Well, it’s that time of year again when everyone is outdoors getting bit by mosquitoes, black flies, ticks and who knows what else. And no one wants to slather DEET, a potentially illness causing chemical on their skin to repel the little buggers. And though there are some very effective non-DEET concoctions, they’re expensive to buy if you’re using them regularly.
Instead of curtailing your camping, gardening and other outdoor activities, try some of these do it yourself ideas using commonly found household ingredients or plants.
–Mosquitoes hate basil, catnip and garlic. If you’re a gardener, place these in pots or in your gardens to keep them away. Or place trays of basil or catnip leaves and crushed garlic cloves in outdoor areas. If you’ve considered taking garlic pills for health reasons, now is the time as garlic also repels ticks.
–Make spray repellent from basil. Pour half a cup of boiling water over a handful of fresh basil leaves. Let them seep for about 4 hours then squeeze the leaves to get as much of the liquid as possible. Add half a cup of vodka and pour into a spray bottle. (Note…since this does have alcohol in it, don’t leave it around for the kids to get into…).
–Most bugs don’t like the smell of marigolds, so make sure you’ve got those in planters or in the garden.
–If you have lavender or tea tree oil (both are great natural remedies for itching, inflammation and anti-bacterial uses), make a spray from these. Mix almost equal parts water and oil (a little more water than oil), then rub on your body or pour into a spray bottle if you prefer. Tea tree oil is your best bet as it repels the broadest range of bugs.
And if you do get bit, try the remedies on this page to soothe the pain and itch.
Photo by dr_relling