In the midst of the zombie invasion, you might imagine parasites and biting insects such as fleas, mosquitoes and ticks will be the least of your worries. Think about it though; if a flea can spread diseases and illnesses such as the bubonic plague, myxomatosis or endemic typhus, what makes you so sure they couldn’t pass on a zombie virus or infection? Do you really want to risk fighting off zombie hordes only to be infected by an insect bite? No, me neither.
Fleas often live on soft furnishings and in carpets, hopping onto animals or humans as and when they need to eat. Flea repellent is relatively easy to make and there are many effective home-made recipes. Equal parts of vinegar or lemon juice and water sprayed onto skin or worked into an animal’s fur will both discourage fleas from biting.
The easiest way to kill fleas is to dehydrate them; sprinkle salt or borax over an infected area such as a carpet and leave for a few days and most of the fleas will be killed. Be warned, fleas will bite more when dying so it might be a good idea to be somewhere else while the treatment works.
Flying insects which bite humans include mosquitoes, midges and horseflies. These will usually avoid you if you apply citrus oils (for example lemongrass or orange) to your skin. The most effective way to do this is to crush citrus leaves and rub the oil directly onto yourself (remember to patch-test for potential allergic reactions first). There is also some evidence that insects will avoid biting people with garlic in their bloodstream.
If there are large numbers of flying, biting insects in your area, it is probably a good idea to put up a net to protect you whilst you sleep. The best way to do this is to hang fine netting over your rest area so that the ends easily reach the ground. Remember to check nets regularly for rips and other damage.
Ticks will fasten themselves to skin whilst feeding and are often difficult to remove. Their natural habitat is long grass or trees, where they will attach themselves to the legs and bodies of passing mammals. You are fairly unlikely to find large numbers of ticks in urban areas.
The easiest way to repel ticks is to rub a mixture of vegetable oil, aloe vera gel (scraped from the inside of an aloe vera leaf) and an insect repelling oil such as lavender onto your skin before going into an area where they are likely to be living.
Following these simple de-infestation tips will help you stay zombie virus free or at least stop that nagging itch when you’re aiming at a zombie’s head!