Keep bugs at bay with these tips
You love to garden and spend time outdoors, whether at a barbecue or just a summer evening spent watching the sun dip below the horizon. Bugs, on the other hand, are sure to ruin your enjoyment of the outdoors. Dozens or hundreds of them, it doesn't matter – even a handful can drive you crazy. Bug repellent is absolutely essential to keep the buzzing, winged pests away and keep yourself from constantly batting your hand in front of your face or scratching yourself silly after the bugs have bitten you. You have many choices to help keep bugs at bay. You can use repellent bug spray or a natural bug repellent.
Repellent Bug Spray
Repellent bug spray that contains Deet seems to be the best type of bug spray you can buy, but the drawback is that you're coating yourself in heavy-duty insecticide. Deet shouldn't be used on children under six months of age, and only used on older children when absolutely necessary. It's best for areas with severe mosquito or tick problems, but is widely available in several different brands of repellent bug spray.
Chemical Free Bug Repellent
Some chemical free bug repellent brands use citronella to ward of mosquitoes, deer flies and other flying pests. Citronella candles are a popular choice, especially if you enjoy the citronella scent. Bracelets that give off a citronella scent can be worn around a child's wrists or ankles as a safe and chemical free bug repellent option, as opposed to Deet. Some people have luck by wiping rubbing alcohol on their exposed skin and letting it dry. Others find that a mixture of pure vanilla and water, lavender oil, vinegar or Vicks VapoRub on their pulse points also works. The efficacy of natural bug repellent often depends on your body chemistry – what works for one person might not work as well for you. Experiment with different natural bug repellent ideas to find one that's best for you.
Another chemical free bug repellent, or bug eliminator once the bugs have already moved in, is a bug zapper. The light draws the bugs and then they're electrified. Or sticky strips like fly strips can work for flies and other winged insects.
If you cover your skin as much as possible while outdoors, you'll naturally have fewer problems with bugs or ticks. And avoid the outdoors, if you can, at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes typically feed. Scented shampoos and body lotions can attract the little pests, and it's believed that they're more attracted to the color blue than other any color, so if you're going to be outdoors, opt for clothing of a different hue.
Make sure you have no standing water near your yard where mosquitoes can lay their eggs. Pet bowls, wading pools, flower pots, kids' toys, wagons and almost any item in your yard can potentially collect water that can get stagnant and become a top breeding ground for bugs. Marigolds, geraniums and basil planted in your yard or garden also make a great natural bug repellent.