All insects have a purpose but some are awfully annoying to humans! Here's how to deter mosquitoes and other bugs while you enjoy the great outdoors.
We all know about store-brand products, so we're going to tell you how to fend off those pesky insects with safe, non-toxic repellents and remedies.
Why Mosquitos Suck Your Blood
It's not all mosquitoes that feed on blood. The male mosquitoes only drink nectar, whereas female mosquitoes nourish their developing eggs with protein rich blood.
Towards that end, the female mosquitoes prefer to bite ankles and wrists, where blood vessels are nearer to the skin's surface. Therefore, it helps to cool the area of the bite to constrict the capillaries near the skin's surface and reduce swelling. Try a cool compress.
Remember not to scratch the bite; this will only make it worse.
- Burn a little sage or rosemary over coals to repel mosquitoes.
- To eliminate the itch, rub on meat tenderizer or lemon juice.
- Lemon Eucalyptus oil can be used to repel mosquitoes.
- A paste of mashed garlic can help take the sting and itch away.
- Some people swear garlic works and swallow slivered garlic to ward off these summer pests. Others take garlic tablets or rub garlic juice directly on their skin. Some people apply onion or radish juice for the same purpose.
- White vinegar is another remedy for relieving the itch of insect bites. Apply it in full strength. Don't use vinegar if the area is raw.
- Rubbing the skin with baby oil or imitation vanilla extract repels biting insects such as mosquitoes and blackflies.
- Some people have luck with high doses of vitamin B1 (100 milligrams, two or three times a day), but it doesn't work for everybody.
- One of our favorite remedies is rubbing cider vinegar on your skin to repel insects. If you take in enough cider veingar by putting it on foods you eat, you'll develop a body odor that will repel insects, including black flies.
In the Garden
- It is thought that certain plants repel a broad spectrum of insects. Marigolds, chrysanthemums, asters, and pyrethrum daisies, as well as herbs such as basil, anise, and coriander, are all thought to repel insects.
- To keep mosquitoes to a minimum, eliminate their breeding sites on your property. They need standing water to lay their eggs in, so empty those puddles, old cans, buckets, and plant pots.
- Add a few drops of citronella to each gallon of exterior paint to keep away flying insects such as blackflies and mosquitoes. The citronella won't affect the paint, but it will keep the bugs from messing up your fresh paint job.
- And your home, add a bat house! Did you know that one small brown bat can eat as many as 600 mosquitoes in one hour?
DEET-Free Bug Repellents
If you're looking for a non-toxic insect repellent we'd recommend this product: BUG OUT. The water-based BUG OUT Spray in a recyclable plastic pump bottle is totally chemical-free yet creates a powerful bug barrier on your clothing and exposed skin. Definitely an outdoor essential to prevent being eaten alive!
The same plant-based repellents that work in the garden work on your skin. BUG OUT is formulated with lemongrass, rosemary, peppermint, thyme, cedarwood, geranium, and wintergreen (to name a few). These scents pleasing to humans—and noxious to insects. You can't bite back, but you can relax on the patio, camp in the woods, and enjoy nature without being bothered by swarms of biting bugs!
We hope this is helpful and biting bugs beware! Have some tips of your own? Please post below!