With summer just around the corner, now’s a great time to talk about natural bug repellants. After all, nothing ruins a family BBQ, invigorating hike, or enjoyable evening on the patio faster than a bug infestation. Whether it’s ticks, mosquitos, flies, or other pests, these insects can really put a damper on outdoor fun.
The market is saturated with insect repellents of all kinds. However, the chemicals, dyes, and other toxic ingredients most of them contain are more dangerous than the bugs themselves. Fortunately, there are a number of natural bug repellants and other solutions for protecting yourself and keeping your yard and patio bug-free. Here are some suggestions you can try.
Natural Bug Repellants
- Several plants are natural bug repellents.If possible, plant lemon thyme, tansy, scented geraniums, sweet basil, and sassafras around your home. If that’s not an option, get a few potted plants for your patio.
- Mosquitoes and other flying bugs are most active at dusk and dawn so try to stay indoors during those times.
- Wear lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, pants, and socks to protect delicate skin. Choose lighter-colored clothes as bugs are attracted to darker colors.
- Use fans—they help ward off mosquitoes and other bugs.
- Repair window screens and screen doors so bugs can’t get into your home.
- Regularly rid your yard of water that has collected in kiddie pools, old tires, buckets, garbage cans, clogged gutters, plastic pots, etc. Mosquitoes need standing water in order to reproduce. If you have a pond on your property, stock it with fish—they eat mosquito larvae.
- Tinted light bulbs with a yellow hue are less attractive to bugs and act as natural bug repellants so use these in outdoor fixtures.
- Fragrances attract insects. Don’t wear perfume, cologne, or other scented products.
Non-Toxic Insect Repellents
Instead of chemicals, try these natural bug repellants.
- Several essential oils have been found to be effective insect repellents. Lemon eucalyptus, neem, lemongrass, cedar, and citronella are some of my favorites. Look for sprays that contain these ingredients in health food stores or from online retailers or try with making your own blends at home.
- Repellents that contain soybean oil can also protect against mosquitoes for up to eight hours.
- Remember, natural bug repellents will need to be applied more often than chemical ones.
Natural Remedies for Bug Bites
Sometimes insect bites are unavoidable. If you do get stung, give these natural remedies a try.
- Vinegar: This kitchen staple is useful for a wide variety of bites. Just soak a cotton ball in vinegar and tape it over the bite overnight.
- Tea tree oil: This remedy is particularly helpful for stings. Remove the stinger and dab tea tree oil around the site.
- Baking soda: Mix a little baking soda with water to create a paste, remove the stinger (if applicable), apply paste, and cover until pain subsides.
- Yellow onion: Onions contain sulfur compounds that can relieve the itching from all types of bug bites. Just cut off a piece of onion and rub the sliced side on the bite. Put the leftovers in the fridge and make a new slice before reapplying.
I hope these natural bug repellants and remedies for bug bites are helpful. If you have suggestions of your own, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.