It’s that time of the year when the bugs are overwhelmingly annoying! How to keep the mosquitoes, black flies, gnats, ticks and other pests at bay so that we can enjoy our summer?
There are some pretty good bug repellants out there that work, but if you’re conscious for your health and of your children’s “BEWARE” some of these repellents have nasty chemicals and when you apply to your skin, they will end up in your bloodstream.
Some will use the repellent on their clothing without touching their skin (I see this as a good option, but then I’m always concerned about what I’m breathing). Just because we don’t see the chemicals, it doesn’t mean they’re not causing harm. I’m just really careful when it comes to “Deet (a “brand of diethyltoluamide, a colorless oily liquid with a mild odor, used as an insect repellent”). Although they’re claiming it’s safe, I just don’t really trust their claims. Doctor’s also claimed that expecting mothers, in the 60’s, could safely take the so-called “Wonder drug” and see what resulted from that…
Because I’m so paranoid about the nasty chemicals, I’m always on the lookout for natural, herbal bug repellants that are safe for the whole family.
Children are always playing outside and they need to be protected from those nasty pests; especially with the possibility of West Nile virus (transmitted by mosquitoes) and Lyme disease which are transmitted ticks.
Tried and Tested Bug Repellants Without Chemicals-
The tips below are some I have used and still use successfully:
- Vitamin B1 (take a vitamin B1 supplement hours before doing your outdoor activities- they’re inexpensive (under $4, and quite effective). Your body odor will naturally repel bugs as they hate the smell of vitamin B1. *Don’t worry, humans cannot detect that particular body odor, only bugs. 🙂
- Be careful what you eat! Whatever you ingest will affect your body odor. When you indulge in that decadent dessert, bugs will find you most appetizing! That’s right, sugar related foods will make you sweet smelling and if you’re sweet smelling, you might as well stamp a huge bull’s eye on your face, because you will be targeted! Alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer are a great bug magnet! Any potassium-rich foods such as chocolate, strawberries, and bananas should be avoided as well.
- Another option that is quite effective is Tea Tree oil or Lavender oil (dab it to different areas of your skin that usually gets targeted such as around and behind the ears and neck (along with the hairline), in the ankle area, knees, elbows, wrists. The amazing thing about these two oils is that they serve a dual purpose: a good bug repellent, and a very effective bug bite treatment (lavender oil will stop the itch immediately).
- Another important thing to remember is to give up the lovely scents. As much as you can, avoid perfume in your hair and body products (if you can, purchase products that are based with lemon, peppermint, lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus or some other scents that repel bugs). This Tea Tree- Peppermint Shampoo is a good example of that type of product (I cannot guarantee it will repel bugs for I have not personally tried it).
- Another option is “Skin So Soft” Bath oil by Avon (it does work but the odor is quite intense. If you have issues with fragrance, this will definitely bother you. I always had a bottle on hand but don’t seem to use much anymore since I discovered the B1 and foods to avoid combination.
Do you have a personal favorite natural bug repellent recipe that works for you? We’d love to read all about it!
Enjoy your summer!
Thanks for reading!