Here are some home remedies to keep the mosquitoes away and to get some relief for itchy bites!
Staying away from mosquitoes and treating bug bites can be one of the most annoying parts of summer. When summer hits, it can be hard to walk outside without being swarmed by mosquitoes. No one wants to wear long clothes in the heat just to prevent bug bites, but mosquitoes can be relentless.
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. Mosquitoes spit an anticoagulant under our skin when they bite us, leaving us with whatever disease they’re carrying (encephalitis, malaria, West Nile virus, yellow fever). If you have any complications with bug bites (besides itching), check for symptoms of these other diseases.
Home Remedies to Keep Bugs Away
Topical Mosquito Repellants
- Lemon Eucalyptus oil can be used to repel mosquitoes.
- Rubbing the skin with baby oil or imitation vanilla extract repels biting insects such as mosquitoes and blackflies.
- One of our favorite remedies is rubbing apple cider vinegar on your skin to repel insects. If you take in enough apple cider vinegar by putting it on foods you eat, you’ll develop a body odor that will repel insects, including black flies. One great and refreshing summer drink for this purpose is switchel, made from apple cider vinegar.
- 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.
Though it might not give you the most pleasing scent, garlic juice could help to keep mosquitoes away.
Tips to Keep Mosquitoes Out of Your Yard
- Burn a little sage or rosemary over coals to repel mosquitoes.
- 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. If you have a pond, don’t worry—dragonflies love ponds, and they are a big mosquito predator.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add a bat house to your home! Did you know that one small brown bat can eat as many as 600 mosquitoes in one hour? Check this page for more information on bats and other creatures that eat annoying pests!
- Be aware that using pesticides to get rid of mosquitoes can also harm more beneficial bugs like fireflies and dragonflies. Try some home remedies before making that decision!
Home Remedies for Bug Bites and Itching: Bug Bite Relief
- 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.
- For itchy bites, rub on meat tenderizer or lemon juice.
- A paste of mashed garlic can help make bug bites stop itching.
- 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. Vinegar has many other household uses, which you can explore here!
- A paste of baking soda and water can provide much-needed relief to bug bites. Learn more about the countless household uses for baking soda.
- Oatmeal can also help to provide itch relief, and not only to bug bites.
- 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.
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 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 are 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!