After the long, wet winter most people are loving the summer sunshine but with the warmer weather, fresh air, longer days, and more time in the garden, we’re bound to see a whole bunch of biting bugs, too!
A spray can might be the easy solution for fending off unwanted pests but there are other ways to keep those tiny, flying monsters from ruining outdoor fun.
First consider planting a bug-repelling garden. If reducing the number of flying pests is a priority, cultivate plants that naturally repel mosquitoes and other creepy-crawlies. Geranium, marigold, catnip and horsemint are all considered to be effective bug-repelling plants.
In addition, here are some natural alternative methods to using chemical-laden, commercially-available bug sprays.
Dress to repel
Mosquitoes and other flying pests will flock to dark or bright coloured clothing, long before they start gunning for those in pastels. Wear light colours; this can make a difference in the number of bugs at your personal party.
Citronella products: The vaguely citrusy aroma of citronella is quite pleasant to the human nose but it sends biting bugs fleeing. So, light candles scented with citronella instead of dousing yourself in commercial spray.
Skip sweet scents: Smelling nice may ‘slay’ your partner but perfume can be a major beacon for bugs. Why not skip the scent or cologne and opt for fragrance-free toiletries to help keep insects at bay?
Read toiletry labels: The human body naturally produces lactic acid, which is known to attract mosquitoes and other biting bugs. It’s also present in many moisturisers and body washes advertised as alpha hydroxy acid exfoliators. So, avoid those products when heading outdoors for extended periods of time.
Take your vitamins: Boosting B1 vitamin can help repel bugs from the outside in. Look for supplements with high B1 content.
Remove standing water: Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so be vigilant about emptying sources of standing water and ensuring birdbaths and ponds are regularly refreshed or stirred.
Homemade sprays: Mixing essential oils, such as geranium, basil, peppermint, lemongrass, catnip and bay leaf with ordinary witch hazel in a small spray bottle will provide a safe, all-natural alternative. These ingredients can be a comparatively pricey investment upfront, but will yield several batches.