video on YouTube
     
  27. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Just means the chemical is very volatile... wonder if using some sort of oil could slow the evaporation and make it more useful
     
  28. NJStricker

    NJStricker Supporter Supporter

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    Peppermint oil? Also somewhat volatile though.

    There's always good ol' Avon Skin So Soft.
     
  29. Black Jaque Janaviac

    Black Jaque Janaviac Scout

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    Oh sure, 'cuz when you're out in the bush you can always find a bottle of Skin So Soft.

    Incidentally, have you ever read the ingredients list on that stuff? I don't see why people think Skin So Soft is benign and DEET is somehow bad. DEET has been around for so long and I have not seen anything that indicates it is hazardous.
    https://www.popsci.com/article/science/deet-safe-use
     
  30. AdirondackBadger

    AdirondackBadger Supporter Supporter

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    I have read about it but have never seen it in practice @Black Jaque Janaviac. Thank you for sharing the video.

    @Higlander is most likely correct about the formic acid. There was actually a study about 20 years ago to test the the effects of formic acid on ticks based on the daily activity of "anting" some Brazilian monkeys who lived in an area with high tick populations.

    Here is some information on the subject:

     

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